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RPS’s new strategic plan will focus on deeper learning, life after graduation

Rochester Public Schools has spent the last year putting this plan together
Rochester Public School leaders released their latest Strategic Action Plan recently.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester Public School leaders released their latest Strategic Action Plan. The plan is a roadmap to guide the district’s decisions and development over the next three years.

Rochester Public Schools has spent the last year putting together its Strategic Action Plan named Planning for Purpose.

“Every student in Rochester Public Schools will both recognize their purpose, meaning their understanding of themselves, but most importantly have the knowledge skills abilities to realize that purpose,” RPS Superintendent Kent Pekel said.

There are two main changes being implemented. The first, investing in subjects outside of the traditional core curriculum.

“Not just kids mastering core academic concepts and reading and math and science, but being really critically to able to apply those concepts to solve real world problems,” Superintendent Pekel said.

The second is helping students think about and plan for their lives after high school.

“Especially starting in middle school, even early elementary, we’re going to be really leaning in to pointing all the arrows in our system beyond the end of kids’ time in our system,” Superintendent Pekel said.

Pekel said one of the biggest challenges the school district is facing is completing what he calls “unfinished learning.”

“We really need to lean in to kids who have unfinished learning from the course of the pandemic, including this year when we were dealing with everything from masks to moving to distance learning again for a couple of weeks,” Pekel said.

After managing the district during the pandemic, the board says they are ready to move their focus to this new plan.

“Now that we are hopefully at least nearing a new phase, if not the end of this pandemic, we’re really ready to run. We’re actually ready to lean in the implementing these strategies,” Pekel said.

Pekel said the part of the plan going into action first is the district’s Redesign School Improvement Planning Process which looks at each school in the district’s goals. That’s happening in the upcoming school year.

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