Monday, December 8, 2014
There is no better time than the holiday season to reflect and thank those in our lives who make a difference. I have the distinct honor and privilege of overseeing an extraordinary staff that makes the world of thousands of our community’s children a little brighter. Just think – the staff mentors students using a wide range of educational tools and instruction that will prepare them for lifetime learning, as well as provide unwavering support to become a generation of future leaders. That is a very important and vital assignment for our staff.
The following is a thank you note sent recently to our outstanding staff that teach and build relationships with children - their efforts and dedication don’t go unnoticed.
This has been a demanding year with many changes across the district to enhance student learning, as we instituted new curriculum, upgraded technology, and navigated the challenges of facilities. I extend my sincere appreciation to the Helena community for your support this year for system changes and recognizing your child’s excellent classroom teachers.
Kent Kultgen, Ed.D.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the extraordinary work taking place across the district. The entire Central Office team recognizes your hard work and dedication for making good things happen for students every day in the classroom. This year, significant efforts are being made through the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process to implement new standards; create and modify student assessments; apply unique interventions, and learn new curriculums. This is no small task. Our goal is to have more students learn more but in order to succeed in this journey we must work together.
The PLC process is an innovative and research proven approach to students learning more and it’s ours to design. Your expertise and input is needed to make this our own and reflect the culture of the Helena School District. This can only be achieved through working collaboratively and seeking student-focused solutions. Working in isolation is no longer an option; everyone’s expertise is needed beyond the classroom. During the weekly Wednesday site visits, we genuinely seek your input and opinions. We want to better understand your perspectives on the obstacles that hinder student learning. You can expect us to actively listen, adjust procedures, and seek resources according to your input. Do not hesitate to seek solutions, lean on your principals, and voice your challenges and successes as we move forward.
From assessments to pacing guides to benchmarking, they all seem to be pushing us faster and harder. Please know that you are the pacesetters, and we rely on you as the experts to know when to let up and when to steam ahead. As we have said from the beginning, school must be fun for the students as well as the staff. We are looking to you to find this balance, knowing the goal is to ensure that students are college and career ready, yet keeping the learning journey enjoyable.
As you approach the holiday break, take time to breathe knowing that your passion and enjoyment of the teaching profession does not go unnoticed by your students, peers, community and me. I am in awe at what you all have done thus far this year and know that the years ahead will be brighter for our children. Thank you again for a great start to this academic year.
Kent Kultgen, Ed.D.