Lakewood community members have been meeting for approximately two years to help shape the school district’s next vision statement about where local schools should go.
The school board approved the document, known as "Lakewood Compact," during their March 3 board meeting.
The document is meant to help guide district officials and future goals of the district. It focused on three main themes: fostering leadership and a positive environment, equity, and building partnerships with groups outside the district to enhance learning.
The full document is available at lwsd.wednet.edu/Page/1471.
The process to establish the Lakewood Compact began after Superintendent Scott Peacock came to the district in the summer of 2019.
At that time he created a community advisory group composed of staff, students and parents.
“It’s been a real privilege to work with the staff, the parents and the students and hear from them,” said Peacock. “The insights they have shared have been powerful. Out of that we got dozens of ideas and hopes and dreams.”
The advisory group helped to identify themes and reflect what was discussed at those meetings.
Peacock also talked with staff about what they want their district to be.
“We talked about what it would look like to provide a 21st century education here in Lakewood,” he said.
Lakewood School District has had a strategic plan designed for 2015 to 2020.
“We continue to draw on elements of that plan,” said Peacock. “What is different with this document is that we are trying to capture how we want the district to be."
The district is already in the process of implementing some of their goals from the document.
“This captures some of the things we’re already working on, but sort of brings them together for a shared vision,” said Peacock.
The first major goal for the district is building leadership and a “community of caring.”
The district hopes to give students agency in their own lives and create an environment that can support them.
“We’ve already begun the process of professional development that is focused on social and emotional development,” said Peacock. “So that kids have those resources they know they can go to for support."
The second theme from the compact revolves around equity and eliminating “physical, financial, racial and cultural barriers to learning,” the document states.
“We want each student to feel like they have access to the programs here and choices to be successful,” said Peacock. “That’s been a theme I always felt was important."
Staff have already been talking about what Lakewood schools would look like if they committed more to ensuring all students have opportunity, according to Peacock.
“We have been looking at social justice and equity, even during the times of the pandemic. That’s something we’ve really reflect on and thought about what that would look like in Lakewood,” he said. “How do we shift our studies so they are reflective of a diversity of backgrounds."
The final theme from the document involves building partnerships.
“What I heard [from community meetings] is that they want to capitalize on the strong sense of community here,” said Peacock.
Currently the district partners with outside groups to help students with mental health and drug addiction problems and they also partner with engineering and manufacturing groups to bring career and technical programs to local schools.
The district can benefit from working with other groups, he said.
“Being a small district we can’t do it all ourselves,” he said, “so we have to think about how to work with others to give our students the most opportunity.”
Peacock said the Lakewood Compact is a living document. “It will likely evolve over the years,” he said.
He also said many of the initiatives that the district hopes to implement will be supported if they are able to pass the maintenance and operations levy that is on the April ballot.