Almost all organizations, across industries, promote innovation. Yet, few do it, or do it well. Simply promoting innovation doesn’t make it happen. Innovation requires a little direction, some process, and an encouraging culture. It requires ideas -- encouraging, identifying, resourcing, and developing ideas. Why is it important in a school district?
Spring Lake Park Schools is preparing students for a future that is largely unknown, a global world that is rapidly ever-changing. Our students bring a variety of interests, needs, and experiences to school with them each day, as do our staff. The families of our students also bring hopes and dreams for their students. And the community we serve has an interest in our work with students and their preparation for the world as they leave the walls of our schools.
If our school system is to be vibrant in the future, meeting the diverse and varied needs of our learners and community, we must be able to adapt to the changing conditions and emerging influences we experience, as well as design new ways of working with our students and community. The requires improvement and innovation. It also requires the whole system -- instructional and operational -- to be successful.
Continuous improvement, assessing practices and seeking ways to enhance what we do, has been and will continue to be a core aspect of our work in Spring Lake Park Schools. This leads to improved processes, operations, and learning for students. We complement this with a focus on innovation, capitalizing on the creativity of our teachers and staff to design new ways of working with our students, families, and community.
The key to innovation is not just having new ideas. It is about implementing ideas that meets the needs and interests of the customer – our students, families, community, and colleagues -- with the intention of dramatically improving outcomes and experiences. We are bringing this innovation to practice through the use of a design thinking methodology, SLP 3D Design: Customized Learning. Innovation. Solutions, a methodology that provides processes and tools to empower our staff to understand the needs and desires of our students, families and community, and then design and deliver prototypes in response to these needs and desires.
Ultimately, our primary focus with innovation and design thinking is about customizing learning for our students, designing student work and learning experiences that will engage all students and increase the probability that they will learn at high levels. At the same time, our desire is to enhance partnerships with families and the community, always working to purposefully and systemically position the district for success in the future.