Change is difficult. It makes us vulnerable and compels us to concede that we do not have all the answers.
It also forces us to trust others and the conditions we face.
During this school year, we have taken time to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our district and to appreciate the greatness that happens in our schools and classrooms each day. Our students, our teachers and our staff work tirelessly to create venues whereby a growth mindset is embraced and innovation is encouraged.
I am so appreciative of all the efforts of our district and the commitment to excellence that exists. Through it all, we have also identified obstacles which we need to work together to overcome. While the identification of problems is a fairly easy task, the hard work begins when solutions must be created.
This sometimes demands that we disrupt some current practices to improve in the overall scheme of things. In schools, many of the tenets of operations bleed into each other and when one thing changes, it impacts other pieces of the organization. For example, when new curricula are adopted, we must devise new instructional strategies, raise levels of expectation and adopt different types of planning.
A strategic approach to problem-solving must drive our decision-making and our work efforts.
As we go forward into the next school year, we are looking at the evolution of our academy structure so that students are provided with the best possible opportunities for success. When students and families make choices, it is vital that they are given the tools and experiences that allow those choices to be made for all the right reasons.
Enhancing our career pathways is a necessity across our high schools. Additionally, articulating those experiences and opportunities down to our K-8 structure will provide more context and substance to our students' educational experiences and thus, create better opportunities for success for all students.
We must continue to evolve to meet the needs of students with exceptional abilities on an everyday basis. We never seek to take opportunities away, but to open doors so more students have their unique needs fulfilled.
In looking at our models for special education, gifted services and educating English-language learners, we will continue to evaluate how we can increase our levels of service next school year. We have created two important committees to ensure we are fulfilling the needs of all students while seeking input from our staff and community.
The Strategic Planning Steering Committee will assist with developing s district mission and vision, which will be cornerstones of Reynoldsburg City Schools and keep us aligned with making the best decisions in the interests of our children.
The Curriculum and Resource Team is a new team of elementary level teachers who will aid in the process of adopting common resources and materials across schools. We will begin with the process for adopting elementary literacy resources in the 2018-19 school year.
Eighteen teachers representing every building and grade and representing all diverse student populations applied and were chosen to be on this team. Over the next school year, it will meet to determine which resources might benefit our students most.
It is our hope that we will be able to expand the team to middle school and high school tiers in the near future.
Melvin C. Brown is superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Reynoldsburg.