As this is a new venture for me as Superintendent (blogging), and being that we are in the midst of summer, I felt it appropriate to make my first blog post about what happens in a school district in the summer. I also felt challenged by one of my Superintendent colleagues, who I learn a lot from on Twitter, Dr. P.J. Caposey, Superintendent of Meridian 223 School District in Illinois. Summer is an extremely busy and important time for a school district. After a short vacation with my family, I have returned and am proud to work alongside our great Circleville City Schools team to spend June/July/August:
- Hiring the best of the best. There is nothing more important than hiring – as the teacher standing in front of the students each day is easily the most important variable in their success. I plan to write more about our new hires soon, but want to note here how excited I am for the new additions to the district and what they will mean for our students!
- Maintaining Facilities. We spend a lot of time doing work on facilities that cannot be done with students in the building. This summer we’ve worked on parking lots, playgrounds, athletic fields, and other operational systems.
- Applying for grants and funding. The new fiscal year starts in July, thus we spend an immense amount of time evaluating the budget provided by the state, applying for grants (state/federal), and evaluating our 5-year forecast.
- Planning. Although we do a ton of planning throughout the school year, it is imperative we spend time in the summer reflecting on the previous year and planning for the upcoming year. Right now we are heavy into planning for our teachers’ 1st day back and the message and expectations we plan to set for the 2017-2018 school year.
- Being physically active. We do not do this during the day, but I try to encourage all of our staff to use the summer to be active and get in a physical routine. A school year is mentally and physically exhausting and we must treat the summer as the “off-season” where we make sure we get our minds and bodies right for the year to come.
- Diving into Professional Development. I’m in the middle of a number of different books right now on topics from literacy, to global achievement, to leadership practice. I am also heavily involved in PD on Twitter, where I get the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues around the world. Most educators use the summer to not only plan for the upcoming year, but to take classes to renew their license and/or to pick up new resources/skills for the upcoming year.
- Meeting with our community. Summer is when we can get together with community partners and agencies to further collaborate on ways to help our students in the community.
This list is not exclusive, but shows a bit about the dedication of our staff to be engaged and to improve things for our students, even during June, July, and August.
I am really looking forward to the beginning of the year and continuing you to update you on happenings in the district. Go Tigers!