• Straight Talk from the Superintendent - January 20, 2023

  • It was a short, but exciting and busy week in CCSD! 

    On Monday, we celebrated and remembered the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On Tuesday, our teachers and staff returned to prepare our classrooms and buildings for the second semester, and on Wednesday, we welcomed students back for the start of third quarter and hosted newly sworn-in State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver at one of our schools as a part of her first series of official school visits. What a week! In today’s Straight Talk, I’m going to share a little more about State Superintendent Weaver’s visit. 

    State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver Visits Stall High School

    Wednesday afternoon, R.B. Stall Executive Principal Steve Larson, Chief Academic Officer Michelle Simmons, Deputy Superintendent Anita Huggins, School Board Chair Pam McKinney, and I welcomed State Superintendent Weaver to R.B. Stall High where she spent time speaking with staff and students to learn more about some of the incredible programs offered. 

    Our first stop was at the Saga Math Tutoring classroom taught by Mr. Sterling Archibald. In Mr. Archibald’s class, ninth grade students receive wraparound services during the school day as a class (vs. a pullout) to help them improve their math skills and readiness through in-person and digital tutoring. The program is led by Mr. Archibald and supported by a team of fellows. Saga is one of many different tools used to help address learning loss and is present in a handful of CCSD high schools. It is an example of the kinds of innovative strategies schools are using to help better ensure our students have strong foundational math skills in Algebra I as they strive toward college and career readiness. 

    Next up on our tour was a trip to see students perform in Stall’s incredible Steel Drums class. Steel Drums Instructor Mr. Jake Cummings led and accompanied students in a musical selection for Superintendent Weaver. Following the performance, students shared their thoughts about the importance of exposure to and participation in the arts. One student shared how opportunities to participate in programs such as steel drums not only allow students to have exposure to the fine arts, but also through participating, help build their self-confidence, happiness, and interest in other areas of learning. It was incredible to see the talents of these young adults through their performance and to hear the positive impact a class and program like steel drums has on them as individuals and as students. 

    Fittingly, we ended our tour with a visit to Mr. Shawn Goulooze’s AP Government class where students learn about the foundational elements of how our country operates and the importance of public service such as that of our Board of Trustees and Superintendent Weaver. 

    Teacher Compensation Task Force and Teacher Feedback Survey

    In the AP Government class, Superintendent Weaver spoke about the idea of leadership and the values leadership articulates. These values can influence culture, which in our system can impact teacher recruitment, retention, and student outcomes. I echo that sentiment and am committed to providing high-quality leadership and support for our school leaders and our classroom leaders- our teachers- to help ensure CCSD is the best place to teach and learn. Our Teacher Compensation Task Force, in collaboration with district leadership, launched a survey yesterday to collect teacher feedback and voice into CCSD’s recruitment and retention initiatives. Please take a moment to fill out the survey before February 5 so that we can hear your thoughts and ideas on ways to strengthen the impact on student outcomes and improve things most essential to you. 

    Thank you to our principals and teachers for your leadership in our schools each day, and thank you to Mr. Larson for your outstanding leadership at Stall! You were a great host for Superintendent Weaver’s visit and I appreciate your sharing the fantastic opportunities available to students at Stall with her.

    I hope you all have a great weekend.