In about 30 minutes, I’ll be leaving for the BOE retreat that we’ve scheduled for tonight from 5:00-9:00. We are meeting off campus to provide us with a clean slate, relaxed chance to meet and talk about our governance. We’ve invited in Lynda Quick, Assistant Superintendent from Catt/Alle BOCES to facilitate. This gives us an opportunity for our own professional development. How often do BOE members get a chance to stop and learn/self-assess when they aren’t also conducting business for three-five hours? In my experience, seldom, if ever.
I’m excited about tonight’s session for several reasons. It’s the start of a new school year and that always provides a fresh start for everyone. Teachers return renewed, students get to start with 100% in all of their classes, and energy is high. Why not for the BOE and me too? We have a new BOE member, Janet Huntington, and a new BOE president, David Adams. Tonight’s retreat allows us to talk about how we function as a team, the Board members and the superintendent–followed by how we interact with all of our other constituencies–taxpayers, parents, administration, faculty, staff and students. I’m hoping to gain insight into what’s working well from their perspective and what could be better. I’m also excited because this is our first step toward goal setting and strategic planning. We’ll have the chance to talk about how our committees function and how we can improve. We’ll be able to analyze, reflect and plan for the future.
As a district, I hope we continually focus on the idea of “yes, this is good but how can it be better?” This is a great first step as our BOE members and I step forward to ask that about ourselves. I hope every teacher asks that same question about the classes that she teaches or the way he interacts with students. I also hope that every staff member here at RCS thinks about it and that no one accepts “it’s just the way we’ve always done it” as a reason to continue a practice. And most of all, I hope every student returns asking “how can this year be better than the last and what can I do to make it happen?”