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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Year Opens Up

The school year continues to unfold as we progress from the shine and luster of the first day and become immersed in the day-to-day work that makes a difference in our future.

The District Leadership Team met in an all day planning session at the Municipal Center. This group of volunteers is comprised of parent representatives, student council representatives, teachers, and administrators. The members have accepted the responsibility of examining available data on the school and converting it into information that will direct us in our improvement efforts. Test scores and survey results formed the basis of our analysis today. We reviewed a summary of last year's activities and assessed our current performance levels so we can update professional development strategies, advance our goals, and stretch toward our potential. There's a lot to be done, but it's realistic and achievable. I am confident that the District Leadership Team will provide the support and direction that will bring clarity to our purpose and relevance to our efforts.

This evening marked the first of three Open House events this week. The relatively small turnout of parents was a disappointment for me but it serves to demonstrate the work we have to do to attract an increase at next year's high school Open House. Generally speaking, in the many years I have been a school leader, the number of parents at Open House for secondary schools tends to be much smaller than the number that come in at the elementary level. However, it's obvious we have to promote the activity more, and differently. With the year that separates this Open House from next year's high school Open House, we will seek to increase the curiosity, the concern, and the commitment of parents to a degree that will reflect better attendance.

Those who did visit the school had an opportunity to walk through the schedule of their son or daughter and meet the teachers. The teachers supplied an overview of expectations, class policies, and general units of study. The parents also had an opportunity to register for Ed-Line, a computer portal that allows parents to access their child's grades and academic performance via a computer at home. This is a unique chance for parents to remain aware of individual achievement levels. In addition, several classrooms featured the newly acquired SmartBoard technology referred to in an earlier blog entry. The Librarian also distributed attractive bookmarks which listed a number of valuable resources contained in computer databases, complete with passwords and codes.

Tomorrow evening is another Open House - and tomorrow morning begins early with a 6:00 am breakfast with many of the 11th graders at a local diner to meet prior to arriving at school to receive their class rings - so I have to go now and get some sleep.

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