Sunday, March 19, 2017

Apple or Kodak...

In the past few weeks, I've been doing a lot of reading about organization leadership and innovation. Almost every educational text that speaks about leadership in our current literature references the rise and sustained success of Apple, one of the world's foremost innovators of technology. In today's society, you almost have to be living under a rock to have not heard of Apple or to even understand what a difference they have made on the world of technology and how we live our lives. However, I would argue that many may not understand just how they were able to create such success. Every book that I have read that references Apple didn't go into much detail on this topic either. They talked about taking chances and risks that other companies weren't willing to take. Personal computers, digital music, and revolutionizing the phone industry (not the cell phone). That is until recently when I came across literature that explained WHY Apple became so successful to begin with in the 1970's. Their mission wasn't to make money, build computers, or even to revolutionize the industry. Their mission was a simple belief and philosophy to change the way people viewed the world. They believed that if they could build a personal computer that was affordable to consumers, that people would be able to do things from home that were once only available through businesses. And they were right!! They challenged the status quo, in a big way, and won. Whether it be the creation of the Apple 1 in the 1970's, the iPod in the 1990's, or the iPhone shortly after that; Apple has continuously maintained a driving force of trying to help people see the world differently. It is almost the polar opposite mindset that Kodak had when they were first presented with the idea of digital photography and elected to believe that film was going to be the future of photography; so they decided to pass on the digital age. I think we all know how that worked out for them? The courage of the Apple corporation and the story of focusing on what does the world need instead of thinking about what they want is a perfect example of the crossroads that education has been in for a while now. Are our kids being taught in the same fashion that we once were? If the answer is yes, then our classrooms need a revolution. We need risk takers. We need teachers that challenge conventional instruction. We need schools that recognize that our kids have access to information unlike ever before. Don't be a Kodak, our kids don't need stale instruction. Be an Apple, try something new. Someone has to take the lead on revolutionizing schools, why not us?

Redistricting Update 

This past week, I presented to the Board of Education a proposal for redistricting. You may be aware of some of the proposal through our local media and/or word of mouth, but I wanted to provide some highlights of the plan with you so you read them directly from me. The most important part of the proposal is the elimination of the grade k-4/5-6 configuration and implementing 7 full scale k-6 buildings in our district. Along with this idea is the creation of an alternative education program for grades k-5, a new schedule for elementary special subjects to provide more time for art, music, physical education, and recess/lunch, and a dedicated learning space for our instructional coaches to provide professional development to our staff. If the district goes in this direction, there is still much work to be done in the area of transportation, staffing, special education program and overall planning. In the coming weeks, our team will be working diligently to develop more detailed plans and ideas in the hope that the Board of Education would like to move in a new direction for the 2017-2018 school year. There will be general discussion on the topic at the April 6 Board of Education meeting and we will be posting the presentation on the district website this week. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions/feedback as the only way to be successful is if we do things together. 

Dental Clinic

SUNY Canton’s dental hygiene program is looking for volunteer patients who have not had a cleaning in at least 6 months to come visit their students for preventative dental care. Located at the VA Rome Hospital (125 Brookley Road), the services provided include:

  • Oral Cancer Screening and Cavity Check
  • Dental X-Rays When Necessary
  • Cleaning and Polishing of Teeth
  • Fluoride Treatments

There is a small fee to defray the cost of supplies:
*$10.00 per child 18 years of age and younger
*$15.00 per (adult 19+)
* Free for veterans
Days of services are Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:30 a.m. (Appointments are approx. 2.5 hours)   
*since we are a teaching clinic, you may need to return in order to complete care.                      
Please call Rene (315) 532- 2432 or Nicole (518) 572-9755 to schedule an appointment.

Strough/RFA Progress Reports

Strough and RFA third quarter progress reports were scheduled to be mailed late last week. Due to the weather last week, the deadline date for submission was extended until Friday, March 17 for all teachers. They will be mailed on Monday, March 20 for arrival at home by mid-week. We thank you for your patience and understanding with the delay.