Education: Belpre City Schools’ project needs support

Belpre City Schools is moving in a new and potentially wonderful direction for students, if the steps outlined in Monday’s board of education meeting are followed. Voting to adopt “Portrait of a Graduate,” the board appears to understand yesterday’s approach simply does not work for today’s students.

So, the school system will now begin work on a timeline that emphasizes the qualities desired for graduates: critical thinking and integrity; empathetic communication; leading and collaborating; creativity; hopefulness, and being goal-oriented. It is telling — and a poke at some “adults” meant to be setting an example for our kids — that students asked to be taught how to better disagree without hostility. Thank goodness THEY recognize the need.

Of course, teachers and administrators will continue to provide the solid academics — English language arts, history, social studies, math, science, arts and music, technology and engineering, trade skills — our students must have. Cramming all that into the school day will, indeed, take a different approach. Still, we would add another goal: that students be responsible, accountable and professional. Students must learn now how to be productive employees who are drug-free, show up on time, and take ownership of a job done well.

It just keeps adding up, doesn’t it? That is why Belpre City Schools will need parents and the community on board as well, in employing this new method for preparing kids to become adults in the real world. It is an incredible goal, and one well worth the effort, if we are all working toward it.