From the Superintendent
West Irondequoit CSD update from Aaron Johnson
October 15, 2021
Next week is the NYS School Boards Association (NYSSBA) Board Appreciation Week, and without our Board of Education’s courageous and steady governance, we wouldn't be where we are today. Thanks to its support and the outstanding skill of our staff, we continue to rise above the hurdles. Leadership starts at the top and we're grateful for the encouraging tone the Board sets for us all.
Student and staff screen (surveillance) testing has started. Two weeks of student testing and one week for staff have resulted in zero positive cases. Thank you to our nurses, administrators, and outside vendors for providing the services to support the cause.
If you haven’t had a chance, take a moment to check out our West Irondequoit Facebook and Twitter accounts and Irondequoit Eagles page to see all the action happening across the district. The student-centered engagement and critical thinking that's happening are impressive. Thanks to the solid relationships and problem-solving across our schools, our children receive the care and support needed to overcome. Thank you for the continued team effort! Please read below for this week's Strategic Plan snapshot and other updates!
Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D
Superintendent of Schools
STRATEGIC PLAN: FOCUS GROUPS & INTERVIEW DATA
Last week, we started to break down data used to inform the writing of our Strategic Plan by sharing a bit about the community survey. This week, we'll zero in on the Focus Groups and interviews that included more than 200 people. By sharing insight into the information our Strategic Planning Council used to craft the plan, you'll better understand the bigger picture behind what's written.
Focus Groups and interviews were essential in advising our plan because of the perceptions they conveyed. When joined with the survey data, these perceptions helped create a comprehensive view of what others perceive to be the “State of our District.” In today's bulletin, we're sharing themes that emerged as strengths from these conversations. As researchers often find in this work, you'll see that an organization’s strengths are very similar to their areas for growth. We're no different.
- Teachers and Staff: Every focus group agreed, our teachers and staff are extraordinary. Respondents frequently celebrated the quality, dedication, professionalism, support, knowledge, preparation and passion of our people. As the researchers wrote, “All West Irondequoit employees, no matter the job, strive to meet the needs of all students and believe that all students can learn and achieve.”
- School Community: Overwhelmingly, people highlighted the sense of community and pride in our schools. People stated that although our district is large, it still has that small-town feel. Schools are friendly, welcoming and accepting, where parents and students feel welcome and included.
- Leadership: Participants commended leaders for being visible, accessible, supportive and good communicators. Staff also referenced the willingness to accept input and praised the leaders for having an “open-door policy.”
- Academic Achievement, Instruction and High Expectations: All participants recognized the high-quality instruction and believed that all students could learn and achieve at high levels. People feel graduates are genuinely college-and-career ready and that our focus on early literacy and the whole child are significant contributors.
- Communication: People appreciate the multiple modes of communication and their transparent, informative and consistent manner. People reported feeling more, “In the Know.”
- Community: Participants reported feeling supported by our community. People praised the partnership between families and school, the pride and community values and beliefs within schools.
- Fiscal Responsibility: Participants conveyed trust in the budgeting process and that materials, supplies and resources to meet the needs of students would be provided.
Each week we'll break down a new critical aspect in creating our plan. Next: Areas for growth.