Over the past five years, you have heard me talk about becoming “World Class”. To do this we are expecting our teachers to make deep, meaningful instructional changes to engage every learner, incorporate inquiry-based learning into their lessons, and meet the demands of the new State Standards. However, in order for this vision to become a reality, we must all make a serious commitment to provide the support, training, and time that our teachers will need to accomplish this crucial work.
Over the past four years, we incorporated the inclusion of four “early dismissal” days, in our school calendar for our staff to engage in professional development. Our faculty, staff and administration recognized that the work we are asking them to do simply could not fit within the current schedule. By setting aside four days per year for teachers to be in school without students, we will provide much needed time for comprehensive professional development for teachers to work together.
On Friday, April 12th, our focus will be on School Improvement. Effective educators make effective decisions, decisions based on accurate information. If knowledge is power, then studying the current abilities, skills, attitudes, and learning styles of students empowers educators to adjust the curriculum to achieve whatever goals the school and district have chosen. Data-driven decision making has opened a new world of opportunities for schools and districts to provide professional educators, students, and parents access to large amounts of information. Today, schools can enable key decision makers with data and information to facilitate more informed decision-making, boost overall school performance and improve student achievement.
I know that this change may not be easy for many families. I truly believe, however, that it is the right thing to do at this point in time to ensure better outcomes for our children. I hope that you will trust that we will use this time wisely and that our children will be the ones to reap the many benefits form many years to come.