2014-15 Welcome Back
Welcome back to school–truly the best time of year. I hope everyone had a great summer and a chance to rest, relax and reflect. As I take time to reflect back on the past year, I am reminded of the challenges we faced, but more importantly all the great work that happened in our schools and district. Thank you to all of you who contributed to a successful 2013-2014 school year.
The West Des Moines Community School District staff has been working hard to prepare for the upcoming school year and we look forward to welcoming our 9,000 plus students into our schools.
Our summer has been filled with learning and preparing to implement our teacher leadership program. I spent two and a half days with administrators and teacher leaders learning about best practices around instructional coaching. I could see the excitement in the room. The workshop was very valuable and will be helpful as we move forward with implementation.
The Board approved our district’s strategic plan at the June 23rd Board meeting. The plan has four major focus areas:
- culture for learning,
- professional learning,
- teaching for learning and
I am looking forward to working with all of you to put the action steps into motion.
We have also been working to enhance the safety of our schools. On August 18th we have an opportunity to increase our knowledge and to feel more prepared for an emergency situation by conducting an emergency preparedness drill. This type of exercise will guide us in our emergency planning by helping us to identify areas of strength and weakness.
As we all know there are many challenges with each new school year. This year we will address reducing our budget, changing our schools’ boundaries and possibly adjusting start and end times, just to name a few.
Continuing to bolster our partnerships with families and community stakeholders is vital to meeting these challenges and to creating a successful school setting.
Our greatest endeavor, however, should always be to do our best to meet the needs of each and every student. We are here to serve our students.
Thank you for your dedication to our students. I look forward to a great school year!