Dr. Joey Page: Setting out a plan for graduates

Published 5:24 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

Twelve months ago, I got a phone call that I never would have dreamed would make me so happy. The Austin school board called, and they offered me the job of superintendent. For a long time, I’d believed that Austin was where I was from, never where I was going. But at that moment, I knew that wasn’t true anymore.

Starting over again in your hometown is just one of those things that you don’t anticipate doing. It’s been a big year, not just for me but for everyone here. What’s more, exciting changes are coming our way for next year, too! I’d like to take a minute to talk about the Packer Profile. If you have questions about how your student is going to experience their education at Austin Public Schools, definitely keep reading!

Packer Profile – A

strategic plan for

Austin graduates

Over the past few months, we have been focusing on developing strong career pathways and a clear vision for students that enter our system. From the first day of pre-kindergarten to the day they get their diploma, our students should be developing their strengths and learning how they will apply their education in life after graduation.

It is a big process and takes time, but I want to share with you what the Packer Profile is, how the process is moving along, and what it means for our students, staff, and teachers.

• Desired Daily Experiences for Students, Staff, and Teachers

• Strategic Planning Process for Packer Profile

• Packer Profile: 5 Core Values

• FAQs

Desired daily

experiences for

students, staff,

and families

Our strategic plan has centered on how our students will experience their education at Austin Public Schools. A big part of this, too, was thinking about what our daily desired experience should be–for students, teachers, staff, and parents.

We asked some big questions: Day to day, and week to week, what do our stakeholders want to experience in our district? How can we better serve our students, staff, and parents? Here is what was shared with us:

Students

• I am supported and challenged in my learning and believe I will be successful;

• I feel that school is safe and that school is challenging and fun; and

• I am an engaged learner at school and in our community.;

Staff

• I am seen, valued, and respected for who I am and the work I do;

• I receive the support and resources to do my job well so I am able to create a healthy and safe learning environment; and

• I work in a district that is willing to adapt and change when necessary to best meet the needs of all students.

Parents

• I am part of my child’s education and feel welcomed, valued, and respected as a family;

• My child enjoys coming to school and is safe, included, and respected, so they are learning every day; and

• I am engaged in a partnership with my child’s school, so I know what to do to help my child continue to grow and learn.

Creating a new and better plan for excellence in our school system won’t happen overnight, but I know the progress we’ll see in the coming years will be tremendous!

Strategic Planning Process for the

Packer Profile

The strategic planning process also yielded a new vision and updated mission and priorities.

On March 31, the Board approved:

• Vision: Preparing all learners to make a difference in the world.

• Mission: Inspire – Empower – Accelerate.

Strategic Priorities:

• Support and resources to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment.

• Packer Profile for all learners.

• District-wide multi-tiered systems of support.

• Excellence in resource management.

The Packer Profile will be a District Priority designed to help students reach their highest potential. To help them:

• Participate fully in their education and community.

• Investigate and develop the skills and abilities that will propel their careers.

• Prepare all learners for college and/or other post-secondary endeavors.

Packer Profile: 5 Core Values:

• Responsible: Demonstrates accountability to self and others.

• Resilient: Develops perseverance and self-confidence.

• Learner: Challenges self to think critically.

• Communicator: Listens actively and shares learning and experiences.

• Contributor: Engages as a productive member of the community and global society.

FAQs

What does this mean for my student?

The Packer Profile is for all learners. I want to take some time to specifically about the high school portion in this communication. We intend our current 7th graders will be the first class to complete the Packer Profile program. In other words, every year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), they are going to be participating in projects, choosing different electives, and reflecting on their progress as they go through high school. 

How will high school be different for them? 

The Packer Profile is designed to transform the school education model towards higher levels of engaged learning. It’s designed to give students room to pursue their interests, engage with their community, and achieve beyond just grades. 

For example, students will be completing a “Packer Portfolio” by the end of their high school career. Though every student’s portfolio will look different, it will showcase their progression as they explore different projects, develop their skills, and take electives that align with their personal interests. 

We want our students to leave with a clear picture of how they’ve developed and where they can go from there. All said, the Packer Profile will be a vivid demonstration of the core values: Responsible, Resilient, Learner, Communicator, and Contributor. No matter where life leads, your student will be able to say, “here’s what I’ve done, here’s what I can do, and here’s where I’d like to go next.” 

How will the Packer Profile prepare them for after high school? 

You and your student may have been concerned about the future. Maybe he or she has expressed worries about what they should major in for college, if they should even go to college, or what job they should pursue. The Packer Profile takes those concerns seriously and provides a clear pathway for your student to come to a deeper understanding of who they are, what they can offer the workforce and the world, and how they can get there. 

In the coming school year, we’ll be telling you more about the specific elements that make up the Packer Profile: Career Pathway Exploration, Meaningful Learning Experiences, Packer Portfolio. We hope this initial “handshake” with the Packer Profile starts some conversations with your student about what they can expect from their education while attending Austin Public Schools. 

I am so proud of all our students, staff, teachers, and parents–we have weathered so much, and came out stronger for it. I can’t wait to see how we continue to build on our strengths through the Packer Profile this coming year!