Our district’s vision and the reason that our school system exists is to prepare our students for success. For the vast majority of those students, that success will ultimately be defined in the workplace. So, we must create learning environments that provide opportunities for students to develop the skills that they are going to need to be successful. Our schools must create learning environments that facilitate the development of these skills. Besides reading, writing, and mathematics, our students must be provided opportunities to express themselves, to work as part of a team, to be creative and innovative, to analyze and evaluate information, and to solve complex problems. The way that we create that type of learning environment is by focusing on the basics – those fundamental skills, strategies, and practices that every teacher should be highly adept at and employ every day in every classroom – and by ensuring that our students are deeply engaged in learning, exploring, and problem solving.