Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17

The Supt Dish                   
                                                                                                                   May 17, 2016

As many of you know I am a fine arts and sports enthusiast. I love the arts and competition. There are so many life lessons and values that a person van learn playing an instrument or playing on a sports team. Chief among them is the importance of teamwork.
I’ve always maintained that the key to having successful schools is working together as a team. I learned a long time ago how important it is to fully appreciate how much we need to depend on each other, our Team, to be successful. If all of us play our roles on our Team in achieving our goal of educating the children we serve, we will have very productive and successful campuses.
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking two of our teammates, De Helmer and Liz Schubert, to Apple headquarters in California for a professional development activity for school leaders. Spending three days with Mrs. Helmer and Mrs. Schubert was an opportunity for us to learn more about each other as well as learning new things to improve our skills. It was also a time for us to collaborate on GISD’s design principles of a five-year strategic plan.
One key document that we will use as a guide for our strategic plan is the Visioning Document, produced by a group of 35 Texas superintendents in 2008. “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas” as it was titled, was created to inspire others toward a common goal of making public schools better for all Texas children. This is centered on six principles or articles: 1) The New Digital Learning Environment, 2) The New Learning Standards, 3) Assessments for Learning, 4) Accountability for Learning, 5) Organizational Transformation, and 5) A More Balanced & Reinvigorated State/Local Partnership. During the upcoming weeks, I will write a summary of each Article of the Visioning document.
While at Apple, we were privileged to collaborate with three other Texas school districts as representatives from Apple led us through the framework needed in developing strategic planning and improved learning utilizing the Visioning document as well as digital tools. We learned more about TEKS aligned courses and activities in iTunesU. Yes, TASA has Texas courses, developed by Texas teachers in iTunesU. Also with the courses are lesson plans and activities. We will be sharing more information soon during various professional development activities this summer.
Another activity we participated in was coding. As many schools are implementing coding classes, Apple led us through a coding activity. We then were split in to two teams with Mrs. Helmer and I on one team and Mrs. Schubert on another team for a little competition among colleagues. After collaborating with her team, Mrs. Schubert successfully programed the drone and landed it on the target, winning the “Coding Administrator of the Day!” Mrs. Schubert’s winning drone “landing” was recorded which you may access below. Congratulations Mrs. Schubert! 

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