As superintendent of the Franklin County Public Schools, I am always pleased when our programs successfully support our mission, which is “To prepare students for college and career readiness and to become contributing citizens.”
There is a kind of professional development that we rarely see but that many of us in school leadership could use. Some would call it coaching or mentoring, but what I’m describing is more specific—individualized instruction in an alternative setting off campus.
In 2013, the Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) brought hands-on learning to the next level by embedding some of its state-endorsed career and technical education (CTE) programs at local businesses.
High-quality instruction in science, math, engineering and technology requires both teaching expertise and content knowledge. Yet, at the elementary school level, many teachers haven’t had specialized education or training in science.
The definition of an effective teacher remains in flux, and the evaluation process has morphed into numerous different assessments and observations. Fortunately, with the advent of new technologies, opportunities abound to broaden the evaluation process and to truly focus on teacher growth.
Even as school districts try to allocate more resources for the classroom, state and local financial struggles limit available funds and increase the pressure on districts to get more done with less. Still, at a time when financial responsibility should be paramount, misconduct remains far too common.
The Jay County Promise program encourages our district’s young people to continue their education beyond high school by providing a 529 college savings plan to each K3 student. Since launching the program, about 70 percent of our kids now start school with their own college savings account.