• Dear DASD Families,

    When I first came to Downingtown, I introduced a three-pronged instructional vision:  Academic Rigor, Student Engagement and Student Agency. This vision would be used to guide our initiatives and keep our team focused.

    DASD Vision Over the past two years, with input from our 16 schools’ staff, teachers and principals, we created definitions for each prong.

    Academic Rigor:  Students are challenged to take risks, to think critically, and to reflect through application and problem solving that foster deeper understanding and individual growth.                       

    Student Engagement:  Students are actively invested in relevant and intentional instructional experiences that inspire them to apply and extend their learning.

    Student Agency:  Students are empowered, through voice and choice, to take ownership of their learning with guidance, support, and accountability. 

    To help keep these three prongs at the forefront of our work, we engaged the creative minds of our art teachers, Tim and Karen Sidorick, and asked them to create a graphic to depict our vision.  

    All DASD teachers will display this graphic in their classrooms.  I have asked our teachers to study the graphic, unpack it, and use it to guide their lessons. They are applicable K-12, in every subject, and for every student.

    I can tell you that in my few hundred visits to classrooms, I have seen lots of rigor, lots of engagement, and sometimes both rigor AND engagement. Occasionally, I have seen student agency. It’s hard to do all of three of them at once, but when it happens, it’s magical. 

    In summary, my vision for us is not to go broader, but rather deeper . . . always striving to improve our craft. In the words of Steven Covey, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Instruction is our main thing.    




    Emilie M. Lonardi, Ph.D.
    Superintendent of Schools