Sunday, August 11, 2019

Voyager Academy School Improvement Team Update, Aug. 11, 2019


Hello fellow Vikings – 
My name is Kate Buchanan, and I currently serve as Chair of the School Improvement Team or “SIT” here at Voyager Academy.  Formed in 2015, SIT is a team of administrators, teachers, students and parents that is tasked with providing advice, insight and feedback for the continuous improvement of our school.  Each academic year, SIT focuses upon 3-4 priority areas to help improve the school.   Here are some recent highlights:

      1. We partnered with PTO leadership on formalizing a parent liaison network in order to build a more cohesive and engaged community of volunteers and advocates, to provide more targeted support to teachers, and to enhance communication among parents by class and grade level.  (P.S.  Please join the PTO!).
      2. SIT facilitated the assessment of social and emotional learning curricular frameworks, which resulted in the adoption of the “11 Principles” character education model.
      3. We assessed and promoted additional measures to reinforce Project-Based Learning (PBL) methods, a hallmark of the Voyager identity, including a professional development training hosted by the Buck Institute for teachers and staff that took place this past May. 
      4. SIT encouraged and endorsed a “catch-up raise” pay scale plan for Voyager teachers, in an effort to retain our great teachers by reducing the compensation deficit for Voyager teachers as compared to Durham Public School teachers (using a graduated scale approach recommended by a teacher task force).


Feel free to contact me at buchanan@law.duke.edu if you have suggestions for the School Improvement Team, or if you wish to be considered as a prospective future member of SIT.   

Thank you for all that you do as parents and members of this great Voyager community to help our children and teachers thrive.  Have a great school year.  Go Vikings!

Kate Buchanan
Mom of Blake ’18, Holden ’20 and Graham ’24