Preparing Students for the Promise of Tomorrow!
The Baldwin Community Schools District (BCSD) mission
statement appears as a simple phrase,
but contains many layers that requires "unpacking". Most people
familiar with the Baldwin Promise will understand the mission of the district
is to prepare students to take advantage of the Promise scholarship, so that
they can attend college with little financial expense. Practically speaking,
their interpretation is accurate. However, some people might understand the
mission of the district is to prepare students for a brighter tomorrow or a
future full of promise. From a esoteric perspective, their interpretation is
accurate as well. At BCSD, we combine these two interpretations. We understand
the mission as preparing students for meaningful postsecondary opportunities
whether it be college, vocational school, or the military. We work to provide
students with knowledge and skills required to be successful in any endeavor
they choose after high school.
As you read this article, you might wonder why the district
places such great emphasis on college readiness. I am sure you have read and
heard about our ongoing efforts to build a college-going culture within the
district. The emphasis on improving college readiness is easily explainable.
The skills required of students in pursuit of vocational training and the
military are similar to the skills necessary to be successful in college. Just
like college, vocational training and the military demand that students are
able to read highly technical material and immediately apply what is read. Additionally,
the math involved demand that students have a firm understanding of algebra and
other forms of advanced mathematics. Moreover, students in vocational and
military programs must be able to communicate effectively and demonstrate high
levels of discipline to be successful. Again, these are all skills required of
students planning to attend college.
We understand that by
focusing on college readiness we are preparing students for multiple
opportunities beyond high school. This is why, we have incorporated Advanced
Placement (AP) courses into the academic program, increased the number of
students taking classes at West Shore Community College, Ferris State
University, and the Tech Prep Center, as well as added a SAT Prep course.
Furthermore, to sustain our efforts in building a college-going culture, we are
building a coherent curriculum designed to prepare our students for college-level
courses and programs. These efforts along with the college readiness activities
provided through the Rick Simonson College Access Center has placed the
district on a path towards preparing our students for the Promise of tomorrow.