There is no doubt that my professional travels, bouncing from the urban to the rural have limited my depth of the roots I’ve sunk into Whitehall. But it has granted me the opportunity to see things and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t. It’s allowed me to experience firsthand the depth of small town loyalty that’s rarely found in urban communities with its transient populations.
The Whitehall community has opened my eyes to a wonderful landscape that is far too often underreported and undervalued. From boating on the Champlain, to ice fishing on South Bay, or riding a snowmobile to school, I’ve discovered that Whitehall people don’t sound or act like people who are missing out.
We began with a mindset that everything is okay. It’s not okay to be 31 out of 31! We are far better than that number. The true story is that we needed to uncover our potential by..yes ruffling feathers, drawing lines in the sand and creating a place where conversation is part of the norm and that living in silos is in the past. That driving instruction by using data is the key to success and arbitrary decisions and personal agendas must be put aside for the greater good----Student Success! Come and inquire on our reading scores, behavior management data, and be part of the solution!
School Districts are not businesses; we don’t make widgets, we make people. We give them site words, analytical reasoning skills, comprehension and writing skills, and offer opportunity and access for every student to become a productive member of society.
My thoughts have come full circle: Do not underestimate people when they resist change…change that I think people ought to readily embrace…..I have either failed to make benefits transparent or there are good reasons to resist. In any case, instead of lamenting the resistance, look for the reasons for resisting and make informed decisions based on factual data.
Common core testing is around the corner. Embrace and believe in your son / daughter that great things will happen! We have the latest benchmark results from STAR testing and our elementary students have made gains in each grade level, this is fantastic news! Make sure that you see you child’s report discuss with him/her their strengths and weaknesses. As always please contact me if there is anything WCSD can do for you!
Seniors, good luck on your college essays and put your best foot forward at interviews! Congratulations to those of you who have already been accepted. The work will be rigorous but I feel you are up to the challenge. I salute and admire those of you who plan on or have committed to join a branch of the Armed Forces to protect our shores, and I have nothing but respect and best wishes to those going into the work force.
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of the cause we believe to be just.”
Welcome Back and Happy New Year!
From the perspective of the Superintendent for 2015!
Nowhere is it more imperative of school turnaround more pressing than at the district level. I will continue to face daunting challenges of turning our schools from struggling to successful and I must be able to do so in the face of steep pressure. What are the first steps of turnaround? The super-levers: data driven instruction and student culture. At the district level, at the school level, these foundations will turn chaotic, struggling schools into steadily improving ones. When dealing with our schools, I will make the most impact most quickly by limiting a dysfunctional model. I need to make a marked change not have gradual release. The number one error that school leaders allow is that we do not follow change to 100%, when it gets tough many leaders turn away.
This leads me to the point of our discussion student performance and teacher instruction; as we return after the holiday Break we will be convening a scheduling committee to discuss next year’s schedule. Regardless, of what the “shell” looks like time wise, we must remain cognizant of 90 minute literacy blocks, writing daily in every content area, and using data to drive teacher instruction. Using data to drive instruction is crucial for our performance turnaround. Teachers and leaders must be able to discuss data on a regular basis so that we continue in the right direction!
Feedback is one of the most important methods for improving student performance. Without Common Planning time, daily leader/ peer walk through, and timely feedback; how does one know how they are doing? Creating a schedule that provides a playing field for these types of behaviors will and can only support success. It is not okay to be less than what we can be!
Parent frustrations: “Tell us what frustrates you about our schools”. For example when you asked your children why you don’t like the new schedule and they say “I don’t know” or “No one likes it”? Has that told you anything? Or has it made you wonder? I suspect it has made you wonder. As an educational leader, I base my decisions on best practice and result oriented studies. I came to Whitehall to make a difference for everyone not just a handful. I cannot put blinders on and must view the full scope of performance, change is difficult to understand but it must be done for results!
I implore our leaders, teachers, students, board members and parents to keep an open mind as we move into 2015 because the changes that we implement will profoundly improve learning even in the most challenging environments. Let us put our agendas aside and allow for success of every student that they need and deserve to take center stage!
Happy New Year! Come out and watch our sports programs either at the Elks or center stage on the court. The track team competes at Union College! Stay involved and continue to look at the glass half full not half empty!! I thank you for your continued support of WCSD!
|Varsity Baseball||Whitehall @ Salem (East Field)||Sat Apr 18||7:30PM|
|Varsity Baseball||Bolton @ Whitehall||Mon Apr 20||4:15PM|
|Varsity Tennis||Whitehall @ North Warren||Mon Apr 20||4:15PM|
|Varsity Softball||Whitehall @ Bolton||Mon Apr 20||4:15PM|
|Varsity Track & Field||Stillwater,Mechanicville @ Whitehall||Tue Apr 21||4:15PM|
|Varsity Tennis||Whitehall @ Corinth||Wed Apr 22||4:15PM|
|Varsity Softball||North Warren @ Whitehall||Wed Apr 22||4:15PM|
|JV Baseball||Whitehall @ North Warren||Wed Apr 22||4:15PM|
|Varsity Baseball||North Warren @ Whitehall||Wed Apr 22||4:15PM|
|Varsity Baseball||Hartford @ Whitehall||Wed Apr 22||4:15PM|
|Modified Track & Field||Whitehall @ Lake George||Thu Apr 23||4:15PM|
|JV Baseball||Whitehall @ Spa Catholic||Fri Apr 24||7:00PM|
|Varsity Softball||Hartford @ Whitehall||Fri Apr 24||4:15PM|
|Varsity Tennis||Greenwich @ Whitehall||Fri Apr 24||4:15PM|
|Varsity Track & Field||Hudson Falls Invitational||Sat Apr 25||10:00AM|
|Varsity Baseball||Whitehall @ Granville||Sat Apr 25||11:00AM|
|Varsity Softball||Whitehall @ Granville||Sat Apr 25||11:00AM|
|JV Baseball||Ticonderoga @ Whitehall||Sat Apr 25||10:00AM|
April 21, 2015
Whitehall Elks 4PM to 6:30
Cost to Attend: $9.00
April 17th, 2015