Empowering students with skills for the 21st Century
During our VAIS accreditation self-study two years ago, the faculty collaborated to create an idealized portrait of a Gesher graduate. Our intention was to include the attributes and character traits we believe are necessary for our students to succeed in high school, college and beyond. Today, we expect our students to learn the skills that will equip them to think critically, work collaboratively, be creative, solve problems and endure in the world with resilience and grit. Collectively, we refer to these traits as 21st-century skills.
With these 21st century skills in mind, Gesher teachers did not stop by merely creating the portrait of a graduate. We used these attributes and character traits as the framework from which we have continued to work to strengthen the foundations of our curriculum and move towards strong skill alignment school-wide over the last 18 months. By purposefully aligning the components of our pedagogy and curriculum to specific 21st-century skills, we are able to improve instruction, reinforce learning objectives, and better prepare students for the future.
This year, the Gesher faculty is working collaboratively to improve the way we collect and use data about our students’ learning. By using data consistently to inform our instructional choices, we are able to strengthen our ability to differentiate instruction, improve our teaching methods, and work towards achieving proficiency in the critical 21st-century skills. We are now strengthening our partnership with parents by revising report cards so that they communicate these skills better and create a space for teachers and parents to have shared language in order to grow each and every child. The process of striving for improvement has given us the opportunity to learn together, grow stronger as a school, and to partner as a community in raising the next generation of Jewish learners and leaders.