Our Educational Philosophy
In 2008 the Tri-County administration took a hard look at our school data with the goal of strategically planning for improvement in needed areas. We knew we were a good school; however, we wanted Tri-County to be a great school. What we found through our data review was that our ISTEP scores were normally above state average while our SAT score were always below state average. This is characterized through the observation that our students were ‘doers’ not ‘thinkers’. We realized to make a difference in those SAT scores we would need to find a way to engage our students more in critical thinking.
John Donahoe, eBAy CEO recently said “The journey from good to great is hard.” Tri-County has never shied away from the hard, so we headed full force into a campaign to challenge and change our instructional practices. We started by adopting a philosophy which we hoped would increase the rigor in our classrooms. Through funds from our Title II grant focused on professional development, we started attending The International Center for Leadership in Education annual Model Schools Conference. It was there we were introduced to The Rigor Relevance Framework®. This framework became the educational philosophy for all Tri-County Schools. We believe all students can learn and we believe if we make instruction rigorous and relevant all students will learn.
We then developed the theme of RAISING EXPECTATIONS AND CHALLENGING HABITS to drive our new philosophy. We asked our teachers to evaluate their instruction and to increase the rigor and relevance. Throughout the past eight years we have provided staff opportunities to attend the annual conference, started Wednesday morning Professional Development, and led numerous book studies all for the purpose of empowering our teachers to reach. Below is a snapshot of how our data has changed since the inception of R.E.A.C.H. With such success we are now ready to REACH HIGHER.
The Rigor Relevance Framework®, shown below, includes four quadrants of learning with a Thinking Continuum along the left side and an Action Continuum across the bottom. The ultimate goal is to have our students in the learning in Quadrant D where they have the competence to think in complex ways. No longer do we live in a world where we need to acquire for the sake of knowing things. Our students must learn to apply the knowledge they can get all around them.
At Tri-County we feel ready for the new Indiana College AND Career Standards as our journey to reach has provided our teachers and students with the skills to be successful with the rigorous curriculum the standards demand.
You can learn more about The International Center for Educational Leadership and The Rigor Relevance Framework at http://www.leadered.com/about-us/ or College and Career Readiness at http://www.achieve.org/college-and-career-readiness and http://www.doe.in.gov/achievement/ccr.