Changing the mold of the 2030 high school grad

The amount of computer coding embedded into the district’s curriculum is increasing and it’s all part of the achieving the district’s vision for the Shelton High School graduate of 2030.

“It’s terrific,” said Board of Ed Chair Mark Holden. “Essentially, our goal is for our students that graduate to be ready to succeed in the 21st Century.”

With work going on in the district such as the new coding aspect of the curriculum, the city’s education team are also exploring ways to cater to students who do not see themselves attending college.

“We’re thinking of ways to create more vocational opportunities for students who do not see themselves continuing their education after high school,” said Holden. “Bottom line is that we need to make sure that we’re preparing kids for the real world one way or another.”

Superintendent of Shelton Schools Dr. Chris Clouet said the district’s progress made on its Strategic Plan has been amazing so far, largely due to the work being done with coding.

“We believe that coding will impact every area of the human experience,” said Dr. Clouet. “What we’re seeing as a district is that in order to be a graduate at Shelton High School, at some point during your K-12 experience, you will learn coding and that’s a must for all students. We’re all beginning to understand that coding isn’t only for scientists wearing lab coats, but is also an understanding of algorithms which will be a critical tool used by students that graduate from our district.”

Being that this is the pilot year of implementing more coding into the curriculum, Dr. Clouet said it will also be a year to create measurable goals and expectations for all grade levels in the district.

“By the end of the year we should be able to determine how much coding we want a student to know by the time they leave second or third grade,” said Dr. Clouet. “We need to listen to and support our kids as they grow and develop these skills.”

Creating environments in which students are excited to learn is also a goal of Dr. Clouet and his team spread throughout the district. Dr. Clouet helped to introduce this theme to the community back in 2016, when he and staff at the Shelton Intermediate School hosted a film night.

“We wanted to inspire the community,” said Dr. Clouet. “We needed to start the conversation about what we need to do to start transforming schools.”

The large crowd that gathered at the Intermediate School back in 2016 was exposed to a style of education in the movie that incorporated more hands on work, and that highlights how the modern day education/organization system is outdated and may not necessarily prepare students for the real world.

The documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed,” was based on the work of Tony Wagner, who is a professor at Harvard.

Dr. Clouet said Wagner’s work has helped him and his team begin to formulate their vision for the future of education.

The next step in Dr. Clouet’s plan to help transform the district’s education structure is to incorporate more online learning.

“We’re looking forward to being able to say that every student that graduates from the high school, will have online learning experience.