At the end of each school year our principals produce two annual reports. One is to highlight all the good things that happened at their school and the other is to summarize their site council activity for this period. Without dwelling on the specifics of what is in the reports, I want to note that an incredible number of positives took place during the just completed school year. It is clear that staff and their respective site councils are committed to making their schools a better place for their students. These annual reports however, not only celebrate what took place, but draw attention to the ongoing pressure felt by our schools to continue their improvement journey, a journey that of course never ends.
At the national level this pressure is being felt and in response, there is a move to put on hold (for a year) the formal tests that will assess the Common Core. The move to do so is based on recognition that the teachers have not had enough time to prepare their students for these tests. Here in Alaska, our students will begin taking the state’s new tests of Alaska’s standards late next winter. I know that many would also like to delay things by a year. While the results of these tests will likely be lower than what we are used to, they should not diminish the light on all the positives that occur at our schools. The two mentioned reports are a part of the July Board Packet- I encourage you to pick through them to gain a sense of what is going on across the district.