Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks 2009

Yes, the Thanksgiving weekend is over and the busy time to Christmas is upon us. I wanted to take time to write a short post on giving thanks for all we have. The reason I do this after Thanksgiving is to try to make it a daily routine. Having an "attitude of gratitude" enables us to see the world in a positive way and opens the door for more positive things to come into our life.

I am thankful for all of the things I have in my life, including the challenges, as they are there to help me learn. I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my family; there are many others spending time away from family this holiday season. I am thankful for having the time off to celebrate Thanksgiving; there are many who had to work. I am thankful I live in a country that allows me to write this without fear and I am thankful for my health, employment, all the people who are in my life, and for life itself.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Community Input - Oct 09

I wanted to post a few notes about the discussion at our most recent Community Advisory Team meeting held last week. If you are interested in attending in the future and have not contacted me, please let me know and I will add you to the list for the next meeting.

One of the items that we discussed was communication. In particular, were there any things we as a school could do better to increase the communication between parents & community and the school. One of the things that did come up was getting a parent notification system, something the district has been researching recently. It does look like this will become a reality, which will allow the school to notify all parents in closure situations; remind parents and students of upcoming meetings or events; and provide the ability to ask parents for information in the form of short survey type questions. In order to get the message out of community input, the school will make more of an effort to invite parents and community members in person. This should help.

Another area that was discussed was the school calendar. Currently PCSD#2 has late starts on the first Wednesday of the month, except January. During this time, staff works on professional development to improve learning for our children. The school calendar is restricted by the number of days and hours required by state education laws and rules. A suggestion was made to provide opportunities for children to be at school on those late starts and the district is looking at ways to accomplish that.

Technology and testing got some airplay during the meeting and it seemed the thought was that neither should hinder learning. As districts are being required to be more accountable, more testing is being administered to provide data necessary to make decisions. Much of it is state mandated or necessary to meet state requirements. We will continue to look at ways to pare down anything that isn't needed to help our students improve, learn, and succeed.

As technology becomes more prevalent in our world; even more so in our students' worlds, we have to continue to find ways to ensure its safe and ethical use. Technology is driving many changes in education and will continue to do so in the future.

Speaking of the future, I did ask the question, "What will education look like in the future?" I did get some answers, but I'll save that for another post. In the mean time, think about your own answers to this question. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.