Welcome back! I hope the holiday season treated you well. For a school district it is not really a new year, as we are just a little over half way through our school year when we turn the calendar page. Unlike most people, we are not making resolutions to the New Year. Instead, we are taking stock of the goals and plans we implemented at the beginning of our school year. I can safely say I believe 2013 was a good year for the Fort Dodge Community School District. Our staff and students performed well in and out of the classroom. We experienced enrollment growth for the second year in a row. With the community’s support we passed our PPEL levy. We also started Rachel’s Challenge, adopted a new math curriculum and opened a new state-of-the-art middle school.
In 2014, I anticipate even bigger things for our staff and students:
- Rachel’s Challenge has taken root in our schools and students are leading the charge with Friends Of Rachel (FOR) clubs in the middle school and high school. The impact of these groups has already begun to be felt and will only continue to make a difference in the culture of our schools.
- The new math curriculum is a big improvement over where we were, and we will continue working to get even better. The curriculum is an adjustment in how our students are learning math and we appreciate our parents’ patience as we’ve made the transition.
- We are revisiting our district mission, vision and goals. By doing this we are striving to push ourselves to not only make short term gains, but focus on the future and what we want to become as a school district. I believe we are headed in a great direction!
- We continue to focus on being positive difference makers in the lives of our students. At the start of our year we were each challenged to “be the one” who steps up and builds that positive relationships with our students that will help them succeed, and we are seeing staff do this on a daily basis!
- We will continue to strive to improve our communication. We will hold additional Coffee Conversations in the community to get feedback from parents and community members about our district, what we are doing well and what we can do better. Another way to stay engaged with what is happening throughout the District is by following us on Facebook or Twitter.
- We are working to be one of the districts selected to earn state dollars for our school reform plan, which will develop and implement a teacher leadership structure that will boost teacher and student learning.
- On top of this we will continue to work to improve our facilities and learning environments for our students and staff.
As you can see 2014 is shaping up to be a big year in the Fort Dodge Community School District. We look forward to what lies ahead and we invite you to come and see for yourself, whether through conferences, coffee conversations or one of our many activities and events to see how we are doing. Thank you for your help and support and may you have a blessed 2014.