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Superintendent's Message

  • Matters


     DID YOU KNOW:

    • One in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students nationally are chronically absent, missing nearly a month of school. Emerging research shows even higher rates among preschoolers.

     

    • These early absences correlate with reading difficulties and poor attendance patterns in later years. One California study found that only 17 percent of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64 percent of those with good attendance.

     

    • The effects of poor attendance are particularly pronounced among low-income children, who need more time in the classroom to master reading and are less likely to have access to resources outside of school to help them catch up. Unfortunately, low-income children are four times more likely to be chronically absent.

     

    • Students can begin to reverse their academic difficulties if they improve their attendance.

     

    • Parents are often unaware of the corrosive effects of absenteeism and how quickly absences add up to academic trouble in the early grades. Some face challenges with health, transportation or housing that contribute to absences.

     

    • Attendance rates are better in schools where parents feel welcomed and engaged and where they trust their children are safe.

    We need EVERYONE to attend school everyday....on time.....all day!

     


    DEVELOPING A GROWTH MINDSET    

    Growth

                As stated previously, our focus is developing a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability, and can learn and improve) is the key to success. Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. Please read the “25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset” with your child throughout the year.  

            25 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset

     

    Acknowledge and embrace imperfections.

    Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them.

     

    View challenges as opportunities.

    Having a growth mindset means relishing opportunities for self-improvement. Learn more about how to fail well.

     

    Try different learning tactics.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all model for learning. What works for one person may not work for you. Learn about learning strategies.

     

    Follow the research on brain plasticity.

    The brain isn’t fixed; the mind shouldn’t be either.

     

    Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.”

    When you make a mistake, or fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed; you’ve learned.

     

    Stop seeking approval.

    When you prioritize approval over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth.

     

    Value the process over the end result.

    Intelligent people enjoy the learning process, and don’t mind when it continues beyond an expected time frame.

     

    Cultivate a sense of purpose.

    Dweck’s research also showed that students with a growth mindset had a greater sense of purpose. Keep the big picture in mind.

     

    Celebrate growth with others.

    If you truly appreciate growth, you’ll want to share your progress with others.

     

    Emphasize growth over speed.

    Learning fast isn’t the same as learning well, and learning well sometimes requires allowing time for mistakes.

     

    Reward actions, not traits.

    Tell your student when they’re doing something smart, not just being smart.

     

    Redefine “genius.”

    The myth’s been busted: genius requires hard work, not talent alone.

     

    Portray criticism as positive.

    You don’t have to use that hackneyed term, “constructive criticism,” but you do have to believe in the concept.

     

    Disassociate improvement from failure.

    Stop assuming that “room for improvement” translates into failure.

     

    Provide regular opportunities for reflection.

    Let students reflect on their learning at least once a day.

     

    Place effort before talent.

    Hard work should always be rewarded before inherent skill.

     

    Highlight the relationship between learning and “brain training.”

    The brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked out, just like the body.

     

    Cultivate grit.

    Students with that extra bit of determination will be more likely to seek approval from themselves rather than others.

     

    Abandon the image.

    “Naturally smart” sounds just about as believable as “spontaneous generation.” You won’t achieve the image if you’re not ready for the work.

     

    Use the word “yet.”

    Dweck says “not yet” has become one of her favorite phrases. Whenever you see students struggling with a task, just tell them they haven’t mastered it yet.

     

    Learn from other people’s mistakes.

    It’s not always wise to compare yourself to others, but it is important to realize that humans share the same weaknesses.

     

    Make a new goal for every goal accomplished.

    You’ll never be done learning. Just because your midterm exam is over doesn’t mean you should stop being interested in a subject. Growth-minded people know how to constantly create new goals to keep themselves stimulated.

     

    Take risks in the company of others.

    Stop trying to save face all the time and just let yourself goof up now and then. It will make it easier to take risks in the future.

     

    Think realistically about time and effort.

    It takes time to learn. Don’t expect to master every topic under the sun in one sitting.

     

    Take ownership over your attitude.

    Once you develop a growth mindset, own it. Acknowledge yourself as someone who possesses a growth mentality and be proud to let it guide you throughout your educational career.

     

    -Saga Briggs