Monday, August 12, 2013

Working Together

Talented Students: Each year when the seniors graduate I always wonder how we are going to replace their talents. We have been blessed with strong students, athletes, musicians, and performers year after year, and at times I think we actually take this for granted. My wonder always goes away for another year when I watch a summer game, speak to students who are leaving for school, starting a job, or heading out to basic training.

Last Wednesday I walked into the high school auditorium for the Summer Jazz Concert and was blown away. The brass was LOUD and for having as many underclassmen as we do in that group, I was very impressed as I know they will only get better. Timing was good, balance was great, and the musicianship was excellent! We are in good hands once again!

Board of Education Retreat: Last week we also had the Board of Education Retreat. This happens once a year, and I truly believe that every Board should have one. The day is all business just in a casual atmosphere. The Board spends the morning going over their goals for the year, discussing how they will communicate, taking some time to learn about each other on a personal level, and they also make a "to do" list of sorts for me. I join them in the afternoon and they discuss the "to do" list, and I go over our academic results with them to bring them up to speed about some of the goals that are worthwhile for the upcoming school year.

I presented them with a list of approximately fifteen major things that I will be leading or managing this year above and beyond the normal day-to-day work. There were three things, however, that can be measured and will impact our business five years from now.

The first focus has to be on our math results K-12. This will be the second year of the Common Core Learning Standards implementation, so our teachers will have a better handle on the material. We have interaction time beginning at the middle schools for students who need extra help. For our high school students, our "College and Career Readiness" numbers need improvement (students need to receive an 80 or better on ANY math Regents Exam). Our results are good, but good is a boring word. Our results need to be superior for our students to be competitive anywhere after high school.

We will be leaning on parents more to help us achieve this goal. Our staff really can't work any harder. They will work a little differently, and we will need your help to keep your child engaged in their success. Please work with them and all of us will benefit.

The second goal is to successfully launch a Capital Project.  This is my sixth year, and if you have followed our business for the past five years you know that we give you ALL of the information we have about everything. My job will be to clearly communicate the goals of the Capital Project and make sure that all deadlines and budget goals are met. Expect to hear a lot from me about this at the end of August.

The third goal is to successfully implement the second year of the Annual Professional Performance Review. Year one went. I think each person impacted by "APPR" will give you their own view about how the process worked for them. "APPR" is not going away, so what we want to do is continue to get the most out of the process, but not have the work involved in the process keep teachers or administrators from concentrating on their students each day.

These are all great goals and each impacts your children in some way. I will keep you posted as we progress and will give verbal updates about these goals at Board meetings three times per year.

Road Construction: I am keeping my fingers crossed for the road crews and water authority as they continue to work on West Genesee Street near the high school. Last week was pretty frustrating to be blunt, but I completely understand and they have been great about trying to get things done before the traffic really increases in a few short weeks. We will continue to support their efforts by communicating anything we receive from the Department of Transportation.

Have a great week and I will post again soon.