Dr. John Strycker
May 9, 2018
A Sense of Urgency
As I noted in last week’s message, the State of Alabama gives each school in the state a letter grade based upon many factors. This year, our letter grades for our county schools ranged from average (C) to below average (D). Our recent history of standardized test scores also puts us considerably under the State and National average in most categories. Click here for this report.
There is no question in my mind that we are better than that of our last Report Card. Each day, I see first- hand our talented students and staff working hard to produce good results. However, I feel we can do better – much better!
While not the actual definition of insanity, one of the more common definitions of insanity is, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” How true. Being the best is not easy or everyone would be the best. As a runner, I can’t expect to be at my best if I don’t work hard and make training and racing adjustments according to my strengths and weaknesses. It is the same for our school system. If what we are doing is not working, we need to make necessary changes even if those changes are challenging.
We will continue to proceed with our vison for the Butler County Commitment:
- An “Old School” approach to education which includes ensuring that students have their basic needs met, that buildings are safe and clean and that students are well-disciplined.
- Teach K-6 students solid leadership skills at the elementary level as part of the elementary school culture (The Leader in Me program).
- Require all 7-12 students to participate in at least one extracurricular activity each year without having to pay a fee as part of a graduation requirement. When kids connect to something positive on a regular basis, outstanding student performance outcomes will result.
We will also seek to put the right people in the right places to the best of our ability, even while working within the constraints of budgets and staff certifications. We understand that sometimes staffing changes are not easy.
We feel a sense of urgency to make necessary changes because we are committed to the best interests of our students. It is our hope that this urgency will not only yield growth in our student achievement but also yield a Report Card that reflects our commitment and hard work. Our students deserve our best effort and we pledge to do our very best each and every day.
Thank you for your support,