News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

District charts course for future

Sisters schools want to prepare students to change the world. They’ve launched a plan designed to prepare them to do that.

The Sisters School District has completed two years of strategic planning to create a framework where schools will: “Invest in relationships that support every student’s growth and sense of belonging; create extraordinary learning experiences that make learning real; empower and support students and staff to become the best versions of themselves; prepare students to be courageous individuals, effective communicators, critical thinkers and problem-solvers for life.”

According to the strategic plan document released recently by the District, the planning process was launched “in December 20, 2017 with a commitment from Sisters School Board members and Superintendent Curtiss Scholl, to undertake a rigorous, comprehensive and representative process. The process started with a review of District strengths and areas to consider for improvement. It then transitioned to the creation of a multi-year strategic plan.”

The plan is built around three goals, and implementation plans and performance measures for each.

Goal 1: BELONG

Every student is known and connected to adults, peers and resources to develop emotional self-regulation and a foundation of resilience.


Every student is on a purposeful path to graduation and is taking an active role in their academic achievement, goal-setting and character development.


Every student is empowered to discover their passions and strengths through exceptional programs, community partnerships and inclusive practices.

The plan asserts that students operate in an “increasingly changing world where the work they do and the problems they solve will require the ability to see the big picture, relate well to others and think creatively.

We are committed to educating students to have the confidence and capacity to change the world.

We know our students and help them find their strengths and passions.

Individual relationships are foundational to everything we do, as is our belief in each student’s ability to become a caring, contributing adult.

This requires a focus on the whole individual, including their mental and emotional well-being, beginning with self-awareness and compassion.

We believe diversity will make us stronger and honor each student’s background, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious affiliation.

We believe every student has a unique future and can be successful.

We believe kids learn best when education is hands-on, real and relevant to their lives or interests.

We are fortunate to live in a unique and special community that makes us stronger, and vice versa.”

Over the coming weeks, The Nugget will delve into how the goals of belonging, preparation, and inspiration are being implemented in the schools — what progress is being made and what challenges the schools face in delivering on their promise.

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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