Unfortunately it has been a long time since I have utilized this method of communication. Since my last post, I have been busy communicating through many different means, but most importantly through face-to-face opportunities. It has become very clear to me in my short time as superintendent that writing is important, but being available to listen is more important. As a leader I work hard to deliver a clear message and be as up front as possible with whatever audience I am working with. I have found that the most valuable time I have with stakeholders is listening to their perspective. While I am often asked what I think on many different issues, I must always remember to ask the same question back. We are all partners in this world and in order for us to provide the best possible experience for our students, we must talk with each other, and more importantly, listen to each other.
In this light, I will likely only be able to communicate through this blog on a monthly basis as I am committed to meet and listen to the communities. What I am especially interested in is what people believe our students should be ready for after they graduate. I have heard that we need to have more life skills (budgeting, first aide, laws, ethics, etc.) taught in the schools. I have heard we should be focused on college preparation or have students immediately be ready for a job upon graduation. My perspective is that we should work with business and education leaders to give our students many opportunities to work with mentors and advisers in these areas to get a taste of what is required outside of the classroom. Relevance is a big concern for our students and with solid community partners we can give students a chance to see how the work they do in the classroom fits with life after KPBSD.
What it will take is communication and follow through on a plan of action. I look forward to hearing from our communities on how we can work together to provide an even more relevant education for our students.