January 3, 2013 Weekly Musings
Posted January 4, 2013on:
The winter break offered us all a time to reunite with friends and family while enjoying time away from school. Sadly, for the families of Newtown, CT, it also meant time for grieving and funerals. We continue to practice caution and awareness in our schools as we resume our regular schedule of teaching, learning, and school events. Our Administrative Team will continue to adhere to our school safety procedures and practices. The best response for all is to return the sense of normalcy and routine; yet, remain open and engaged in communication with staff, students, and families as we all pull together to keep our community safe.
Today, I enjoyed a full day of training for the implementation of our new Educator Evaluation Tool system along with twenty eight teachers and administrators from across the district. The training was conducted at JFK by the MTA and offered us time to review the first two modules in great detail, then provided time and guidance for us to make plans to train all the teachers in each building. We will have two more full days of training in the next few weeks to complete the final four modules.
During January, I will be preparing my mid-year evaluation artifacts and evidence for sub committee review. Principals and central office administrators will meet with me to review progress on their SMART goals and indicators, and then our teachers will meet with their evaluators as well. We are all getting familiar with the new system and confidently, and patiently, moving forward. I believe this system will have a major impact on our focus on measurable improvements in student learning and achievement here in Northampton and across the state.
The musings are early this week because I am leaving for Germany tomorrow and will be out next week. This was a last minute opportunity that arose over winter break. While there, I will be visiting an international school in Berlin. Johanna McKenna and Mark McLaughlin are prepared to lead our ALT meeting and present to School Committee next Thursday. We will be sharing our progress on our District Improvement Plan and planning the development of our next DIP which will likely be a two-year plan. We are also poised to begin our FY14 budget process and are developing a draft budget of level services while we await dollar amounts from the state and city.
Speaking of funding, we are awaiting final word from the City Council on our Capital Planning allocation. Additional money was recommended for significant improvements in technology, along with support for security cameras at the high school.
Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.