Coming Home to Excellence

Excellence is in the details.  Give attention to the details and excellence will come. ~Perry Paxton

Week 23 in Review

I love coming home.  I especially love it when I have visited other schools and come home the dedicated, incredible, crazy (I say that totally in terms of fun) people I work with every day at Benton.  After attending EduCon 2.4 and visiting the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, PA, it hit home how much we have really focused on becoming the school we envisioned five years ago.  Without question, SLA is an amazing school, and the work they are doing there allows students to really grow and learn.  In an era when what is expected from educators and educational institutions has changed dramatically in as little as a decade, Benton has also taken great strides to keep up with the changes and in many facets of our thinking, we might just be leading the way.

I truly believe reaching the point where we operate today has come some deep reflections in our own practice, being and staying prepared to meet the challenges of the next days, months and years, and then most of all pulling together in the same direction to offer the most productive environment and opportunity for learning that we cohesively are capable of offering.  It has not been an easy journey.  We have come from the days where we were focused on reducing tardies (Do any of you remember that?  We had over 32,000 tardies that year that with a focused plan we reduced to just under 7,000), to looking at a plan next year where we are focused on implementing data teams throughout every course we teach so that our transparency of practice – from selecting power standards, to very detailed data analysis, ending with specific differentiation our classrooms – allows our students to be more capable of achieving their goals than ever before with all of us accountable to our students and each other.  It’s a lofty goal.  It’s a goal that takes a dedicated, incredibly, and somewhat crazy staff to achieve.   Yes, I’m talking about you.

Week 24 – A Look Ahead

When I look at my calendar for this upcoming week, I want to strap on safety harness for the carnival ride we are about to enjoy.  Get ready for a crazy ride!  Don’t say you were not warned:

This week is not only Homecoming Week, but it’s also National Counseling Week.  Celebrate with our candidates and our counseling staff.  Please take time to say something special to each of them.  You never know how much it means to have support from a co-worker and teacher.  Make a difference in another’s life this week.

Monday we have a Pep Assembly (pep assembly schedule) for Mr. BHS (2:10; 2:00 dismissal for participants; list will be sent by sponsors).  I can’t wait to see the line of candidates.  Make sure you cheer loudly for our teacher nominee! And please announce to your students that there will be free game entry both Monday and Tuesday for any students wearing the NEW Cardinal Crazies shirts (for sale in the school store).  For students who have purchased an activities pass, they will get a ticket from the gate worker for a free hotdog/popcorn at the game.  On Tuesday, Benton will participate in the National Earthquake Drill that will take place at 10:15 a.m.  Please make sure you review your emergency flip chart.  We will also be on assembly schedule with the Pep Assembly for Staff v. Students Bball game (2:10; 2:00 dismissal for participants; list will be sent by sponsors). Thanks to everyone who will be participating on these special days.  Our kids really love it when we join them and play.  On Wednesday, we have JEPD all day to prepare for registration (schedule will be sent Tuesday) as well as the first SIP planning meeting for 2012-2013 plan at 3:00 Room 108.  On Thursday we have the ACT Academy final session before test as well as the PTA Founders Day Dinner that night to celebrate our PTA members (you don’t have to attend, but feel free to thank our PTA parents for their service if you happen to see them out and about).  On Friday we will be on Pep Assembly schedule once again for Homecoming Court with an earlier  class release  for the event. (1:40 dismissal – 1:30 for participants – list will be sent by sponsors).  I understand we are going to have a great staff dance team performing during the assembly.  Between finding out who is on Homecoming Court and watching the staff dancers, I can’t wait until Friday!  Also Friday night is our big game and Homecoming King/Queen crowning and court presentation.  I would hope this would be a BIG STAFF ATTENDANCE night. We will definitely have reserved seating that night for our staff.  Finally on Saturday Benton will host the February ACT testing and then later that night we will have our Homecoming Dance (7-930 – sophomore class sponsors are assigned supervision and should arrive 15 minutes early).

Like I said, it’s going to be a great week.  Join in and enjoy the ride.  You will not regret nor forget making memories.  The kids won’t let you!

~Excellence is a journey, not a destination ~

All images are CC available in Flickr:  “Red door” by Steve-h; “Heart” by seyed mostafa zamani; “Stairs” by swisscan; “Marinos Ices Mixture” by Stephen Zacharias. 

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