Director of Schools
- Category: Uncategorised
- Published on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 13:41
- Written by Super User
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August 1, 2016 marked the beginning of my 6th year as Director of Schools in Lexington City. What a change I have seen in our schools in 6 years! While LCSS has always had a rich history of excellence in teaching and learning, 2016-17 brings a new focus on instruction, parental involvement, student engagement, and technology.
Our teachers are second to none. Period. They take their role in children's lives seriously, and each day is planned to maximize the teaching and learning experience. I see teachers planning lessons that create a connection between the students and the curriculum, the students with technology and problem solving, the students with each other, and the students with the teacher. Planning for this to happen is not an easy task, but LCSS teachers do it not because they have to but because they want to. When I walk into classrooms, I see many different groups...students working with the teacher, students working independently, and students working with a partner or a group of four. Conversation is very important in the learning process. Students are given many chances to share what they know and learn from these rich questions and answers from everyone.
There are numerous parent groups and individual volunteers that work on behalf of our schools and our athletic teams. Their support is immeasurable! From the PTO at CES to the Friends of LMS and our SSOs that provide the extras for our athletes, you make our schools better and your involvement is crucial to our continued success. Just recently the CES PTO had a movie night on the football field with its purpose "to bring school children and their families together for an affordable night of fun." And did they ever! The Football Booster Club made it possible for the football and cheer teams to attend the Vandy-TSU game last weekend. What a reward for a winning season, sportsmanship, and hard work! This is just an example of how parents working with our schools makes the school experience better for everyone.
During the summer, the LCSS Board of Education launched an ambitious endeavor to go 1:1 Chromebooks in grades 4-8. While it took time to get the Chromebooks in, set up 526 of them, ready their cases, match student IDs to computers, create a new inventory list, instruct parents and students on the how to use the Chromebooks responsibly, the happy day of "deployment" came right before fall break. Weekly our teachers share with me, their principals, and those who visit our system FaceBook page, how students are progressing. While we have told our teachers to take it slow, many of them have moved quickly to learn a new program, app, or strategy that will assist their students as they use this tool for instruction and engagement. I couldn't be prouder of our teachers and our learners!
If you have not been in one of our schools, I invite you to visit. At 7:30, you'll see our kids greeted and helped out of their cars by friendly staff members who have something kind to say to them to start their morning off right. Immediately upon arriving to their classrooms, our school lunch program staff is waiting to offer breakfast to the students, and then you hear the sound of happy children eating and making morning conversation with their friends. Principals or their designee will call the schools to attention with the National Anthem, then the Pledge of Allegiance which is followed by a moment of silence. At both CES and LMS, the students are reminded about their positive pledge...how to be a good student, a good friend, a good citizen...while they are at school. Then the learning begins in many different ways in many different classes until lunch and Encore or EL classes and more classes until it is time to go home. At 3:15, afternoon practices in athletics or clubs begin at LMS and After School Care begins at CES. The day is busy and full and fun. Our teachers plan to make the day fun for our students because we know that the more the students are engaged with each other or with their teacher or with the learning, the greater the chance that the "learning is going to stick"!
We have so much to celebrate in our system! We have a community and parents who support schools on every level. We have a Board of Education that support what our teachers need for instruction and what our students need for learning while being good stewards of community resources. For this I am grateful. It is this support that has and will continue to help the Lexington City School System reach its goal of Every Child Valued, Every Child Challenged, Every Child Successful.
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