Community Education Summit #1
Conversations Create a Vision for Queensbury Schools
More than 80 community members – including entrepreneurs, parents, students, university leaders, retirees, engineers, educators, bankers, a town official, and more – shared their opinions on public school education at the Queensbury Board of Education’s first community education summit.
This unique event, held in early December, introduced participants to the interactive, hands-on “world café” style of community conversations. It also gave them an opportunity to help shape a vision for local education.
“We’re asking you to help determine the skills, knowledge and attributes that our students coming out of a K through 12 program will need in order to be successful in the future,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas W. Huntley in his opening remarks.
He then reflected on the implications of recent news stories about the use of drones to deliver packages and robots to produce nanotechnology. “How do we prepare our students today for a world that’s going to be almost unimaginable [to us] by the time they’re involved in careers and college?” he asked.
His question highlighted a theme for the evening of looking to the future. Huntley shared that in 2018, Queensbury Union Free School District will pay off a good portion of its debt service for past capital projects. That may allow the district to address any structural aspects of current school facilities in order to facilitate the community’s vision for education. He told participants that the Board of Education is looking at that future opportunity through the lens of the district’s mission, goals and core values.
“2018 might sound like a good ways away, but it isn’t at all when we do this kind of planning,” said Huntley. “The board wants to start by looking at programs and student skills in order to plan for adjustments to our physical structure that would accommodate what students are going to need.”
Following Huntley’s comments, educational legacy planner Robert Hendriks set the stage for participant-led conversations and creative, hands-on brainstorming activities. During those conversations, participants shared their thoughts on topics such as the skills students need to be productive citizens in a global economy, how schools should be delivering education to equip them with those skills and what schools may need to make that possible. Click here to view notes from each table's report to the larger group. A more detailed analysis of individual group conversations will be shared in January.
Moving forward, the Board of Education and administrators plan to identify suggestions from the summit on which they can immediately take action. They are also continuing to work with educators and the educational legacy planner to chart a path for the future of education in Queensbury.
“We will turn the vision that we heard here into action,” Huntley promised community members at the summit.
Those who would like to be a part of the ongoing legacy planning process should click here to learn about any new opportunities to get involved.