Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Note From Mrs. Tierney - November


You know you are in a high achieving school system when a third grade student says before school, “It’s so cold out here, you can see my carbon dioxide!”

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

We, as educators, live in a system in which we are forced to rely on student achievement data as a predictor of our students’ and our school’s success. Denver Elementary consistently prevails as a high achieving school based on those assessments, as we consistently rank as one of the top achieving schools in the state of Iowa. This makes me very proud, especially because we work very hard as a school system, as a community, and as families to maintain high expectations so that we ensure that trend continues.

However, I will be the first to admit, it is so important for us at times to take a step back, and look at everything else that our students and teachers accomplish, that is not necessarily correlated within those high test scores. Teachers are preparing heavily for our Parent/Teacher Conferences next week. They have compiled mounds of data that they are prepared to share with you on your child’s report card and in a fifteen-minute conference. Most of that data will correlate to each child’s academic strengths and weaknesses, especially within the report card. What I hope you gain from the parent/teacher conference though, is a more detailed look at your child based on both academic data, but also, what we notice about your child that isn’t measured on an assessment.

For example, our student’s work hard to be Kids of Character, they practice daily being responsible, respectful, fair, trustworthy, caring, not to mention outstanding citizens. I must say that our students are some of the most incredible Kids of Character that I have ever witnessed. Character isn’t necessarily something we measure on a state assessment, but to me, we must celebrate our students’ achievements in this area, just as much as we celebrate high math, reading, or science scores. We must remember, that not everything that counts, can be counted!