Superintendent's Update

December 2014

Thank You

For those of you who completed the Parent Feedback Survey, I want you to know we appreciate it! We are going to re-open the survey for one more week, so if you were not able to complete it, you can access it through this link:

Utilization Study

Last Wednesday night at the Board of Education meeting Bob Fulton presented the final copy of the Utilization Study to the full board. The study is a comprehensive review of our school facilities, an enrollment study covering the next 10 years, and possible options for reconfiguration. The report is available in Central Office, at the public libraries in Durham and Middlefield, and the executive summary and cover letter are available on the district website. There is an email address for the Utilization Committee:, so please send any questions or ideas you have after reading the report to them. With the enrollment in our district predicted to decline by over 500 students in the next 10 years, clearly we have to accurately assess our facilities needs and resource allocations. The next steps as the committee moves toward making a final recommendation include doing a comprehensive cost analysis and completing strategic planning/educational visioning for the future of our district. I anticipate much excitement amidst the challenge in the work that lies before us.

Weather Decisions

I work with a team when it comes to making decisions about school cancellations, late openings and early dismissal. We pay careful attention to the road conditions, buses, student and parent drivers, school activities, and other variables depending on the day. Our first priority is always safety.

Student and Staff Learning

Our teachers are continuing to work together to modify units aligned with the common core, create assessments and performance tasks, and assure alignment within and across grade levels. Additionally teacher teams and administration are examining student performance data on teacher created and standardized assessments to look at student growth and what can be done to address specific student learning needs. The relatively new teacher evaluation process requires us to look carefully at our instructional practice as we plan for and predict student growth over time. Teachers and staff in District 13 have had an incredible learning challenge since what and how we are teaching has changed, as well as how we are measuring student and teacher performance. District 13 is characterized by a staff that is committed to students first, and high level student and teacher learning.

Happy Holidays

I hope that all of you are able to slow down a little and spend time with your family during the winter break. Thank you for your on-going support of our school district.

I wish you a happy and healthy new year.