Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Slice of Life: My BOE Tenure is Almost Over

Each week the Slice of Life is hosted by the writers and teachers of Many bloggers write slices each week that you can read by following the links from the comments, or feel free to join in on the slicing!

I'm a day late in slicing this week, but I wrote this post on time and it is too important to me to not put it up. Because this post involves the work of many people, I wanted a couple of eyes to look it over before I put it up for the world and so, I had to wait.

I don't talk much on this blog about being on the Board of Education in town. For almost eight years, I have had the privilege of serving, and as my tenure winds down, I have been thinking a lot about the time I have spent on this team. Now, I only have one meeting left. Deciding not to run was an easy decision because of the time commitment that I truly can no longer make, but sitting at the table last night was hard--we had many reports and results that made me proud of what our district has accomplished over the last several years.

One of our elementary schools hosted the meeting, so we had a brief presentation from them about what they are learning. Throughout the year, each school focuses on one of the BOE's goal, and they are focusing on problem-solving and innovation. One of the kindergarten teachers talked about how they read Franklin's Thanksgiving with the lens of problem-solving.  Then, the music teacher showed a video of fourth-graders composing a short musical number, working together and truly being innovators. They have dedicated the school's display window to sharing about problem-solving moments and situations that teachers, students and families have faced. I loved seeing one of our important goals living and breathing in this school, woven throughout the fabric of content, standards, instruction and curriculum. 

Farmington has a true vision of the graduate that defines the work that we all do at all levels of the district. When we hired our superintendent, Kathy Greider, four years ago, we were ready to begin the process of developing new five-year goals.  Most of us had read Tony Wagner's  The Global Achievement Gap and we were thinking about how we could integrate his thinking into our vision for the district. After many meetings and discussions, we adopted the following goals, with our vision of the graduate leading the way.

Our Mission

The mission of the Farmington Public Schools is to enable all students to achieve academic and personal excellence, exhibit persistent effort and live as resourceful, inquiring and contributing global citizens.
1.  All students will demonstrate performance standards in critical thinking and reasoning and meet rigorous core academic content* standards by accessing, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating ideas and information, drawing evidence-based conclusions, synthesizing new learning with prior knowledge and reflecting critically on learning.  
2.  All students will demonstrate performance standards in collaboration and communication and meet rigorous core academic content* standards by participating effectively in a variety of teams, actively listening and responding to the ideas of others, sharing responsibility for outcomes, articulating ideas clearly in a multiple formats and using technology tools to enhance communication.
3.  All students will demonstrate performance standards in problem solving and innovation and  meet rigorous core academic content* standards by identifying problems, analyzing data, asking questions, utilizing a variety of resources, thinking flexibly, making connections and seeking practical, innovative, and entrepreneurial solutions.
4.  All students will demonstrate performance standards in self-direction and resourcefulness and meet rigorous core academic content* standards by exploring interests, taking initiative, setting learning goals, demonstrating persistent effort, adapting to change with resiliency and exhibiting ethical leadership and responsible citizenship.

Last night, I heard about our goals at the elementary school, and I also listened to a collaborative presentation from a teacher, a guidance counselor, and two students about the new high school program that establishes advisory groups and has all students engaged in service-oriented projects. 

Our belief statements that we have in this district ground me as an educator, even more than the goals, and I will close this slice by sharing them:

Expectations matter.
Effort matters.
Instruction matters.
Relationships matter.
Results matter.

I will miss my work on the Farmington Board of Education. I really will.

Enjoy your work,

1 comment:

  1. This is a really inspiring thing to read. You believe in your district and what it stands for. I wish more educators were like you. Thanks for posting this slice!