I believe that 2014-15 will be the best school year ever!
Over the summer at iLearn and our superintendent’s professional development session, the superintendent, executive director for school administration and I handed out coffee cups, notepads and buttons with the words “I believe in you.” The pins have this quote from Anne Frank:
“Everyone has inside him a piece of good news.The good news is that you don’t realize how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”
We each have inside us a piece of good news. Let me share with you what I believe about Chesterfield County Public Schools and our written, taught and tested curriculum.
I believe we have a strong written curriculum to support teaching and learning. Our curriculum frameworks and pacing guides are available on the new CNET. Teachers came away from iLearn excited about the new curriculum documents to support digital learning. Our specialists have worked hours and weeks individually and with teams of teachers to redesign the written curriculum. Let CNET and the curriculum frameworks guide your work in planning lessons. The curriculum documents align with the Virginia Standards of Learning and contain important information including:
- essential understandings for students
- background knowledge
- instructional strategies
- key vocabulary
- writing prompts
- model lessons
- multimedia support
I believe in the power of formative assessments to support the taught curriculum. Teachers in grades 3 through end-of-course can take advantage of new digital assessment resources from Interactive Achievement. Teachers will now be able to create formative assessments aligned with the standards in just a few clicks. Students enter their answers on the computer, and teachers can take advantage of a deep level of data analysis to determine strengths, weaknesses and interventions for individuals or groups. Through this analysis of student data, teachers will be able to adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students and provide targeted feedback about specific skills students are lacking.
I believe in the ability of teachers to make the curriculum engaging, relevant and rigorous. Revisit the guiding principle of student engagement and the rigor/relevance model from International Center for Leadership Excellence. As teachers incorporate rigorous and relevant instruction and assessment, students will become highly engaged in learning, prepared for the future as 21st-century collaborators, communicators, creative thinkers and critical problem-solvers.
I believe every Chesterfield employee has the ability to build positive relationships with students, to show students they care and believe in their abilities. Anne Frank’s quote references “how much you can love.” Students do their best work when they feel connected to a caring adult — yes, a loving adult.
I believe in our strategic plan, the Design for Excellence 2020, and its strategies to support student learning. But I’ll save some of my thoughts on our guiding principles and the big ideas of blended learning, project-based learning and service learning for future blogs. Stay tuned: We’ll have guest bloggers throughout the year share their beliefs about teaching and learning. Hey, if you —yes, YOU reading this blog — would like to be a guest blogger and share the good news from your class or school, just send me an email.
I believe in sharing the good news of Chesterfield County Public Schools! I created a hashtag on Twitter, #ccpsibelieve, that principals, specialists and directors are including in their tweets about the good news of their schools or the anticipation of great things for the upcoming year. Check it out — we already have 65 tweets! I encourage you to go to #ccpsibelieve and share accomplishments.
Most importantly, I believe in our students. From prekindergartners to seniors, I believe they have the potential to change the world and accomplish great things! In your classroom will be a future entrepreneur, inventor, problem solver, president, doctor, lawyer, athlete or writer. You will shape their future, one day at a time.
I DO believe that 2014-15 will be the best school year ever. Let’s make it happen!