Welcome Back and Happy New Year!
From the perspective of the Superintendent for 2015!
Nowhere is it more imperative of school turnaround more pressing than at the district level. I will continue to face daunting challenges of turning our schools from struggling to successful and I must be able to do so in the face of steep pressure. What are the first steps of turnaround? The super-levers: data driven instruction and student culture. At the district level, at the school level, these foundations will turn chaotic, struggling schools into steadily improving ones. When dealing with our schools, I will make the most impact most quickly by limiting a dysfunctional model. I need to make a marked change not have gradual release. The number one error that school leaders allow is that we do not follow change to 100%, when it gets tough many leaders turn away.
This leads me to the point of our discussion student performance and teacher instruction; as we return after the holiday Break we will be convening a scheduling committee to discuss next year’s schedule. Regardless, of what the “shell” looks like time wise, we must remain cognizant of 90 minute literacy blocks, writing daily in every content area, and using data to drive teacher instruction. Using data to drive instruction is crucial for our performance turnaround. Teachers and leaders must be able to discuss data on a regular basis so that we continue in the right direction!
Feedback is one of the most important methods for improving student performance. Without Common Planning time, daily leader/ peer walk through, and timely feedback; how does one know how they are doing? Creating a schedule that provides a playing field for these types of behaviors will and can only support success. It is not okay to be less than what we can be!
Parent frustrations: “Tell us what frustrates you about our schools”. For example when you asked your children why you don’t like the new schedule and they say “I don’t know” or “No one likes it”? Has that told you anything? Or has it made you wonder? I suspect it has made you wonder. As an educational leader, I base my decisions on best practice and result oriented studies. I came to Whitehall to make a difference for everyone not just a handful. I cannot put blinders on and must view the full scope of performance, change is difficult to understand but it must be done for results!
I implore our leaders, teachers, students, board members and parents to keep an open mind as we move into 2015 because the changes that we implement will profoundly improve learning even in the most challenging environments. Let us put our agendas aside and allow for success of every student that they need and deserve to take center stage!
Happy New Year! Come out and watch our sports programs either at the Elks or center stage on the court. The track team competes at Union College! Stay involved and continue to look at the glass half full not half empty!! I thank you for your continued support of WCSD!
Welcome back after Thanksgiving recess! We ended the first quarter at the elementary school with two great parent teacher conference days. As one teacher explained to me about her conference: “I never discussed rigor and/or expectations by using data as I have done this year and my parent understood and respected the candid conversation." We spoke in length and what I heard and I am thankful for is that our conversation has turned away from focusing on the social and behavior atmosphere and turned toward the academic expectations of the district.
The JR/SR High School students received their report cards as they returned to the edited version of last year’s schedule. As I will continue to say “It’s not the shell that counts it’s what inside!” I am thankful that we didn’t throw out the entire shell and the conversation is open to return to a block for extended time and built in interventions. The winter sports season has also begun and we look forward to having a prosperous year in all winter sports. Please follow the website for times and venues.
As we approach the Holiday season, we as a school community must remain vigilant to our academic and behavior expectations. We must continue to offer opportunity and access to all of our programs for all of our students. Please be part of the solution with us, if we call for any issue please call us back or even better, come visit us, so that we can support your son or daughter with their academic progress. If you need support through this holiday season please contact our administrative team so that we can put you in contact with the right people to support your needs.
Happy Holidays to our WCSD community and remember, "The more you know, The more you grow." Knowledge and experience go hand and hand. You may read all the books on scuba diving but until you get into the ocean, how can you expect to see any fish? Meaning: Unless you take what you learn and apply it in actual experience in the environment, it’s difficult to validate what you have learned! What’s important is what you do with what you know.
As always please feel free to contact me at any time at 499-1772 or email@example.com or stop by and talk with me, Happy Holidays. Our last day of school prior to the holiday vacation is December 23rd and for any school closings, please watch our website or your local TV station.
|Modified Boys Basketball||Fort Ann @ Whitehall||Mon Feb 02||6:45PM|
|Modified Girls Basketball||Fort Ann @ Whitehall||Mon Feb 02||5:30PM|
|Modified Girls Basketball||Whitehall @ Poultney||Tue Feb 03||5:30PM|
|Varsity Boys Basketball||Whitehall @ Salem||Tue Feb 03||5:30PM|
|Varsity Bowling||ADK League Tourney Broadway Lanes||Tue Feb 03||TBA|
|Modified Boys Basketball||Whitehall @ Poultney||Tue Feb 03||6:45PM|
|Varsity Girls Basketball||Salem @ Whitehall||Wed Feb 04||5:30PM|
|Modified Boys Basketball||Whitehall @ Fort Edward||Thu Feb 05||6:45PM|
|Modified Girls Basketball||Whitehall @ Fort Edward||Thu Feb 05||5:30PM|
|Varsity Boys Basketball||Argyle @ Whitehall||Fri Feb 06||5:30PM|
|Varsity Girls Basketball||Whitehall @ Argyle||Fri Feb 06||5:30PM|
|Varsity Wrestling||Section 2 Tournament @ Salem||Sat Feb 07||9:00AM|
Reminder, Parents and Staff
“STAND UP FOR UPSTATE SCHOOLS”
Thursday Jan. 22nd from 6-8PM at the Saratoga High School
If you would like to join us please call the Superintendent s office 499-1772. If we have enough people the district will provide transportation leaving at 5 pm from the HS parking lot.
"This is our time to let are voices be heard that we believe in our kids, our teachers and our schools! We can no longer stay quiet!!"
For being selected as a 2015 Teen Excellence Award Honoree
For making the All State Class D Football Team