It is has been some time since I have sat down to craft a superintendent’s blog. Not sure what has transpired between then and now, but I can tell you I have enjoyed every second of it. I find it hard to believe that yesterday marked the first graduating class of my superintendency. It seems like just last week I was stressing over my opening day remarks. Fast forward 38 weeks, we are at the end of very successful school year.
So what are some of the markers of success that we have seen this year? Though we don’t have test scores in hand to judge the achievement and growth of our students, our hallways were filled with successes each and every day this year. From artwork to student papers, data charts, trophies and awards, newspaper articles, and class constitutions, we can easily see the learning taking place within our walls.
Our Vocational Agriculture “Department” opened a green house, repaired community tractors and other equipment, and saw many successes at the state level. The Art Department hosted several community events, showcasing and selling framed works of art along with earning several awards at the OHC Fine Arts Festival. Our newest addition to the course catalog, Zulama, has been a hit with students, and numbers indicate it is continuing to grow next year. Our math classrooms explored deep learning through questioning and used TenMarks to prepare students for new online assessments. “Google is a Go” in the district, with the Middle School Staff and Mr. Griffith leading the charge. We have set ourselves apart from those around us with the infusion of technology in our classrooms. Students read and wrote at a higher rate, with many of our grade levels writing research papers to end the school year. 4th grade students used the pen to gather a host of Ohio made products for another successful wax museum. 5th grade students spent the last day of school playing board games they designed around their most recent book studies. And in the interest of my every long to do list, these are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to the learning I have witnessed this year. Learning is Fun around here no doubt!
In addition to the successes of the 2014-15 school year, teams are already planning for additional fun in learning next year. Our High School is embarking on a building wide book study, including all students and teaching staff. What a great way to learn alongside each other! Teachers have donated their summer hours to additional professional development in differentiation, Orton-Gillingham, technology, and gifted education to name just a few. Already off to a great start for 2015-16 and it is only June 1!
I could not have asked for a more successful 1st year. I feel very fortunate to have learned along a phenomenal administrative team and to have had the support of a tremendous board of education and staff. Parents and the surrounding community have added to the quality of the school year and I only see that relationship growing in years to come. Time to close the books on 2014-15 and gear up for the fun that awaits in 2015-16.
Danielle Prohaska, Superintendent