Happy Beginnings!

August 24th, 2013

Happy Beginnings!

From Superintendent Russ Adams

As students and staff return to their respective school buildings, they do so with much excitement and anticipation!  New beginnings are always welcome and generate hope that “this is going to be the best year yet!”  That is definitely how I am approaching this school year in my new role as the superintendent of the MOC-Floyd Valley School District.  In the short time that I have served in this role, I have developed an even greater appreciation for the wonderful people who make up this district—people in all roles!  We have much to be thankful for!

Our administrative team spent two days in early August reviewing our District mission and belief statements, analyzing student achievement data, demographic data, attendance data, and discipline data, and so on.  As a result of these two days, we agreed that our focus for the school year should be as follows:

District Focus for the 2013-14 School Year

We will design our system to close the achievement gap that exists for our low SES subgroup.   This emphasis will benefit all of our students and families.

  • High Expectations
    • We will engage our students in challenging, relevant, meaningful learning activities and lessons.
      • We will utilize our collaborative time to support this goal.  (AIW, CGI, Strategic Reading, etc . . .)
  • We will be intentional about teaching the necessary academic vocabulary and context to allow all learners to understand and engage in the material.
    • Teachers will implement APL strategies, Thinking Strategies, the PLC unit-planning process, and the Common Core Curriculum.
  • Time & Support
    • We will develop timely interventions that are focused on learning rather than task completion.
      • Teachers will review current levels of achievement for students and develop intervention plans for those who need it.
      • Teachers will utilize frequent formative assessments and implement interventions connected to each. 
  • Partnership with families
    • We will be intentional about developing positive, encouraging relationships with our students.  We will use a “growth-mindset” vocabulary.
      • We will develop a shared understanding of “growth-mindset” thinking, and emphasize that mindset in all activities and discussions.
  • We will be intentional about developing positive, partnering relationships with the families of our students.  We will use a “growth-mindset” vocabulary.
    • All staff members will make at least one positive, sincere, growth-minded contact with parents per week.

Our administrative team meets three times per month.  In an effort to make sure we stay focused on these things, we will use the following guiding questions to frame our work:

Leadership Team Guiding Questions

1)      Is what we are talking about/dealing with promoting a growth mindset and helping to create a positive culture that maximizes learning, excellence and civic responsibility?

2)      Is what we are talking about/dealing with empowering teachers and/or students to utilize technology in a manner that maximizes learning, excellence and civic responsibility?

3)      Are we collaborating and/or empowering others to collaborate in a manner that maximizes learning, excellence and civic responsibility?

4)      Is what we are talking about/dealing with strengthening any portion of the learning triangle (curriculumàInstructionàAssessment) in a manner that maximizes learning, excellence and civic responsibility?

I have no doubt that we have the right team of people in place to provide all of our students with an outstanding opportunity to learn and grow!  Please consider this your invitation to join us in this exciting educational journey as we strive to embody our District Mission of “fostering learning, excellence, and civic responsibility!”

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