Monday, October 18, 2010

Change can flow smoothly with the right people

The faculty at the school where I am working are really supportive of new ideas and change. Yes, the change process is challenging, and there are a lot of unknown variables, but, post-90 days ... we are still changing, and we are still progressing, and we are still making a huge difference in the educational lives of children.

This year we started with an overview and understanding about some overall change plans including new leadership, new technology hardware and assessment. We also started with personal 1-1 meetings with the new superintendent and all teachers. These meetings allowed for clarity about mission, purpose, vision, expectations, fears, hopes, and plans. All in all, the faculty have been WONDERFUL with the new changes.

There has been a renewed energy and focus on curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Student behavior is outstanding and the school-wide focus on PBIS appears to be a success! The Board of Education has been incredibly supportive and progressive in its support of new leadership approaches and initiatives. The MAP testing has gone smoothly (thanks in a large part to the fantastic leadership of the principal, the un-ending and selfless work of the tech guru, Jim G., and a great deal of support from Daniel as well). Teachers are learning and implementing instruction with the new Interactive White Boards. Regular, job-embedded, sustained training has, is, and will continue to take place. New report cards are in the works as a direct result of teacher input about current reporting procedures.

Twenty-five percent of the staff are engaged in a voluntary on-line learning community "in - house", another twenty percent of the staff are engaged in a voluntary development and growth journey with the superintendent. Everyone is working very hard and very intentionally on behalf of students! Staff are enrolling in courses and professional development opportunities. All in all, it's a great learning community! Student achievement continues to be a source of pride at the school, the recent ISAT results (state assessment from last spring) show great results and great learning.

Each day and each week, we make collective progress toward the future. We are experimenting with Web 2.0 technologies, Voice Thread, Prezi, for example, and we are engaging students each and every day in the learning process.

I'm looking forward to keeping the community updated on our many areas of success and progress as we continue our 170 year tradition of Educating the Minds of Tomorrow.

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