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The Reality of Enabling School Change: A Story of Risk, Hurdles, and Hope

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon4

Session Six: Sunday 2:30pm–4:00pm
Room 209
Darren Draper, Dave Doty, Scot McCombs
Affiliation: Canyons School District
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

Even under the best of circumstances, engendering change in education can be incredibly challenging. With great challenge, nevertheless, can come great reward.

In this conversation, we'll discuss the journey weve taken in developing a new public school district of 33,000 students. From redesigning its organizational structure, to hiring an entire central office staff, to enabling a new school culture, ours has been an adventure filled with risks, hurdles and hope.

Not your every day blank sheet of paper, even (and especially) with regard to technology.

One thing we learned in creating a new district was that there's really no such thing as starting from scratch. In IT, for example, before we were able to implement new systems and procedures of our own, we were forced to undo what had been done before us - even though our primary objective was to reestablish the existing technological footprint of the once existing organization. In other words, rather than climb the hill from day one, we were force to descend the hill already created to once again climb it anew. For us, this process alone took nearly a year.

So, join us: Learn from what we have experienced, and please bring your ideas about how change is most easily implemented in our schools today.

Conversational Practice:
In this conversation, well present a list of hurdles we've had to overcome - and solicit participation from others regarding recommendations they might make in resolving these issues. Furthermore, we will encourage participation as we talk through ways in which we might also resolve some of the problems were currently facing as we continue to meld a new district office culture with the existing mindsets, traditions, and practices maintained in our schools. Ideas generated through this conversation will be documented at http://buildingadistrict.wikispaces.com/.


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