Monday, June 29, 2015

Year in Review

Even though the weekend was somewhat of a washout, spirits were still very high as my wife and I made it to several graduation parties. We had a great year and there is much to be celebrated. I have to look at the school year from a 30,000 foot view and capture everything. While it is time to celebrate successes, there is also time this summer to work on growth areas.

Our Successes: In the success department, one just has to look at the trophy cases, media stories, and the many awards that both the Fine Arts and Athletics Departments received. More importantly, all of the successes came from the classroom, which carried over into the auditorium, fields, and stadiums. That is exactly how we want it.

Academically, I think it is important to note that from kindergarten through twelfth grade our students are giving their best efforts for their teachers, their parents, and me. Every time I visit a building or classroom, the students go out of their way to show me what they are up to, and they are proud and happy students. Every day is a great day to be the Superintendent and it is a role that I never take for granted.

Areas for Growth: Along the way this year we picked up on some growth areas we will be working on for next year.

  • A Different Community - Our community continues to change and as the community changes, so do our students. When I arrived in 2008, about 8% of our students were receiving free or reduced lunch and 9 students did not speak English. Today our free and reduced lunch population is over 20% and there are 88 students who do not speak English. We have been working each year to make our schools as "small" as possible in order to help students in need, but there is still work to do.
  • Drug Prevention and Education - Marijuana and alcohol use were the majority of the poor choices that people were making in 2008. Now people are making those choices, as well as dabbling in prescription drugs and heroin. Again, we have been working in a positive direction with many community partners in this area but there is still room to grow.
  • Preparing our Graduates for the Real World - In the academic world we continue to reflect on what colleges, the workplace, and the military are looking for from our graduates. Strength of schedule is beginning to outweigh class rank and GPA, and more employers are looking for graduates with field/work/volunteer experiences. These are also areas that we will work on this summer. 
  • Communication at our Fingertips - Lastly, our Mobile Phone App is heavily used by parents and students as is our grade and assignment platform Schooltool. Continuing to update those offerings will be a focus as we head into next year.
There will be a lot of work on our Capital Project this summer as well, and I will give a complete update when I blog again in mid-July.

Thank you for your support, enjoy the summer, and take care.