Stivers' Scoop

High Quality Public Education: Right or Privilege?

Once Upon A Time Not Too Long Ago....

I cannot recall the exact date of the first time that I heard the statement "public education is a civil right" from our superintendent, but I do recall that he was wearing a tie that I was sure someone with excellent taste picked out. When he uttered this proclamation, Dr. Neihof firmly planted his pointer finger on the table beneath him in emphasis of this foundational belief and his eyes were ablaze with conviction. An electricity filled the air and I, in so many years of education, had never heard it put quite that way. But it was the truth. It is the truth. And what a profound truth it is.

Just shy of 3 years ago on September 27, 2013, Dr Neihof wrote the following:

"The Gap in Shelby County is wide. A quality education for everyone is a civil right, and we are simply not satisfied with an expectation level where some kids perform lower than others for any reason. Every child can achieve and until every child does achieve, our work is not done. "

Fast forward three years and the work that is being done within Shelby County Public to personalize learning for each and every student is innovative. Unique. Exciting. Most importantly, the journey to personalized learning is aligned to the mission of "Preparing wise students who master standards, lead by example, and embrace social responsibility." Opportunities for our students continue to grow left and right. Our own learning continues and yet, the gaps still exist. Years of data point that out to us and despite our feelings about the accountability system and the world of testing, we cannot afford to ignore what the data of years gone by tells us. After all, the data doesn't lie. We've sure had our victories. And we sure have more work to do. This thinking has consumed my heart and mind in the last couple of months. I invite you, implore you, to reflect upon our personal and school-wide contributions to widening or closing the gaps. Be courageous and ask the hard questions. It's a heart issue. It's a mind issue. It's a civil rights issue.

It's Go Time! Standards-Based Grading Night on September 29

With the input of parents, the guidance of colleagues, and following the lead of East Middle School, WMS will be holding our Standards Based Grading Night on Thursday, September 29 from 6-7:30. We will provide the students' progress reports and guide parents & students through understanding the information in front of them. Staff attendance is voluntary and very appreciated.

Where in the World is Mrs. Stivers This Week?


Tuesday-WMS-PICTURE DAY! High Attendance Day! Data Teams. Faculty Learning @ 3:55ish. It's POP time! Football Game @ 6:00pm. Stivers to EMS' Parent Academy!

Wednesday-WMS-SBDM at 4:00pm


Friday-Lead & Learn at CO. School Dance 6-9