Our summer work is moving along very nicely. Many, many teachers have completed substantial professional development work and are ready to return with new strategies, curriculum, and teaching methods. Our custodians have been hard at work making our buildings shine with new wax, new paint, and many other projects in preparation for September. Our secretaries and principals are nearly finished with student and teacher scheduling, ordering materials, registering new students, and creating “welcome back” materials. At Leeds school, the Clarke remodeling project is near completion and the rooms look fantastic. I believe we have completed our teacher hiring for the year and will have our new Associate Principal candidates, new Elementary Technology Coordinator, and our Data Coordinator in place by the end of August.
Over the past two years, we have engaged in effective and intense professional development with our elementary teachers around Reader’s Workshop teaching methods. We will continue to build our catalog of books and, now, can develop our teaching skills using our own trained faculty with minimal support from outside consultants. In addition, we will continue vertical alignment of our preK-12 literacy curriculum and will continue to build consistency within grade levels. In so doing, we will offer a heartfelt “thank you” and “farewell” to consultant Jenny Bender as she pursues her independent consulting work with other districts.
Stephanie Pick, Downey Meyer, and I held a meeting with the Union Leadership representatives to discuss the new educator evaluation process, the Clarke School transition, and the high school advisory agreement. I am enjoying the collaborative way we are working together. Throughout my first year, I have watched this group become more and more open and candid. We have worked through some tough challenges and we continue to do so, but we do so with smiles, occasional laughter, and always a congenial repartee. I am looking forward to continuing our work through our collective bargaining beginning this fall.
Our final Community Open Forum to discuss the proposals for a later start for the high school is scheduled for next Wednesday from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the high school library. I will once again present draft ideas for participants to discuss. These ideas are getting very close to what my final proposal will be on September 13th.
New families are arriving everyday registering their children for school. Registrar Jennifer Towler is in peak busy season as our enrollments numbers fluctuate greatly over the next two weeks. All in all, our class sizes still look excellent.
Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.
Photo courtesy Rodrigo Galindez via Flickr. Used under creative commons license.