The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Superintendent Goals

I was asked about the goals set for me as a new superintendent for Wawasee Community Schools. They are to:
-learn about the district and community. (Continuous)
-study the teaching learning process in place at Wawasee. (by August)
-move to the community. (by summer)
-update the current 10-year plan for facilities. (by September)
-formulate a new school board member orientation program. (by October)
-complete the new transporatation/maintenance facility on Kern Road. (by November)
-and update school district policies. (by December)

Please feel free to comment on these goals or suggest other goals for now or the future.

I do know that winning ball, swim, and wrestling titles may be on your list. Like the recent weather, though, these are not mine to control!


Anonymous said...

Those look some some lofty goals. There are some exciting projects underway that should benefit our school community.

In the middle of winter, we appreciate your hard work and also the continued success of the teams in post-season playoffs! Go Warriors.

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on all day kindergarten? Or at least implementing an optional extended day for the children who most need the extra time in a structured learning environment?

Anonymous said...

Let me start by welcoming Dr. Edington to our community.
I am looking forward to seeing the changes (if any) that Dr Edington has for our school system.

Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Edington said...

Full-day kindergarten is shown to have long-term positive results. The state supported public schools in their efforts to move toward full day during 2007-08. The anticipated amount per child for this year was $2500, but so many schools jumped into full-day programming in Indiana that the actual amount was $725 per student. That difference left many schools poor and upset! If the legislature guarantees an adequate payment per studnet, we will study full-day for Wawasee.

Anonymous said...

Many, many schools have made it a priority for their students. I think we should make it a priority for our kids too since it has positivie results.We need to stop blaming the legislature for everything! Other schools figure out how to make things work without all the whining and placing blame on others. Isn't that what we teach our kids? Accept responsibility for your part and don't blame others?

Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Edington said...

This is an emotional issue for you. Please know that I will work at Wawasee to balance student needs with resouces. If adequate and reliable funding becomes available, we will consider any programs that improve student learning. We can raise or spend no more funds than the Legislature allows. It's just a fact of life.
If you'd like to sit and talk about this issue in more depth, please feel free to give me a call.

Anonymous said...

you should put the survey scores that the students took on here

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above poster on full day kindergarten. We need to set our priorities. We seem to spend money on programs that are outdated (Accelerated Reader for example). However, on innovative programs we are always years behind our neighboring schools.

We have science teachers at the middle school that spend their days talking on their cell phones and having the kids complete meaningless pencil and parper activities, while neighboring schools have their kids outside in the environment completing real-life science activities.

I hope that you are more intuned to best practice and curriculum than our last superintendent. You have inherited a great group of teachers. Please give them the freedom and resources to shine!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edington,
Would you or the board consider creating a position exclusive for grant writing? While this responsibility may be one of many that already belong to a current position, is the afterthought of an already extremely busy person really sufficient for the full potential of effective grant writing?

It would be a lot easier for us to think "outside of the box" and investigate those ideas if we were backed with some funds (for things such as more effective teacher training, meaningful technology training, better assessments for data collection, etc.). We're often told to "think outside of the box" or "don't be afraid to be a risk taker" and try something new instructionally to improve results. Yet all too often, funding is what keeps us "inside the box." I believe that my colleagues and I are great thinkers in the face of adversity, yet our positive efforts/intentions are too often hindered by a lack of funds.

So, would a full-time grant writer be able to help our district in this situation? Whether the grant writer is the answer or not, I hope you can help the district realize some solutions to this problem! I still have passion for the most significant gains of our students and I know you do too. Would you please at least consider this idea; or come up with something better?

Thank you,
Wawasee Educator

Anonymous said...

Most research has shown that by the end of 2nd grade the vast majority of gains made by full day K have been lost. So, instead of jumping on the bandwagon maybe waiting to see how things pan out is the best course of action. Is spending a bunch of money (our own or from the state) on a program that may or MAY NOT provide lasting benefits really what we want to do?

Teachers talking on cell phones during class sounds like a personel issue not a program issue. I am not a huge supporter of AR but to say it is an outdated program is way off base. EVERY program in EVERY school district has positives and negatives. There is NO perfect program. Maybe we should be more focused on how teachers are using the programs we have.

Anonymous said...

I agree with one of the above posters that in general the science class offerings at middle school level are dismal.
I had hope that once my kids got to high school things would improve and they would actually do experiments in science class, not just read worksheets and regurgitate for the test.
Wrong, so far.

Anonymous said...

Back to the all day kindergarten issue ... why not start small and just fund one extra 1/2 day per elementary building and take the lowest 12 students. Give them an extra half day of just literacy activities and see what happens. Nappanee does this and they have seen tremendous effects. The kids who were the lowest caught up with or surpassed the rest of the kids by the end of the year. This is one way to level the playing field for the underprivileged children in our communities. We may find that we don't even need Reading Recovery! Or Readiness!

Anthony Cassel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony Cassel said...

I appreciate the post regarding middle school science. I would welcome individuals to contact me regarding there concerns and suggestions related to science at the middle school. We have, over the past three years, moved from science every other day at all grade levels to science everyday at grades 6 and 8. Again, please feel free to contact me with your concerns. I would love to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

I am a student at the high school. I just want to agree with the (assumed) parents complaining about science at the middle school. I am an all A student and I remember vividly Mr. Edgar's 7th grade science class. He really wanted to engage the students in science more fully, but because of poor student behavior and poor funding (which I know is a legitimate issue) he wasn't allowed to do any experiments or teach us by any other means except busy work. I understand he was moved to teaching math because the principal wanted middle school math to look better for the state (or so I've been told.) This was a bad choice in my opinion because he was the only science teacher at that middle school that actually cared and loved science (or so he showed us.) And as for the planetarium: We NEVER used it! At the pre-6th grade conference the school boasted that we were one of 3 middle schools in Indiana to have one. I don't know if they are using it more now (doubt it with funds still bad funding and a newly found, overzealous love for math.) We used it for a few movies, instead of what we really wanted to do, and that was to learn about the STARS!

Anthony Cassel said...

I agree that Mr. Edgar is an outstanding science teacher! Mr. Edgar is also an outstanding math teacher. I would agree that increasing math scores for the purpose of improving ISTEP does drive part of my curriculum decisions. Under the Federal No Child Left Behind law, schools are held accountable for all students passing by the year 2012. In Indiana the measuring stick in part is ISTEP.

When I arrived at Wawasee Middle School approximately 3 years ago, math was every other day. Science was also every other day. Currently, math is now everyday, and math scores have reflected an increase, which we believe is partially due to that change. Science at the middle school now meets everyday at the 6th and 8th grade levels. This is a tremendous increase in the amount of minutes that a middle school student now receives in science.

In regard to the planetarium. Unfortunately, funding often drives programming. I am also dissapointed that the planetarium does not get more use. Mr. Edgar and I have talked about ways to increase usage and will continue to put our heads together to solve that problem.

I appreciate your frank words regarding your experience at the middle school and your current view. It pushes me to continue to improve as an administrator, and to seek out what is best for Wawasee Middle School students.

Thanks again!

student a said...

Yes, I see how the math, for ISTEP, must be increased. That doesn't change the 'funless' science. 8th grade I remember what we did because we had big projects (collecting leaves, birdwatching, and dissecting.) I don't go to the middle school anymore, but 7th grade was the main problem then. I'm sure double the hours of science aren't still filled with busy work..
Mr. Edgar is an awesome teacher period. Overall, I would rather have him teaching math where he can help students understand better, than teaching science there.

By the way. I love how we can directly discuss issues we have anonymously!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that although, I had heard about the "cell phone" teacher from my son and his friends, he had a great 6th great science experience.

Mrs. Rehling was a committed and caring teacher. He had her for advisory and she seemed to really care about her students. He learned a great deal about science last year and also seemed to enjoy it.

I would hope that we wouldn't judge a whole department on just one person.