Superintendent's Desk, January 2022
THE SUPERINTENDENT’S DESK
Happy New Year to all the patrons of the Stapleton School district. This month I’d like to introduce a series of topics which have served as reliable indicators of an effective school for decades. Furthermore, they have been very helpful to me in my administrative career. It is my goal that these indicators can add some valuable context for all the stakeholders of our school and help guide us into the future. Together the indicators are commonly referred to as the “7 Correlates of Effective Schools.” They are: Safe and Orderly Environment, Climate of High Expectations for Success, Instructional Leadership, Clear and Focused Mission/Vision, Opportunity to Learn/Student Time on Task, Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress, and Home-School Relations.
In the coming months I plan to expand some on each of the indicators. But I’d like to begin with Home-School Relations for January. When evaluating the quality of our Home-School Relations, we might ask the following. Do parents understand and support the basic mission and daily efforts of the school? Do school staff and parents enjoy good communications and trust? Do parents work in cooperation with teachers to help their students achieve mastery of class work? Do parents take advantage of chances to help shape the school’s daily efforts, mission, goals, and other initiatives? Although there are other questions that could be asked, these give us a place to start.
It should also be understood that the achievement of good Home-School Relations is something achieved together, with the understanding that the staff of the school district work for and with parents and patrons to make the most of the resources we devote to the school. Given our nation’s current political and social climate, it is more important than ever that parents stay informed about their child’s education and that they weigh in on those matters when they need to. And for that reason, I do my best to maintain an open-door policy and am available to speak with parents and patrons most anytime, although calling ahead is a good idea.
In today’s information age, our students are exposed to more information at a younger age than we were. Unfortunately, some of the information from books, the internet, social media apps etc. don’t always conform with the morals and values that are being taught to them by their parents. As professional educators we should do our best to select appropriate materials, and to be aware and respect the values of our families. However, it is a challenging job, and we welcome and need the support and assistance of our parents to ensure that we are imparting not only knowledge and skills, but also wholesome values and morals.
Switching gears, I want to recognize the efforts of our wrestling program. In December we hosted what might be the largest girl’s wrestling tournament in the state, without a hitch! 75 girls from 14 teams competed, and our Sandhills Valley team placed 3rd, barely missing 2nd, under the leadership of Coaches Jason Phelps, Gary Halstead, and Mrs. Bobby Opela. Undoubtedly our program is benefiting from the coaching of Mrs. Opela, who figures to be one of the state’s most experienced female wrestling coaches. As someone who has spent a considerable part of my life competing and coaching the sport of wrestling when it was primarily a men’s sport, our tournament was an unusual, special, fascinating, and excellent event, of which I will opine for years to come. Way to go girls!
As always, we encourage everyone to visit our website www.stapletonschools.org for more information. This month we are once again asking for public input regarding the school’s “Safe Return to School” (COVID19) plan as well as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds spending plan. The spending plan, a part of the federal governments overall covid-relief effort, will be published soon, along with other reminders to ask for public input.