Message from the Superintendent
Printed in the October 2012 edition of the Judson Journal
We are off to a great start for the 2012-2013 school year. As I have been visiting schools so far this year, it is inspiring to see what the teachers are doing in the classrooms. They obviously have prepared well for their students during the summer and it shows. The work that the administrative staff has put in preparing for this year is truly evident as they give teachers the support that is needed for all students. And that takes me to the special emphasis I’m bringing to every teacher, staff member and principal that come in contact with a student. “Excellence For Every Child, Everyday-One Classroom At A Time.” That is not just a slogan but a commitment that I made a special effort to impress upon the minds of everyone attending our 2012 Opening Convocation back in August. I was pleased to see the positive response to the concept.
However, you need a strategy to seriously carry out such an idea, and to come up with a strategy you must collaborate with the best. To that end, I, along with several school principals have been mining ideas from some of the top performing districts in the state. First of all, we have a diverse community of learners who need a real commitment from each teacher to narrow the achievement gap. That happens by focusing on how individual students learn. Continuing to improve our methods by reviewing practical results coming directly from each child will also narrow that gap. The best way of achieving this can be boiled down to a simple approach. First, PLAN. This step consists of formulating a plan to address a need for improvement and sets a goal. Next, DO. This is deciding on the action that carries out the plan and goals and determines how information on progress is collected. Then, there is STUDY. This requires studying the information and deciding if you are moving in the right academic direction. You must also assess whether or not changes are needed. Finally, you ACT. If the results of your method show improvement you know you’re moving in the right direction. If not, then decisions on changes need to be made. But the key is to constantly look at results and assess progress.
There will always be challenges in public education. That’s what makes my job exciting and fulfilling. The PLAN, DO, STUDY and ACT process is an effective way of helping students reach their academic goals. Of course things don’t always go as planned, and you must be prepared for that. If you have a process of problem solving, following it is important. If the process needs to be refined, positive steps need to be taken. I’m proud of our teachers and staff and know they are results-driven professionals. I look forward to working with each as a team this year in every classroom that gives each child the tools to meet challenges and set individual goals. That is at the heart of our mission. A mission that we will carry out in a very intentional way…Excellence For Every Child, Everyday-One Classroom At A Time.
Dr. Willis Mackey
Superintendent, Judson I.S.D.