Monday, May 7, 2012

Keep Pushing

Yesterday I completed my first "Mountain Goat" run that took place downtown on a perfect Syracuse day.  The 10 mile run represented the longest distance that I had ever run. Last year at this time I could barely finish the 3.5 mile Corporate Challenge. So even though friends, co-workers, and others passed me today on the way to the finish, I was okay with how things turned out. From last year to this year I changed my diet, ran many training runs, and overall, just tried to stay in shape. Coming across the finish line I realized that I just could not have done any better, and I sensed a bit of frustration in a way because a few people I knew did not train, did not adjust their diets, and still finished before I did. In other words, I tried my absolute best and finished in the middle.

It reminded me how our kids must feel when they find themselves in situations where they give maximum effort, but do not see maximum results (in their and/or our eyes). As an adult it is much easier to deal with that feeling, but kids sometimes find a mental fork in the road where they either stop trying so hard or try even harder and possibly end up with the same result. This can be a tough choice for a student or child to make. This makes it very important to celebrate little victories with our children and not just wait for the "big ones". In the past some would call this approach weak but that was way before anyone thought about equally meeting the needs of ALL students; a time that I remember as a student myself. While I will be working to shave ten minutes off of my race time next year, let us all remember to take ten minutes to sit with our kids and instead of just looking at a grade and moving on, probe a little deeper and find out how they prepared and their effort level to get that grade. You might be surprised.

This week is just absolutely crazy. I sometimes wonder if Mr. Davern and Mr. Burns (Fine Arts and Athletics) have roll away beds as they will be out absolutely every day and night this week (and next) as we wrap up spring sports and concerts. Dr. Copeland and his crew at the high school are preparing for our Senior Honors Reception on Wednesday night which will feature small foods and desserts as opposed to the full dinner that had been served in the past. I am looking forward to this event as I have really developed a relationship with this class (they were Freshman when I arrived in 2008) and it will be equally tough to lose them to graduation in a month.

On Thursday night we will be holding our final committee-centered redistricting meeting at East Hill Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. The consultants will be working the committee through the DRAFT of their final recommendation report before making a presentation to the Board of Education on June 6. I have been asked how many families are going to be affected IF the Board ultimately chooses the recommendations of the consultants/committee. After taking a close look, it appears that a maximum of 172 families could be impacted. I say could because out of the 172 families in the areas that may be impacted we do not know how many of those families have students in grades 7-12 that would be impacted.  This number of families represents about 5% of the overall number of families with children in the District. I have also been asked if the District will consider any type of waiver for students who are in 5th or 8th grade when any changes take effect. Once the Board of Education chooses a path (if any) we will break it all down, see how many students at these grade levels might be impacted and may consider waivers, etc. Without having a definite direction, that is about all I can say at this point.

Lastly, but certainly not least, our Senior Ball is on Friday night with an all-night party at the high school taking us into the wee hours of Saturday morning. During the day on Friday, law enforcement and emergency response volunteers will be conducting a simulated DWI crash to our juniors and seniors in the back of the high school. We will be sure to have this simulation clearly marked on our sign, and we will remind you via Facebook and Twitter.

Pretty light week huh? Have a great one.