It’s nearly officially Summer and while the students are at recess, there’s so much happening. The physical structure of our high school continues to progress as does the district’s core business of INSPIRING and EMPOWERING students. That’s not just words on a page, but truly something at the forefront of our minds.
At the start of the 2018-19 school year, after what will seem like an endless summer, Olmsted Falls High School will be transformed; as will the experiences of our students. While the high school is certainly undergoing a physical metamorphosis that has our community excited, how we operate as an organization will begin to alter as well–from a K-12 perspective.
The district recently completed our Portrait of an Olmsted Graduate work, but the most important work and questions remain:
- What does inspire and empower look like when it is done at a high level in ALL grades?
- How might the alterations to the physical plant begin to build upon the high quality experiences that have brought countless families to the Olmsted Communities?
- When considering the skills and dispositions contained within the Portrait of the Olmsted Graduate, what begins to change within the instructional environment?
Locally we are focused, strategic and driven.
The skills that have been identified by our community of stakeholders are not only for our high school students. These skills will serve as a K-12 rally point for our work. We will continue to build upon our excellence–K-12, we will ask ourselves what are the contributions of the ECC, Falls-Lenox, OFIS, OFMS and OFHS staff, students, parents and community along our road to excellence. We will do this, yet the system doesn’t require us to; nor does it even support our efforts.
As a public school district in the State of Ohio we are faced with this–we have an antiquated school accountability model that is embedded, ingrained, tied, tattooed, legislated and inextricably woven into the very fabric of Ohio’s Code (both Revised & Administrative) that governs our day-to-day business; yet our public and business community (and I’d argue the general public/business community well beyond our district) does not want what’s been offered. Our results at the local level articulate this as does the public opinion from PDK’s most recent poll on public schools. It will take a collective community effort to lead the change…all of us…parents, students, educators, citizens…all of us. It needs to be a collective, “our kids deserve better!”
Rather than answering questions such as,
- What are the aspirations and dreams that our community has for our youth;
- Do we have a statewide, unified vision for creating a 21st century educational system for our youth?” (questions beyond local level discourse);
–both posed by Karen Garza at a recent presentation at a Battelle for Kids, Success for All Conference (those below are mine)
- How do we assist our students with the mental health issues that they endure from the crazy system of schooling that we’ve imposed on them; and
- Make you own list with the space that’s provided…___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
…Ohio is fiddling around with answering small-big problems such as–test-based graduation requirements; should there be a summative State Report Card Grade; ODE’s Strategic Plan and so on. Rather than focusing on THE problem, the focus of our State remains on the symptoms.
On a day like today, I’m inspired and frustrated at the same time and that is how public education works much of the time.
-see you on Sunday (Browns fans will understand)