As FISD worked with stakeholders on the FISD Portrait of a Graduate and the FISD Strategic Plan, it was clear that living a life of purpose is something that our parents and community want for students. One of the Strategic Plan tactics charges FISD with ensuring that students participate in service-learning annually. Service-learning is more than a kind gesture or donations for a food drive. Those are certainly worthy acts of kindness, but service learning takes those acts and adds the elements of connection, reflection and purpose.
FISD Executive Director, Mr. Michael Schroller, explains how service can turn into service-learning.
“As students identify and address local needs, it creates a sense of responsibility and a commitment to their community. Being able to reflect on the effects of their service provides an opportunity for students to think critically, an important academic skill,” said Schroller.
Service-learning hits more than one piece of FISD’s Strategic Plan. It also plays a part in social and emotional intelligence, another strategy identified in the plan.
“Social-emotional learning (SEL) and service-learning are interrelated tools that improve the lives and academic performances of our students. SEL teaches our students core ethical values such as caring, respect, responsibility, and honesty. While service-learning provides the platform for our students to apply these newly acquired skills and values,” explained Dr. Christopher Galloway, FISD Director of Teaching and Learning.
Dr. Sherri Bays, superintendent, agrees and says that service-learning does more than just check the boxes in the district’s guiding documents.
“Providing students with annual service-learning opportunities broadens their view of their world and their purpose. It teaches them to be contributing members of the global society. It is truly preparing students for a prosperous life.”
Thank you to Michael Schroller, Heather Brooks, Celeste Rodriguez, Jennifer Hoelscher, Caroline Cragun, Denise Gonzales, Kim Ackley and Amy Carter for their work implementing a long-range plan for service learning at FISD.