Thursday, September 29, 2011

VHS month in review: September

School has started off great. It has been such a busy year so far with construction and getting everything back to normal after our evacuation.  The area around the school has been a happening place to say the least.  It is hard to believe that we will begin our seventh week of school next week.  Which means quarter one will be coming to a close.  Please remind your son or daughter to finish the quarter strong and check Powerschool regularly.

Homecoming took place earlier this month.  There were a few additions and traditions that were brought back, one being the homecoming parade.  Students showed their spirit and worked hard on their floats.  The pep rally capped off everything. If you haven't seen the staff homecoming video please check it out below.

We will be wrapping up our NWEA tests next week and we look forward to looking at that data.  We use these tests to gauge where are students are academically.  We will begin preparing for our state assessments towards the end of October.  These tests of course are high stakes and our success on them determines if we make Annual Yearly Progress or not.  

Plenty of activities have taken place in the first six weeks.  All activities are off to successful starts.  The activity calendar can be found here.  

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Monday, September 12, 2011

What's your 20%?

Recently I have begun my doctorate in ed leadership.  Minus the hour and half drive to and from, it has been great for me.  One of the things we discussed early on was the 80/20 concept. Which means focusing 80% of your time on the 20% of most important items.  We often spend much of our time on the management piece to our job, or at least I do.  We lose focus of what is really important.  Should I be on top of running attendance for the fourth time today or should I get into a classroom to observe and provide useful feedback.  We have to find ways to get those tedious or less important items done some other way.  Through delegation and realizing what is important is the way.

Recently I have been focusing on strengthening my PLC's and getting into classroom to give much needed feedback for my staff.  This is my 20% that is worth focusing on.

What is your 20%, and what is really important?  It certainly isn't sitting at my desk all day working on management items.  How do you balance management and leading?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Change is hard

This year we have jumped head first into Professional Learning Communities.  I have been able to make a schedule work within the day for teachers to collaborate.  I know there are hurdles ahead, such as buy in and of course the fear of change.  Two weeks into the beginning stages of collaboration, I can already see the benefit.  The discussion alone is exciting for me to hear.  Teachers are discussing ways to directly impact learning and that rarely took place before.  We are a long way from our goal, but you have to start somewhere.  The hardest part to sell it is that it is not another fad or program.  Also it is something that will never be perfected, it is a process.  That is difficult for them to accept.

All of my teachers are singleton teachers, which means they do not share the same class.  This can make it difficult to find common ground to start.  It would make it so much easier if they shared the same class.  We have to do differently and think differently to make this concept work for us.  I don't have the answers nor do my teachers, but in time we will make PLC's work for our school.  I am looking forward to the journey and the impact on student learning ahead.  

Where are you in your process of PLC's? Did you have a rocky start?