NA first in region to adopt ‘Big Goal’

January 30th, 2014

News Coverage:

NA first in region to adopt ‘Big Goal’

Objective is to arm all students with skill set to thrive after high school

North Adams Community Schools is the first district in northeast Indiana to elect the "Big Goal" as their official mission statement. Board members approved the goal adoption at the January school board meeting.

According to a press release issued by Courtney Tritch, director of marketing for the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the Big Goal is one of the priorities identified through the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnerships Vision 2020 initiative. It's aim is to increase the percentage of northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

Officials at North Adams had declined to release information surrounding the new initiative to the Daily Democrat following the January meeting.

In the press release, North Adams Superintendent of Schools Brent Lehman said, "It has always been acceptable to enter the work force after high school. However, in today's job market, it is now important for our students entering the work force to earn one or more skill set certifications while in high school or they should leave high school with a plan on how they will earn certifications."

North Adams is committed to the idea that every graduate should achieve some form of post-secondary education or training, the release states, adding, "In addition to continuing to promote degree opportunities through early college classes, leaders at NACS will also focus on making sure students in the district have access to a variety of certifications including those in the fields of health care and manufacturing.

As part of its adoption of the "Big Goal", the district will develop a plan to guide students to completing certifications prior to graduating from high school with a goal aimed at 75 percent of students earning a certificate or going on to earn a degree by 2018. Northeast Indiana's overall goal is 60 percent.

"North Adams Community Schools has taken a powerful step in helping us cultivate the "Big Goal" and prepare our students for successful employment in Northeast Indiana. We commend the district's commitment to making the "Big Goal" a priority and look forward to others following suit," the press release quotes Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

"Young adults may leave here able to get a job and that is important," Lehman said.

The Big Goal Collaborative launched in 2012 under the 21st Century Talent Pillar of Vision 2020 and is a regional movement comprised of educators, community partners, businesses, civic leaders and others from throughout Northeast Indiana committed to the Big Goal.