Showing posts from March, 2014

Learning on the East Coast

Last week I had the opportunity to visit Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut with four other administrators from my school district.  There is a lot of pride in this town and school community.  I don't know if I have ever felt more welcomed anywhere in my life.  Dr. Mark Benigni and his staff pulled out all the stops on this trip by providing us with welcoming gifts, fantastic, unbelievable meals, comprehensive plans for every minute of each day, excellent resources to take home, and even provided us with world famous "steamed cheeseburgers."  This trip was full of learning opportunities as we were able to see a successful school district that is intentional with every move.  The key learnings from my trip have been captured below.

Expanded Learning Time
Two of Meriden's elementary schools (Casimir Pulaski) and (John Barry) have implemented 100 minutes of additional learning time each day equaling over 40 additional school days per year.  This time is used for activ…

When Are We Ever Ready?

I have been in education for eleven years, and have experienced a wide variety of changes.  Some have been enormous and had an impact on the entire system while others have been minuscule in the grand scheme of things.  Something that I have come to realize in my seven years as a classroom teacher and four as an administrator is that the one constant in education and life, for that matter, is change.  Whether it is a new curriculum, assessment system, alternative model of instruction, a new teaching opportunity, or move up the career ladder, change is happening all around us all of the time.  As I have worked through changes in my personal and professional life and reflected heavily on this topic, I continually come back to the question, "When are we ever ready for significant change?"

As the principal of two elementary schools, I have the opportunity to work with thirty-five teachers and an additional forty staff members between Epworth @EpworthElem and Farley Elementary Sch…