The BSM Evolution
Annually, schools define goals for the year ahead that are linked to a longer-term strategic plan. These goals generally influence resource allocation, professional learning, policies, procedures and many other school functions all designed to create a more meaningful experience for students, families and alumni. Over the past five years, the BSM 2020 plan (nearing its completion) has defined our school’s path, and during the 2017-2018 academic year, we will continue to push forward in three important arenas.
Authentic learning, an instructional approach that is rooted in real-world application, has been an important part of the academic model at BSM. These few examples illustrate the concept in real terms. Our juniors apply Catholic principles from their Discipleship class to service experiences in a variety of organizations throughout the Twin Cities. Students in the Biomedical Science program are researching ways to more effectively administer shots to children. Eighth grade students in The American Experience travel to historic landmarks to gain firsthand experience of people and events that have shaped our country. Currently, these learning experiences are scattered throughout the curriculum, and this year we will continue to develop opportunities that are more robust for students.
The second area of focus will be in support of our science offerings. As our program continues to grow, we will be creating modern laboratory spaces that give students opportunities to engage in more complicated research and design work. Our hope is to begin these renovations near the end of this school year. In addition, we will be identifying paths for our students to earn college credit in multiple places throughout the science curriculum.
Finally, a project that began in earnest last year, was to redesign and launch a new Benilde-St. Margaret’s website that is modern and responsive. The background work - designing, editing content and testing - was largely completed throughout the summer and the actual launch occurred in mid-September. The new site provides a significant upgrade across all mobile platforms as well. There is still work to be done on this important new platform, and throughout the remainder of the fall and into the winter months, our team will continue to refine the website on all fronts.
Planning truly is an important element of strategic evolution in schools; improvement is not a chance endeavor. Our plans for this year, whether in the classroom or the virtual world, will continue to improve the quality of our students’ experiences in “body, spirit and mind.”