Monday, August 22, 2016

What Are We Chasing...

Have you ever wondered what it meant to get a 72 on a test? Or how about a 43, or a 3? What do all the numbers mean on this grand scale of 100 points that our education system is so devoted to? In life, we are rarely judged by numbers for our actions. Okay, there is the teacher evaluation model which provides scores... But again, that's education. It seems that everything needs to be justified by a number. Why? What's the end game besides making one person, or worse yet a kid, feel insignificant compared to the next. In life, we measure success in terms of black and white. You did it, or you didn't. Last time you baked a cake; did anyone say, "Wow this cake is an 87" or "this cake is a 3 on the rubric." We don't evaluate our life skills this way so why are we trying to evaluate KNOWLEDGE with numbers. As adults, we know there is more than 1 way to do everything. It's time that we, as adults and educators, transform education to promote the acquisition of knowledge and get away from promoting the chasing of a number. Our kids can perform and can demonstrate what they know in more than 1 way. Perhaps I feel strongly about standards based grading because each year I see an increasingly high number of children become frustrated with school. School should be a time for our kids to enjoy life and grow. Not be told they aren't good enough because they only got an 86. As a community, let's begin the work together to restoring the acquisition of knowledge within our schools. Our kids and our teachers deserve better than the chasm called education that we've fallen into.

Congratulations to RFA Administrator

This week, Monday, August 22 actually, long time RFA assistant principal Linda O'Neill will be hanging up the walkie talkie and walking off into retirement. During her decade span at RFA, Ms. O'Neill touched countless lives and worked tirelessly to improve the atmosphere at RFA. Teachers, kids, and families alike have all voiced their sorrow of her retirement; while at the same celebrating a career that many of us can hope to have. While I have only known Linda a short time, I can say that she is a true friend and that I have learned a lot through our discussions and laughs. You will be missed Ms. O'Neill and best wishes on an awesome retirement!!

Building Updates

During the past week, I have been making my rounds to visit our schools and I am pleased to report that they are in great shape. The buildings that were hosting summer school have gotten right on top of things and are cranking away at getting cleaned and set up. In every building, teachers could be found either working on their classrooms or participating in professional development to prepare for the upcoming school year. Our custodial crews, maintenance group, and IT department have been right on top of things and working as a team to get our schools ready for opening day in 2 short weeks. Within the coming days, the only thing missing will be the kids. The next 2 weeks are filled with building orientations and walk throughs, so please take a look at our website, for dates and times if you have not received any information as of yet.

New Teacher Boot Camp

Last week our new teacher began their orientation process with what we call, "Boot Camp" in Rome. In all, 22 are attending the meetings last week and this week to learn more about Rome and our schools. Of the 22, 19 are veteran teachers which is an exciting statistic for us because that means that experienced educators want to make Rome their home. In the coming weeks, we should have a few more new teachers coming on board with the hopes that by opening day we are set to go. It has been an exciting summer here in Rome and I know that our teachers are really looking forward to getting going!!