Thursdays With North (and East) Oakview

    I missed you today. As you were aware, I spent the morning at the MASB conference talking with school board members from across the State of Michigan. They are in Grand Rapids for their fall conference. You might say they are going to school to learn how to be better members of Boards of Education. I really believe that the participants care deeply about being responsible for the upbringing of the children of their respective communities.

    The session I participated in focused on how to set “high level goals” based upon the vision and mission of the school district. They deepened their understanding that a school district is really a system with many moving parts. Each individual component of the system impacts the other parts. The implications of system components being out of alignment creates an environment that does not allow for continuous improvement.

    Our Board of Education members understand these the value of defining where we are headed and trust us to define how to get there. They understand good governance.

    The Northview Board of Education has been very clear about what outcomes the students and staff in our school system must be able to know and demonstrate. Our Board calls these outcomes “Ends.” They have also been very clear what unwanted circumstances, behaviors, and issues we must avoid while accomplishing the “Ends.” They call these unwanted practices “Limitations.” Our Board has said “continuously move toward accomplishing the defined Ends while being mindful of the Limitations.

    Our Ends include clear statements that our students must be:

    • Literate
    • Creative
    • Problem Solvers
    • Productive, Respectful Members of Society
    • Ready for Career Success
    • Able to Learn Continuously

    Our Board rigorously monitors system performance through a series of monitoring reports that provide evidence we are meeting (or not meeting) expectations while avoiding unwanted circumstances and behaviors. Last year there were 459 data points measured. As a system we met 435 of the expectations or 94.7%.

    Our Board trusts us to develop and use the best practices that help students accelerate their academic achievements and to assist in their social development. You have earned that trust. We trust that our Board of Education is clear about their expectations and that they work to create an environment that is conducive to accomplishing the defined ends.

    Sometimes I wonder what all this has to do with how a child is greeted in the “drop-off” line or at a classroom door. It has everything to do with how we form relationships with the children/students of the Northview community.

    You care deeply about each child.

    As Travis would say “you need to remember the important stuff.” You know what is important.

    Sincerely and With Great Respect,

    Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent

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