2017, Off and Running

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
~Warren Bennis


Now that the dust is beginning to settle on our first days of school, I took some time to reflect on these important first days and the foundation we have laid for the next 170+ days of school.  

The beginning of the school year allows us to set the direction and expectations for the year, and we took full advantage of this opportunity over the past several days. The theme of our opening day kickoff was “Building A Better Pleasantdale” and allowed us time to dig into our district’s new Strategic Blueprint.  The goal of the district kickoff was to motivate and challenge our staff. As an administrative team, we intended to build on our teachers’ excitement and really get people fired up about the possibilities of a great school year. However, we also wanted to challenge our teachers to strive to be better than they have been in the past. That means experimenting with new instructional practices, having a growth mindset, and not being afraid to make mistakes.

Over the course of the last few days, we have challenged our teachers to foster a growth mindset within themselves and their students. Additionally, we have asked them to reimagine their learning spaces and consider spaces that help students collaborate, communicate, and foster creativity in new ways. Finally, we discussed with teachers higher standards for excellence within the classroom. We asked teachers to begin to think about what deep and powerful learning looks like in their classrooms. The conversations around these topics were invigorating and have me (and our staff) excited about the coming year. We have an amazing and committed staff that wants to raise the bar and move our district from great to greater!

There has been a great deal of conversation in the news lately about the effectiveness of public schools and if schools are meeting the needs of all learners. Based on my experience over the past few days (and the last two years), Pleasantdale schools are moving in the right direction to produce graduates that are ready for any academic challenge they choose to pursue. In the words of the Who, “The kids are alright.”

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