Superintendent’s Thoughts for January
As we begin 2016, we have many things for which to be thankful. We have a great staff of teachers and school personnel that work diligently with our students. We have great facilities that provide for the numerous needs of our students. We have the resources that enable us to provide a wide array of programs that keep our students competitive on a world-wide basis. Our students that come to school every day and work hard academically find that they can compete with any student anywhere in the world. The key to any student’s success is hard work, excellent attendance, and parents that positively push their children to be successful. There are many factors that negatively influence a student’s educational experience and many of those factors school systems cannot change. The greatest of those factors is poverty. We cannot and really do not want to change where or how most students are raised. However, we have put many programs in place kindergarten through high school to help students minimize the effects of that factor. When we find success, regardless of the poverty level of influence, it is almost always because of great parental support. Parents who care about their child’s educational success usually have children that care about their educational success. Going into 2016, I would challenge every parent to take an active role in their child’s education. Work and partner with your school to challenge your child to be at school every day and do the best they can while they are at school. The school, the child and the parent will all be pleased with the result.
In the next few weeks of January we will be getting the results of last year’s testing with ISTEP. These results will vary from school to school but we know we can do better at every level. No excuses from us. We will improve in 2016. I have commented greatly on the reliability of the process; but putting this aside, we know that if this is the test format then we must improve our preparation for the added rigor. Plans are currently in place to address these known more rigorous expectations for this year’s February testing. I have great confidence that our students will be successful in 2016 in this one area of measuring student success. We know that many other factors besides one test score measure student success but this is the one promoted by our state and we must be successful. We will continue to do everything we can to be competitive on a world-wide basis. I hope we all can work together, the community, the schools, and parents to provide a great educational experience for all of our children. Have a great 2016.
Tom Hunter, Superintendent