District Administrator's State of the District Address -
Welcome to my inaugural State of the District address in my premier year as your District Administrator. As I have said, written and truly believe, I am very blessed and fortunate to be a part of this great community and school district. As any educator will tell you, we go into education to be a part of the greater good, to assist our youth in maximizing their potential, and to ensure our children develop a love and appreciation for learning and growing. It is my honor to work with and for so many dedicated educators, advocates and leaders.
This is the 2016-2017 school year, and together we are embarking on a journey of incredible significance. The significance is in the eyes, hopes, and dreams of each and every child we meet, greet and teach every day. If you are a bus driver, food service worker, secretary, educational assistant, maintenance worker, teacher, specialist, or administrator - you ARE an educator in the eyes of the children we serve. You ARE an integral part of the lives of the students who attend the School District of Waupaca. The service you provide is a valuable one, and for that I thank you – each and every one of you!
Over the course of this school year, the District will begin an endeavor that will seek the input of staff members, parents, guardians, and community members in an effort to determine the educational and community priorities for students graduating in 2017, 2027 and 2037. Today’s third graders will be contributing community members, college goers, and taxpayers in only ten years. The educational community will come together with the larger Waupaca area community to collaborate and make an already strong educational system even stronger.
The School Board, administration and staff members have begun a process to identify the District’s strengths, as well as opportunities for improvement. Among the strengths identified are the following:
- Strong partnerships with the community and local businesses
- Numerous academic, athletic, and extra-curricular opportunities for students
- High levels of student involvement in extracurricular, academic and athletic opportunities
- Generous commitment of resources by the community at large
- Career and Technical Education opportunities beyond the traditional prospects
- Strong educational leadership
- Strong Student Services support systems/programs/people
- Fiscally responsible
- Strong ancillary student supports (i.e. Food Service, Transportation, Clerical)
Of course, strengths are only notable when held up against areas that are not as strong. The District does have areas that have been noted as opportunities for improvement, but this document is intended as a celebration of education, thus we are already working diligently to turn those opportunities for improvement into areas of strength.
This year, as in years past, we will continue to focus on the ENDS policies as they address Academic Achievement, Citizenship, and Responsibility. The ENDS policies are reflected in the District's Multi-Tiered System of Support, or MTSS. Thus, an evaluation of our MTSS will commence this year so we may strengthen it where needed and effectively identify the academic, social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs of our students. Once the needs and strengths are identified, we will apply effective, research-based interventions to support the needs of the whole child/student.
Everything we do as a school district should align to developing and strengthening our MTSS. Whether it is providing safe transportation to and from the learning environment, developing an annual budget around the educational needs of our students, writing curriculum that is aligned to rigorous standards, or collaborating with a mentalhealth provider to open a satellite clinic in our schools – everything we do should align to a quality MTSS and the strengths/needs of our students.
Our students are the future of Waupaca, Wisconsin and our World. They are our greatest asset and our biggest resource. The parents of our students entrust their children to us every day and it is a charge we do not take lightly. As we continue with what some may see as “just another school year”, let us make this year the best ever in the eyes of the students we serve. Let us focus on the positive aspects of our chosen livelihood and see the delight in our student’s eyes as they expand their minds and stretch their abilities in the safety of our oversight. Let us all remember that the eyes of our children, our students, are always watching, and always learning – from us as their teachers.
In Waupaca, we are all educators. Celebrate our children, our students, and our future!