School Board Appreciation:
January is National School Board recognition month and Corvallis shares in the celebration of honoring our seven member School Board and five student representatives. The responsibilities of volunteering for the Board are many and we want to express our sincere gratitude for the dedication and long hours they work in pursuit of excellence for each and every Corvallis student and staff member. Our Board’s reflection and thoughtful deliberation around policy for our District is appreciated and this month and every month we honor them!
As a gift and recognition, a book selected by each school will be donated in the Board’s honor to their respective school libraries.
Again, thank you to our seven member Board for their dedication and care for the safe and stimulating educational environment they ensure and protect.
Welcome Back To Staff and Students:
It is great to have students and staff back after the winter break. The hallways are busy, classrooms alive and parents relieved to regain some sense of routine.
While out in schools visiting classrooms today, a middle schooler was intrigued by my job and offered me $40 to be the superintendent for the day. I was tempted to hand over my badge right then and there…..but it only just crossed my mind briefly. I explained to the student that he would be asking me for his $40 back within the first 10 minutes of working my job. J I assured him that he and his classmates were the best part of what I do every day.
With the Governor’s focus on 40/40/20, I am pleased to share that much of our focus this year supports our students headed to University, Community College, and becoming Job Ready. With the implementation of the Common Core Standards, creating meaningful assessments, and deepening and broadening the learning for our students, our teachers and staff and working incredibly hard. We have dedicated and talented educators supporting the success of our students and I want to acknowledge them tonight as well.
Last week I was invited to meet with about 6-7 Oregon Legislators, including our very own Representative Sara Gelser. The topic of interest was around how to scale across Oregon Districts the access and availability of instructional technology to all students. Canby and Bend/LaPine School Districts were also invited to share what they are accomplishing in their districts with 1:1 technology. Canby has been out in front of our state for the past seven years and their students have shown great growth in reading and math. While this topic is fairly new to Oregon, many districts and states across our country have been moving in this direction for the past decade.
We understand there are concerns around the deployment of devices to our students and some of you are here tonight to share with our board. Thank you for providing your input and for ensuring we do our due diligence in creating a safe and progressive educational environment that prepares our students with 21st Century Skills. These are the skills that help our students learn how to learn, to problem-solve, to communicate orally and in writing, to collaborate, to be creative and to expand their learning to be critical thinkers in a very complex world.
I remember all too well, back in the early ‘90s when I was teaching in the Tigard/Tualatin School District, there was a public outcry over the use of calculators. After purchasing a classroom set of calculators for my class of 8-year olds, I proceeded to use them as a tool to launch their creative and critical thinking skills. You see, I didn’t stop teaching basic fundamental computational skills, yet I wanted to free up the students’ ability to reach beyond paper pencil. They were able to discuss, collaborate and solve very complex and real-life problems they wouldn’t have been able to without the calculator.
Our world continues to shift and change at a rapid rate and although it is scary at times, we need to help our students embrace the world around them. The iPad is just a tool. It is a device that sits on their desk and travels back and forth from school to home. It is also a tool that opens up the world beyond the textbook, beyond the teacher lecture, beyond the typical worksheet. We have just begun to see the engagement and empowerment of the learning students are experiencing. Our teaching and learning is shifting and this is a positive thing.
On February 19th, we will be holding a community forum around 1:World. At that time, community members and parents can hear about the initiative, see demonstrations, and participate in small focus groups to provide input around strengths of program, concerns and next steps.
We will slow down. We will gather the data. We will pay attention to balance…..balance of the whole child and multiple intelligences and time to be children. We will learn together as we move forward.
November 4, 2013
October 7, 2013
September 9, 2013
August 19, 2013