Giving Compass' Take:

• EdSurge discusses how communication among different departments in school districts will be vital in helping certain schools survive a rapidly changing landscape.

• One success story shared is from Sarasota, Florida, where the Gulf Coast Community Foundation helped get more kids engaged in STEM programs with buy-in from the county's schools. Can other organizations emulate that model?

• How else can collaboration and partnerships enhance education? This article provides some answers.

In many K-12 districts, the IT department establishes the technology, the curriculum department develops the instructional methodologies and most of the physical classroom components are either leftover from the 1970s or purchased and implemented without a plan of deployment with the instructional teams that will use them.

It’s true that some schools have successfully broken down the dividing walls separating these departments, but the phrase “never the twain shall meet” still holds true for many school districts where the IT, curriculum and facilities departments struggle to act in an integrated way.

As a result, teachers have been asked to engage many new initiatives or make changes to their current practices, which are sometimes misaligned with other ongoing directives. The regularity of new initiative churn that teachers face every year leads to increasing resistance to each new idea. Schools that don’t break out of this stalemate face significant challenges in their quest to innovate they way they educate today’s learners. Here are three obstacles that your own district has probably grappled with — or is currently trying to overcome:

  • The competition is heating up while student engagement is waning
  • Our physical schools are old and only getting older
  • Technology and choice are enabling a more “humanized” learning experience for students

Read the full article about the need for schools to coordinate departments by Bill Latham at EdSurge.