Message from JPS Superintendent
Welcome to an amazing district, located in a unique community with an incredible combination of staff, students and parents. From firsthand experience I have learned that the students, parents, families, staff and local community members are, indeed, unparalleled in their allegiance to this school district and the city it serves.
I have made it my job to chart a path that will lead us to even greater success. I know that this will require three things:
1. A commitment to provide a rigorous and engaging instructional program
2. An understanding that we will need to measure our progress along the way
3. A recognition that we must work on all of this together as a team.
The new 21st Century Learning Standards have created a clear set of expectations for students, teachers, and parents across the country. They define a set of high and rigorous learning targets that all students must attain. The focus is on developing the ability to respond to complex problems that require critical thinking and solid communications skills. These are the competencies that our students will need once they leave us for college, career and life. That’s why we describe the goal of these standards as making our students “college and career ready.”
Since we wish to create a district where every child is learning every day, we will need to monitor our progress along the way to realize this vision. Intelligent generation and use of data is essential. Data needs to be used not as a hammer, but as a flashlight – showing us what we have and have not accomplished, so that we can make adjustments to our plans. The data should be easy to acquire, understandable and actionable. Since we don’t all have equal facility in our work with data, this may be a learning opportunity for some.
We’ll get better in our use and application of data as well as our understanding and execution of the curriculum by working closely together. We have learned that teaching and learning improve by planning together and discussing execution as a team. Similarly, analyzing the data we generate about our students is better done by multiple minds working collaboratively. And our notion of team must extend to include our cooperative engagement of parents and community.
We will face numerous challenges in the weeks, months, and years to come. I plan to be here for the long haul. It will take time for us to complete the transformation of Jamestown Public Schools into a system that prepares ALL of its students to not just survive, but to thrive in the 21st century. The fact that we face shared challenges will make it that much easier for us to come together. The Strategic Plan adopted by the Board in 2014 charts our path to a better and brighter future for all. I stand ready to help do whatever it takes to guarantee that our students can be successful both within and beyond our classrooms.