Frankly Speaking . . .
As Superintendent, I have the opportunity, along with the responsibility, to visit all of our schools and observe the condition of teaching and learning taking place in the classrooms within each of them. Making my rounds to our 14 schools and Head Start/ECEAP Program this spring, I visited over 340 classrooms in action. I am pleased to report that the overall condition of the instruction taking place in all of our schools is strong and getting stronger. We are blessed with a focused and committed teaching and support staff who take the district’s core business of “engaging all students in rigorous, relevant, high quality work” to heart and do their very best to make it happen every day. I can assure you that your children and grandchildren are in good hands and receiving a high quality public education in Franklin Pierce Schools.
With a strong focus on early learning, I also took the opportunity this spring to visit with our seven childcare center partners and found our efforts of providing a seamless entry from preschool to Kindergarten positively and purposefully taking shape.
I want to take this opportunity to say “Thank You!” to all of you who took the time and effort to vote in our very important election in February when we passed and renewed for four more years both our Educational Programs Levy and our Technology Capital Levy with a supermajority of “yes” votes. Your belief in our children and the hard work of our staff was critical in gaining the necessary and overwhelming approval. Public education is a wise investment in the future. Schools in FPS have a rich history dating back to the 1880’s and our consolidated school district has successfully existed for over 65 years. The Board of Directors and I, as stewards of the public’s funds, must be ever vigilant as we work to ensure the health, safety, and learning conditions of students and staff in our schools. FPS has a proven track record of getting the most out of our annual budgets demonstrated through clean audits, a strong fund balance, and continuously improving student achievement.
Many accolades have been bestowed on our students, staff, schools, and district during the 2013-14 school year, as you will see throughout this edition of the Views. This is a result of your ongoing support, exceptional leadership beginning with our school board, our administrators and principals, hundreds of talented and dedicated teachers, hundreds of committed support staff, and the best students anywhere.
Franklin Pierce Schools continues to “beat the odds.” How do we do that? Without going into great detail, it is accomplished by disciplined thought and disciplined people that lead to disciplined action. We have a clear bottom line that emphasizes the achievement of every student and take responsibility for performance – no excuses! We have ongoing assessment of student performance early and often that is a part of instruction to determine what’s working and what’s not. We then use this data in the classroom to drive improvement. We have strong and steady principals who are focused on the things that truly improve achievement with collaborative solutions developed to problem solve throughout the ranks and not concentrated just at the top. This is the work that is being done by instructional staff in professional learning communities (PLCs) on most Wednesday afternoons. Finally, we stick with what we know works (research and evidence-based), going deeper and making it better, continually finding ways to customize instruction and interventions to fit the needs of each child. As we have found, no one size fits all.
The FPS Team remains steadfast in our mission and vision. Our students continue to make strides academically, artistically, and athletically. We maintain our focus on the whole child ensuring they are safe, healthy, engaged, and intellectually challenged. As Horace Mann said over 100 years ago, “The public school is the greatest discovery made by man.” Join us as we work to overcome the obstacles before us, support our students as they navigate through this complex world, visit our schools when you get the chance, and I’ll see you around the district!