Every East Noble School Corporation school year promises our students and staff an outstanding year of joy and rewards. The 2015-2016 school year will be no different. As everyone returned last week, they were greeted by clean rooms, building upgrades, new laptops for 5th and 9th graders, and many smiling faces. The start of the year is very exciting for everyone.
During opening day for our staff, I laid out my vision and beliefs for the district. I am going to share parts of my speech in the space for others to read.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Welcome to another school year. Not just any school year, but a new year that offers hope and excitement for our students.
We are all here for this new school year to serve our students through a challenging, rigorous, and relevant education and ensure they are successful after high school and in life!
Every district in Indiana has their own set of priorities, values, and strategies to reach their goals. It is important that we focus on East Noble priorities, and that our progress is assessed on our students’ performance throughout an entire school year rather than nine hours of a “one size fits all” mandated test that continues to show limited to no reliability.
We do not exist to chase school grades or district grades. We do not exist to be an “A” district or have “A” schools. Don’t misunderstand, it is certainly nice to have “A” buildings; however, at what cost? Being an “A” district or an “A” school doesn’t necessarily mean we are best serving our students and meeting their educational needs. We are not going to remove a child from the arts or physical activity to make sure they are able to pass a test on a given day that, in fact, has a moving target every year just so we are able to “say” we are an “A” school or district.
Our priority is excellence! We want to provide an outstanding and personalized education that meets the needs of our students and prepares them to reach their dreams or goals. We want to provide diverse opportunities and academic choices that inspire our students to dream big, provokes curiosity, stretches them beyond their own expectations, and gives them hope for a safe and rewarding future.
It is time we return to the business of educating the whole child. It is time to pass on continuous test prep and engage in more relevant, real life work that will lead to mastery of standards without compromising a quality education for our students. Our students deserve more than the “one size fits all” framework which the state continues to support.
I remember when…. teachers loved teaching and had more freedom and flexibility in what they taught. I remember when students attended school and loved learning. Rarely was part of their conversation about “Passing a state test” to move on to the next grade or be labeled as “passing” or “failing”. Where did the state lose sight of the individual student and their needs? How did we get to a place of being held hostage to a school grade? Being an “A” school is not a goal…..it has become a threat. No one works well under the guise of a threat.
Doing what is best for kids is our #1 priority. However, when we speak to reality, test scores are an economic variable for our community and they expect our students to be prepared for a post-secondary education and to be successful in the workplace.
Students are 27 percent of our present community, but 100 percent of our future. Roughly one in every four people in our communities are 18 years old or younger. But every one of these youth shape 100 percent of our future, our community, our economy, and our world.
You have the most important career of all careers…and that includes the president. Through teaching and supporting our students in their education, regardless of your role, all of you inspire, shape, and create a future for everyone. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a skilled, caring, dedicated, and passionate staff.
I know all of you made a conscience choice to be a part of ENSC. You all have talents and passions that could be shared in other careers or other districts. You have made many sacrifices personally and professionally to be a part of our profession and serve students.
Thank you for choosing to share your talents and passions with ENSC. I have been a part of many school districts and there is no district with a better, more dedicated, more passionate staff than ours. Thank you for making ENSC your home! Like any home, it is filled with heart, fun, passion, dedication, spirit, and compassion every day!
Ann Linson, Superintendent