Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

January 27, 2012 Weekly Musings

Posted on: February 1, 2012

Photo by:Grant Cochrane

Following the Entry Plan presentations, the School Committee and Administrative Leadership Team met to discuss the creation of the District Improvement Plan.  The group worked to develop a comprehensive preK-12 mission around “Learning” and goal setting in the following three areas:

(1.) Instruction and Academics

(2.) Arts, Music, Enrichment, and Activities

(3.) Technology and Innovation
Aligning this process with the creation of the School Improvement Plans, the ideas were developed and measurable goals were set under each category to create a well developed draft of our District Improvement Plan.

On Thursday January 26th, I attended the MASS mid-winter meeting along with Director of Academic Effectiveness Mark Prince and Director of Special Education Nathan Ziegler. The key note speaker was Alan November who is a world renowned instructional technology expert. He offered many suggestions on using technology in the classroom and reminded us to focus on the learning process more than on the tool or the answers to problems. One of his many highlights was a demonstration of a website that answers all mathematical questions and shows the details of the solutions. www.wolframalpha.com If you’re interested, click on this link, type in any math problem and try it. The point being that we have all the answers, facts, and information available to our students within seconds. There is no longer a need to teach kids to find the answer to an equation, but rather to teach them how and when to apply the knowledge to real world situations. I’m looking forward to sharing more of this with our School Committee members and Administrative Leadership Team including the idea of having kids publish their work for the world online or through youtube under the direction of their teacher, rather than publishing it for just one person, their teacher.

Congratulations to Sandy Donah who recently completed defending her dissertation and will receive her Ed.D. from A.I.C. in May. Today, she accepted a new position as Director of Pupil Services in Hartford Public Schools and will begin February 27. Her last day with us will be February 24th. I am very excited for her. This is a wonderful and well deserved next step in her career.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.
Superintendent

2 Responses to "January 27, 2012 Weekly Musings"

Thank you so much for adopting this blog as a way to keep the wider community updated on what is happening in our schools! I look forward to reading more.

I enjoyed reading your blog. I am offering a course next year at the high school on constructing websites, blogs, and even building a classroom server. Students in my audio/video and photography classes will be able to post their work online. More to come.

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