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Welcome Back from Superintendent Holden

posted Aug 19, 2014, 9:10 AM by Jonathan Reed

August, 2014

As we enter our second year together, I look forward to the continued success of our school community. We are excited to start another school year, and while we were all pleased with the gains made, we will continue to push forward with all aspects of education.

This year a major focus for our Elementary School will be on reviewing our math curriculum. Professor Mahesh Sharma will be in the District four times throughout the year helping us reevaluate our math instruction. Dr. Sharma is highly regarded for his work in insuring that, as with reading skills, all students have a solid foundation in math skills by the third grade. He has collaborated with many schools across the country, and we look forward to his support throughout the school year. The Grade 5 team will pilot the 1:1 iPad Program. Lesley Scheele and Danielle King have invested many hours outside the school year researching, attending conferences and visiting other schools seeking support for this technology integration. Our goals for the program are to enhance education, promote access to more meaningful information and have students engage in the demonstration of skills using technology.    

The Middle High School will focus this year on implementing instruction that is supported by solid planning and data analysis. Instruction is an area in which we should continuously seek to improve. Good instruction is where “the rubber meets the road”. To this end, all teachers are expected to have a weekly plan layout on their webpages. This allows students to anticipate what is ahead and to gauge the pace of instruction for the year.  We will be reviewing our curriculum maps in order to find a tool that will be user friendly. This information will be shared with the community once core and classroom maps are fully developed.  In the Senior High School, this will be the first full year that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) will be implemented for students who wish to utilize more personalized devices. We recognize that technology is playing a major role in education, and we encourage our students to utilize their technological abilities to help demonstrate mastery of skills.  

As a District we will continue with our four phase curriculum review process. This work is an ongoing process that allows for educators to review and make updates to the curriculum based on changes to state or national standards, recommend new materials, identify professional development that is needed and ensure that conversations are being held vertically with each grade and horizontally within each grade level.  All our focus this year is coordinated so that a foundation can be built for each educator to deliver quality teaching based on data (assessments), planning, research and standards.

Over the summer we have completed several projects around the District: the Middle School roof has been replaced, both libraries have been transformed, the culvert to the upper ball field is complete, and we hope to have a plan for the connector road at the Elementary School prepared for the upcoming budget. Our facilities all look great thanks to the dedication of Wayne Palmer and his hard working crew.

As a school community, we value your thoughts and opinions regarding the job we do. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance throughout the school year.


Russell Holden