Home‎ > ‎School News‎ > ‎

Letter from the Superintendent

posted Apr 25, 2016, 9:54 AM by Emily McKinnon   [ updated Apr 25, 2016, 9:54 AM by CEL Marketing PR Design ]

Strategic Plan Goal #5

Improve communication and engagement with staff, parents, business and community partners in order to maximize student success.

April 24, 2016

Dear Princeton Community,


Over the past few months, I have been sharing information with you  about our Strategic Plan. The School Board has approved the Mission, Vision, Core Values, District Goals and the associated Action Plans recently.


Here are the goals:

  • Provide personalized instruction for every student,

  • Prepare 21st Century students to be career and college ready,

  • Implement innovative programming,

  • Guarantee creative and relevant digital learning opportunities,

  • Improve communication with staff, parents, business and community partners in order to maximize student success.


This is the last of five articles, to share each of our goals.


Improve communication and engagement with staff, parents, business and community partners in order to maximize student success.


Why is this a goal?  There are many answers to this simple question.  Improving communication and engagement with:

  • Staff--They are the people who make a difference with our students.  They need to feel supported and encouraged.  They also need to be reminded that we are in existence because of our students and families.  We all need to be reminded of that.  Our schools serve student learning and development.  It is easy to slip into a rut of thinking about what we are teaching instead of how students learn.  It is easy to make schools about the adults who work there.  I have seen that many times in my career.  But here in Princeton, I am proud to say that nearly every teacher sees that students are the reason for the schools.  In this goal, we need to celebrate that, and encourage those who need support to remember that.

  • Parents--Parents are our students’ first teachers.  We need to improve our parent engagement.  We need to help parents to help our students learn.  We need to do a better job of inviting parents into our classrooms.  We need to expect parent support, and to earn that, we need to communicate more often and better.

  • Business and Community Partners--Business and community partners are our students’ bridges to their future.  They make learning come alive by providing experiences for them.  Bringing business and community into the schools also helps our students to see the purpose of their learning.  Leaving out the business and community partners takes away our students’ hope for their success.

In order to reach this goal, there are three parts:

  • Assure staff feel valued, informed and prepared to be our number one ambassadors.

  • Build an open and welcoming image that encourages parents to feel connected to our district.

  • Recruit students early and continuously improve district wide Tiger Pride.


Assure that staff feel valued, informed and prepared to be our number one ambassadors.

The main thrust of this step is to develop partnership processes and capacity to address practices, transparency, and collaboration between adults.  We are planning to get more information to our staff regularly.  We have developed a newsletter, giving a brief synopsis of board meeting activities, shortly after each board meeting.  We are going to schools to answer questions about district activities.  We have an all staff newsletter to which they can contribute news.  Each principal sends a weekly update to their staff.  The hope is to provide more information to every staff person, so that they feel that they can answer questions that come up in the community.


Build an open and welcoming image that encourages parents to feel connected to our district.

Our action steps for this effort includes building capacity in staff and district communication, to create and foster a welcoming environment and build a culture of service.  We will be actively searching for ways to improve our service to families by specifically identifying areas of concern.


Another action step includes presenting a consistent, clear and cohesive district image to staff, parents and community members.  You will see improvements in our district and school websites.  You will see more symbols of Tiger Pride.  


Recruit students early and continuously improve district wide Tiger Pride.

Perhaps you have read or heard lately just how important early education is.  The Governor of Minnesota takes every opportunity to advocate for early childhood.  There is a huge body of evidence, showing early learning as the most important stage of life, to set students up for success in life.  This action step recognizes this, and our district will continue to improve upon kindergarten readiness.


Finally, Tiger Pride will be celebrated across all schools and the community. In our district and community, we have so much to celebrate!  We need to do a better job of honoring our Tiger Pride.


You may wonder why it is so important to do all of this communication?  School Districts--staff, students and families-- are made of people, and we want all of our people to feel uplifted and support our schools as well.  It is all about relationships!  Let’s all work to assure our students’ success.


Sincerely,



Julia Espe

Superintendent, Princeton Public Schools
Comments