My 6 Expectations for ALL Staff

At our Worthington Schools convocation last week (8.18.2015) I was able to share my 6 expectations for all staff members in Worthington Schools.  They’re very simple, but I believe if we can get to the place where all 1,250 Worthington staff members are following these expectations there will be great positive power for our school district.  They’ll provide you a glimpse of where my heart is.

Be Kind to Kids  We work in the kid business.  As public school educators our job is first to love our kids.  We must always treat them with respect and do everything possible to help them grow.  It’s critical that we remember that they’re just kids.  Whether they are 7 years old, 12 years old, or 17 years old, they’re kids.  And as kids, they’ll act like kids.  Sometimes because we spend so much time with them we lose perspective and we see them as “10 feet tall and invincible.”  It happens to all educators from time to time.  In Worthington we will recognize this and take a step back.  As adults we will ask ourselves, “How can I make certain that all students are held to high expectations for learning and behavior but are always treated with kindness and respect?”

Be Present  Being physically present is important, but just as important is being mentally present.  Each moment throughout the day is an opportunity to engage with our students.  Did we say “hi” to them by name when they got on and off the school bus?  Did we talk in meaningful ways with students in the lunchroom, in the hallway, or on the playground?  It’s not enough to be physically present we must totally invest in our kids to make the positive difference we seek.

Serve the Customer  In 2015 students and families have many options for public education.  They can learn online, they can go to a local charter school, or to a local private school.  Students can take courses at our local universities and some of these courses are even offered on our campus.  Worthington Schools has a whole lot to offer, but I think where we can, and will, differentiate ourselves from the market is with a personal approach.  Before making a decision we must always ask,  “How will this decision make things better for our students?”  or “How will this make things easier for the parents of our students?”  Public schooling is a service profession and we must get better at providing positive and proactive customer service.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate  There are many great things going on in Worthington Schools, but if we fail to tell our story someone else will tell their version of our story.  It’s critical that we take the time to share the positive stories that happen each day in our schools.  In addition, communication has never been harder.  Our families and our students need clear and simple communication that makes going to school and managing a complicated world easier.  Finally, as a staff member in Worthington, what you say about your students, your school, or our school district has great weight in our community.  Communication is everyone’s job.

Believe in Growth  Every child in Worthington Schools should know they have a trusted adult, or many trusted adults in our schools, who believe in their ability to learn and who are vested in their success.  In Worthington we will set high expectations for student success and will partner with our students to help them achieve those high expectations through hard work and positive relationships.

Be Kind to Kids  We are in the kid business.  Take care of our kids.  As a parent I’m trusting the school district with the most important people in my life.  I’m sending the best I have.  Love them.  Believe in them.  Hold them to high expectations and help them reach those high expectations.  Do it all with kindness and love.  

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My Convocation Speech “It’s Worth It!”

IMG_7907This morning I have the opportunity to speak to all 1,250 employees of Worthington Schools.  Who would have ever thought that a kid like me would have the privilege and honor to speak to the educators in Worthington? Those were long odds.  It’s my first address as Superintendent of Schools and while I hope I’ll have this opportunity every year for the next 20 years, I approached this year as if I may only get one opportunity and decided to share what matters most to me in public education:  That every child knows they have a trusted adult, or many trusted adults in our schools, who believe in their ability to learn and who are vested in their success.  That we will set high expectations for student success and will partner with our students to help them achieve those high expectations through hard work and positive relationships.  Here’s what I plan to share this morning:  (Caution: this is long.  I plan to speak for 18 minutes.  I hope it’s worth your time.)

“It was the fall of 1982.  I remember the day was one of those perfect, yet rare fall days.  I was standing on the playground of Worthington Hills Elementary near where they had painted white lines for a time-out box.  I wasn’t in the time-out box, but I was near the time-out box.  Josh Ness, one of my fourth grade classmates from Worthington Hills came up to me on the playground.  He told me that he was smart and I wasn’t.  He knew he was smart because he was in EPP and I wasn’t.  Now, I had no question that Josh was right, but I also had no idea what he was talking about.  What in the heck was EPP?  Was that even a word in English?  (For those of you who don’t know, EPP is the acronym we have used in Worthington for many years for our elementary gifted and talented program.)  So, I had no idea what Josh was even talking about, but I also assessed that he was correct.  Josh was very smart and I was not.

See by the fourth grade, my first year in Worthington Schools, I had developed a fixed mindset about my abilities in school.  I believed that there were many smart kids in my classes, kids like Josh Ness and then there were a few kids like me who weren’t very smart.  Most people seemed to accept this thought process and they may say “school is just not Trent’s thing.”  It never occurred to me that it was possible that through hard work and extra practice I could improve my cognitive ability, so…I didn’t. Instead I invested in the things that were my thing.  I was a gym class champion.  I could catch a football and throw a lacrosse ball.  Classroom work, well that was for the smart kids.

With that mindset I muddled through fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade before I became a freshman at Worthington High School.  At that time all freshmen attended the Kilbourne Building (now Kilbourne Middle School) and only 10th – 12th graders attended this building.  In 9th grade I was signed up for more challenging course work than I had been earlier in my academic career.  Well, that was going to be an issue.  I wasn’t smart.  If I couldn’t do the coursework, why even invest the effort.  Thus, I invested my efforts elsewhere.  I learned how to sneak out at lunch to walk to the Home Market, buy a sandwich and eat on the roof of the store.  Once I led my classmates in a shared experience.  Unfortunately not a positive shared experience.  When our Spanish teacher Mr. Benacazar turned his back we all threw our super balls at the wall.  They bounced for a long time and Mr. Benacazar turned many shades of red.  And, with that effort, or lack of effort, I finished my freshman year with a one point something grade point average and still no belief that I could actually learn.

In coming to main campus in 10th grade my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to take Etymology class.  Etymology was an English elective that she was certain would help me do better on the SAT and ACT.  (I took each test three times by the way.)  Much like EPP, I had no idea what Etymology was but when I arrived for my first class there was an empty seat next to Nicole Van Steyn.  All of the sudden Etymology was my favorite class.  (Now, just to be clear, I was not confident enough to actually talk to Nicole Van Steyn, and had she spoken to me I may have passed out and needed medical attention.  But, as long as that seating arrangement held I would be on time and ready to learn in Etymology.)IMG_7910

And, that’s when my life began to change.  Nicole Van Steyn had nothing to do with that, sadly, but instead I met my Etymology teacher, Jan Fish.  Mrs. Fish was new to Worthington High School and she treated me differently than any other teacher I can remember.  She expected me to learn in her class.  She offered to help me learn, she reviewed with me what I needed to learn, but she expected that I could and would learn.  Not only that, but she took an interest in me as a person.  She would meet me and others at Dalts and talk Etymology and life.  She would attend my athletic contests and would discuss them with me in class.  (Sometimes even in front of Nicole Van Steyn.)  I knew she cared.  In Etymology I succeeded.  I think I earned a B-.  For me that was a huge success.  And, it led to more.  As the semester ended Mrs. Fish pulled me aside and asked me to sign up for her advanced composition course.  Really, me?  Advanced Composition?  But she believed in me, so I found myself the next year in the basement of this school sitting at an Apple 2E learning that writing is rewriting.  More importantly I began to believe that I could really write.  And that belief, that was fostered by Mrs. Fish, carried over into many of my other classes.  I still graduated from Worthington High School in the bottom half of my class with a 2.6 grade point average, but because of Mrs. Fish’s high expectations and relationship building I was beginning to believe I could do class work.

From Worthington High School I went off to college at Taylor University.  (Famous alumni of Taylor include Worthington Kilbourne’s Jon Sprunger.)  My goal at Taylor was to not flunk out.  Seriously, that was my goal.  Just don’t flunk out.  I was not confident I could handle college level work and I just didn’t want to flunk out.

At Taylor I played football and likely that’s how I got into school.  My freshman year I began the season third string on the depth chart and as fate would have it both of the guys in front of me tore their ACL’s and thus midway through our first game I found myself as the starter.  I started all year long and my position coach was Dr. Joe Romine.  Dr. Romine was also the college athletic director and he was a gruff, no nonsense guy.  For the first four months I knew him I did everything possible to avoid him.  He would bark at me BOWERS, and he was tough.  In our final game my freshman season we were playing our archrival Anderson University.  I dropped an easy touchdown catch on third down (I turned to run before looking the ball into my hands) and coming off the field Coach Romine met me with a face so red I can’t believe he didn’t have a stroke.  That was 24 years ago and I can picture that face like it was yesterday.  IMG_7918

As our season ended each player had to meet with the head coach and their position coach for a season evaluation.  As a freshman boy I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I had started all 10 games that season and I hadn’t yet flunked out.  I went into the evaluation expecting to hear really good things.  Coach Romine didn’t even show-up and the head coach looked at Coach Romine’s written comments and read them to me:  “Bowers has very little athletic ability, but takes coaching well.”  The head coach looked up at me and I kid you not, all he said was, “keep it up.”  That was it, end of my big end of season evaluation.  I guess I wasn’t as important as I thought I was.

The first semester ended in December and in those days there were no computer based grades (there of course was no internet or email either…) so first semester grades would be mailed to my home over break.  When my grades came my parents opened the perforated paper with care.  They looked at the grades and then they danced around the family room like they had won the lottery.  I had a 2.8 grade point average my first semester in college.  It was the highest I had ever had.  I was not going to flunk out.  My parents were more surprised than even I was.  Boom, a 2.8!  (On a side note it’s all perspective.  My wife had a 3.4 GPA her first semester and cried because she had never received below an “A” in her life.)

At Taylor January is it’s own term.  So as the January term began I was heading to the Taylor weight room to get a workout in.  I was wearing my all purple workout suit and my black Nike high tops when I spotted Dr. Romine working the ticket booth at the basketball game.  Immediately I tried to avoid him.  I thought, don’t make eye contact, walk fast, don’t look up.  That’s when I heard his booming voice “BOWERS.”  Stink, he saw me.  I went over to Dr. Romine, “Yes, Coach.”  He said, “what were your grades first semester?”  I smiled, stood up straight and very proudly said, “Coach I had a 2.8 GPA.”  He just looked at me… then he grabbed the back of a basketball game program and asked, “what are you taking this semester?”  I told him about my class schedule, he did some math on the program and then said some simple words that changed my life forever.  He said “Get an A this term and your GPA will be a 3.0.  Don’t ever let it get below a 3.0.”  A 3.0 GPA, really? Me?

While earning a 3.0 GPA would be nothing to many college students, I had never even considered this possible.  There were smart kids like Josh Ness and there were kids like me.  My mindset was totally fixed.  And while Mrs. Fish began to change how I thought about learning and about my abilities it really never occurred to me until Dr. Romine said those simple words to me that I could do better.  Not only that, Dr. Romine expected that I would do better and like Mrs. Fish he invested in my life on a personal level and over the next four years he showed me he cared about me, he cared about my family, and he cared about my future.  The truth is I didn’t go on to earn my doctorate in education because I someday wanted to be the Superintendent of Worthington Schools, (although that is a pretty cool thing…) I earned my doctorate in Education because my senior year in college I promised myself I would because I wanted to be just like Dr. Romine.

Stanford University Professor Carol Dweck wrote the book “Mindset, the New Psychology of Success.”  In her book Dr. Dweck explains that there are fixed mindsets and that there are growth mindsets.  Those with fixed mindsets see intelligence as static.  From an early age I operated with a fixed mindset about myself.  Sadly most well intentioned adults cultivated this fixed mindset, and likely, they even bought into it.  At Worthington High School whether it was a conscious decision or not Mrs. Fish believed differently.  Mrs. Fish operated from a Growth Mindset.  A Growth Mindset believes that intelligence can be developed.  And over time I began to believe that I could learn, grow and achieve.  It took Dr. Romine’s tough love approach and seeing success for a number of years before I began to think differently about my own abilities.  Over time I began to believe that with the right amount of effort and support I could learn.

I share my story with you today because it’s the story I know best, but also because I believe many of you can relate to my story.  Likewise I believe we have literally thousands of students in Worthington Schools who don’t believe they can learn at the level that is necessary.

Jan Fish and Joe Romine changed how I thought about myself and in so doing they literally changed the trajectory of my life.  They’re very different people with different styles but they both had several important things in common.  First, they had high expectations for me.  They didn’t lower their expectations, instead they were very clear about what was expected but also clear that they would help me get to what was expected.  I would have to work hard, but they would support me and they would not rest until I was successful.  Secondly, they invested in me as a person.  They took the time to learn about me and about my family.  They gave of themselves and spent time talking with me.  In Mrs. Fish’s case at Dalts, or in Dr. Romine’s case in the athletic office at Taylor.  I knew they cared about me academically, but more importantly I knew they cared about me as a person.

It’s a simple combination really, one that can be repeated over and over again.  Set high expectations for success, commit to helping every child get there, and take the time to make sure students know you believe in them and you care about them.  I believe if all 1,250 of us commit to doing just that then there will be great power.

In 2015 there are many different ways students can choose to learn.  They have options.  They can learn online, they can go to a local charter school, or to a local private school.  Students can take courses at our local universities and some of these courses are even offered on our campus.  Worthington Schools has a whole lot to offer, but I think where we can, and will, differentiate ourselves from the market is with a personal approach.  We will be 1,250 adults who spend time building positive relationships with our students and our families.  Every child who attends Worthington Schools should know that they have a trusted adult, or many trusted adults, who believe in their ability to learn and who are vested in their success.  Families will continue to choose Worthington as their educational provider because they will know that every adult who comes in contact with their child knows them personally and really cares about them.

It does not matter if you are a bus driver, a teacher, the custodian, a food service professional, or a member of the office staff.  Our number one job is to engage with our students and to help them believe in themselves.  Some students come to us with this belief firmly established.  We need to foster that belief, nurture it and expand upon it.  Some students are like I was.  Those students need to know that someone believes they can and will be successful.  Sometimes it takes a trusted adult believing in you before you can believe in yourself.  Sometimes it may take many trusted adults before a child can begin to believe that growth is possible.  Whatever it takes, that’s Worthington Schools!  Every one of us plays a major role in this goal.  It won’t be easy.  Kids don’t always play nice in the sandbox.  Sometimes they throw super balls at the wall.  Sometimes they sneak off campus and eat lunch on the roof of the Home Market.  Love them anyway!  Believe in them anyway!  Hold them to high standards, but help them achieve those high standards!

When it’s all said and done our goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of our kids and their families.  It won’t always be easy, actually it will almost never be easy, but it will be worth it.  It’s the reason we’re here!

Learning to have a Growth Mindset for yourself and for all of our students is important.  I still have to make that choice for myself everyday.  We have 9,700 or so students in Worthington Schools.  My dream for this year and for every year is that each of those students knows that the adults in their school believe they can be successful and will do everything possible to help them be successful.  That’s our number one goal for this school year and together we will make it happen.  It will be Worth It!”

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243 Days

images 2It’s been 243 days since the Worthington Board of Education announced that I would be the next Superintendent of Worthington Schools (btw that’s a whole year on Venus!)  Today is the day! Please don’t contact me today.  I’ll be very busy today changing my email signature, my twitter description, etc… to say “Superintendent.”  (21st Century tasks…. and J/K I’m available and working.  Please contact me…)

Many people have asked about the transition phase.  It’s unlikely that many CEO transitions last as long as this one did, although certainly there are some examples that are longer.  With the luxury of being able to look back with clarity, the 243 days was really, really beneficial for me personally and hopefully for all of Worthington Schools.

First off, I appreciate Dr. Thomas Tucker in this transition.  He acted with class and provided me the space necessary to move forward.  Inevitably from time to time I stepped on his toes and overstepped my bounds. He usually handled it well.  Secondly, this time allowed me to spend significant time building relationships across the school district.  I was able to meet with many constituent groups as well as hold community meetings about our school district.  This engagement provides both myself and our Board of Education clear direction moving forward and a better understanding regarding the priorities of our community.  Third, I had an opportunity to handle the “snow day call.”  Sometimes our community would say I did it right.  Sometimes our community might say I failed miserably.  Likely they’ll feel the same way next year as they did this year but I head into inclement weather with some experience.  Finally, the 243 day transition allowed me to get to know the other Central Ohio Superintendents and create a support system that will benefit Worthington as we partner with others to create shared solutions that make Central Ohio the education leader of Ohio.

Today I move one office over at the Worthington Education Center.  I’ll change my office phone number.  I’ll change my email, twitter description and business cards.  But with 243 days behind me not much else will change.  I’ve been blessed to have had the time to learn the job with a safety net.  We’re 49 days from the start of the 2015-2016 school year for students in Worthington.  Over the next 49 days our team will discuss “what matters most” in Worthington.  We’ll work with all staff so that every Worthington student has a trusted adult who they know believes in them.  We’ll work tirelessly to make Worthington a great public school district.

It’s been a fun 243 days.  Onward!

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Coach Cave

11180600_10153322078023887_8579943781619228129_nSunday at the 136th commencement of Thomas Worthington High School, Social Studies teacher Tim Cave was selected by the Hall of Fame committee as one of new members of the Thomas Worthington Hall of Fame.  As Tim arrived on stage he shook the hand of Principal Jim Gaskill and Superintendent Thomas Tucker.  He then did something none of the other Hall of Fame recipients did (and I am in no way implying they should have…) he came over and made a point of shaking my hand.  Sometimes it’s the little things in life that mean a lot.  At that moment I wanted to put Tim Cave in a giant man hug.  But, if you know Tim well, you know had I done so he may have publicly executed me.  Thus, I settled for a firm hand-shake and a look in the eye.

Over the past seven years as an administrator in Worthington’s central administration office I have known Tim as an outstanding teacher of AP European History at Thomas Worthington High School.  I’ve known him as a man who believes teachers should be allowed to carry guns to confront violence and I’ve known him as the guy who shoots off fireworks from his front yard when the Thomas Worthington Football team scores touchdowns.  (Don’t tell the Worthington Police and yes, we need to score more touchdowns!)

While my connection with Tim in an official capacity has been very positive, my connection with Tim actually goes back 28 years to when I met Tim Cave as a scared 14 year old freshman coming out to play Worthington Lacrosse.  Tim was the assistant coach and was my position coach.  He was in ridiculous physical condition and he would send us on long runs from the high school around Antrim Lake and back up the hill to the field house.  Not only would he make us run but to ensure we actually ran the whole way he would run with us and every so often stop and do push-ups so slow guys like me could catch-up.

For four years I learned a lot from Tim Cave.  Two things stand out and they are two things that I’ll never forget. First, Tim taught me “you’ve got to shoot to get hot, you’ve got to shoot to stay hot!”  He’d say it over and over.  The phrase has been important in my life.  When I was nervous to ask the woman who is now my wife out on a date that phrase was in my head.  You’ve got to take a shot.  When I applied to become the Superintendent of Worthington Schools four years ago and everyone thought I was crazy, Tim’s voice was in my head.  At many points throughout life when I’ve had doubt I’ve heard Tim’s voice.  You’ve got to take a shot!

Second, Tim, along with our head coach CG (no first or last name needed, just CG), taught me one simple phrase.  “Finish.”  I’ll never forget running up the hill from the flats to the TWHS field house, dog tired, wanting to quit with every fiber of my being.  Here comes Tim Cave and he’s running back down the hill after already finishing to run next to me, all the way saying “Finish.  Don’t you dare quit.  Don’t walk.  Finish.”  Later in life when I went through a marathon running phase, over those last six miles of the marathon I would hear Tim’s voice or picture CG sitting on the back of his black Ford Bronco, yelling FINISH!  When I was struggling to complete my doctoral dissertation and wondering if it would be worth it, Tim’s voice came back to me.  There was no way I could quit.  What if Coach Cave found out?

Tim is Worthington to the core.  He actually attended preschool at St. John’s on the Village Green.  He was a long-time Colonial Hills resident and now he and I both live in Kilbourne Village.  Tim didn’t get inducted into the Thomas Worthington Hall of Fame for his work with me.  He was inducted because he’s a great teacher and a credit to his profession.  But for me personally he’s in my hall of fame.  He made a difference in my life and I hope to teach my own children, and someday my grandchildren, what Tim taught me.

Congratulations Coach Cave!  Well deserved!  #Go Cards!

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The Amazing Drew George and my quest to beat Greg Garris

10250048_799776196773003_5819524181675856559_nMost mornings I attempt to go for a run before work.  I need the exercise and it’s a good way to clear my head.  Like many mornings I passed Wilson Hill teacher, Todd Smith (more accurately Todd passed me as he’s a machine and I’m an old, balding, semi-fat man attempting to run….but I digress…).  As I ran along my normal route I attempted to run a little faster than I normally would.  (Faster is a relative word.)  This attempt was mostly due to the fact that in a few short days I need to beat Thomas Worthington Mathematics teacher, Greg Garris, in the Fusion for the Fight 5K.

Why do I need to beat Greg Garris, a man 15 years younger than I am you may ask?  Here’s the back-story. Last June I ran the #DrewStrong/GussStrong 4.23 mile race from Worthington Kilbourne High School to Thomas Worthington High School.  With only a few hundred yards left in the race I was able to catch-up to Greg.  Unfortunately, as I began taunting him and challenging him to a sprint to the finish he remembered than he had young legs and I had old legs and he easily out sprinted me.  This Fusion 5K is my unlikely opportunity for redemption.

But, that’s all lead up to the real story.  The real story is that I ran the #DrewStrong/GussStrong race to support Worthington Kilbourne student, Drew George, who was diagnosed with leukemia on Nov. 7, 2013.  Later last school year George underwent a bone marrow transplant April 9, 2014, with his sister, Tori, being the 10 out of 10 perfect donor.11072723_792756390808317_790912669257019934_n

Fast forward one year and Drew George is back and better than ever.  He’s playing baseball for Worthington Kilbourne and just last week a healthy Drew George pitched a complete game shut-out for the Wolves.  Coach Dan Swallie tweeted out “Wolves win 2-0!  Drew George with the complete game shut-out.  Is there anything he can’t do?”  I literally shed tears when I saw Dan’s tweet.  Not only is Drew back playing the game he loves but he’s also been on the Worthington Kilbourne honor roll for his academic success.

I don’t know Drew personally but as a grown man approaching middle age I can easily say I look up to this young man.  He’s persevered through circumstances that most of us would rather not even imagine.  It’s an amazing story.  Today I wear my Wolves baseball hat in honor of Drew George.  (I look ridiculous in these flat bill hats that are in style today.  I’m hoping 1989 circles back around soon.)  Next week I’ll run attempting to beat Greg Garris but more importantly running for a good cause:  beating cancer!FullSizeRender (9)

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My 6th Grader’s View of PARCC Testing

PARCC imagesTomorrow the PARCC assessment window will open all across Ohio.  In Worthington we have been preparing for these Next Generation Assessments for some time.  (Check out this website for important information regarding the assessments.)  In preparation for these assessments I thought it would be interesting to see what a student thinks about the assessments. Since two of those students live in my house I decided to ask my sixth grade daughter to write down her thoughts on the tests.  Those were my only instructions.  Thus, here is one student’s view of sixth grade assessments (disclaimer, this is just one student’s view,  certainly there are many other perspectives.)

It was a regular day in Mrs. Snyder’s 6th grade math class. We were listening to her talk and make some announcements about a schedule change. Next she points out that we are having 11 days of PARCC testing. What? This is crazy. 11 days, seriously? What if I’m too slow of a typist? What if the questions are too hard? How will I study? These questions were going through my classmates’ and my minds. Everything about this seems horrible. Am I right? It is a big change for every child in the district that will be taking the PARCC assessments this Spring.

Even though I was worried when Mrs. Snyder started talking about the PARCC assessments, I still was happy! I mean, the idea of our community, our state, taking the big jump from the idea of a paper and pencil test to a computer test is a big thought! Another thing would be that I have taken a practice PARCC assessment and the new tools that are available on the computer will make it easier for me to approach the test. On the math test, we have multiple calculators, a protractor, etc.. On the English/Language Arts test, we are able to highlight and use a line reader.

Mrs. Snyder showed us the calendar. As a 6th grader, there will be 3 tests that I will have to take. It will be in many segments, each one will be for a day. We will prepare by trying out questions on the PARCC website and we will do practice tests in class. It will be a great way to prepare for a test. No matter how BIG of a test it is. My teachers will work hard to treat it like any other OAA and that is what it will be.  

When we go into that classroom we will have no choice but to take a test. In my mind, it doesn’t matter if it is the PARCC or the OAA. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that no matter what, we are going to take a test. When I log onto the computer it is just like sharpening a box of #2 pencils. When I sit down to take a test, I’m taking a test. I will be nervous either way. No matter who is looking at it, an adult or a 6th grader, it is a test. And it’s not like we have a choice if we want to test.”

Here is the assessment schedule that my daughter’s sixth grade class will follow:

 

Grade and Administration Dates Assessment

PBA-Performance Base Assessment

EOY-End of the Year Assessment

Grade 6
February 23 Literary Analysis PBA

8:30-10:00 a.m.

February 25 Research Task PBA

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

February 27 Narrative Writing PBA

10:00-11:30 a.m.

March 3

Grade 6 and Math 7 continued

Social Studies PBA

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

March 10 Math Unit 1 PBA

8:30-10:00 a.m.

March 12 Math Unit 2 PBA

8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.

May 4 ELA Unit 1 EOY

8:30-10:00 a.m.

May 5 ELA Unit 2 EOY

8:30-10:00 a.m.

May 6 Math Unit 1 EOY

8:30-10:00 a.m.

May 8 Math Unit 2 EOY

8:30-10:00 a.m.

May 12 Social Studies

10:00-11:30 a.m.

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The Bobby “Stinkin” Basom Story

IMG_6240Since October when the Worthington Board of Education named me the next Superintendent of Worthington Schools I have been able to speak to many different groups in the Worthington Community.  It’s a real pleasure to have the opportunity to partner with our community in helping to make certain Worthington is a great place for all kids.

This week one of the groups I was privileged to speak with was the Worthington Youth Boosters (WYB) Board.  Worthington Youth Boosters is the volunteer organization that runs youth sports across the Worthington School district.  They sponsor 12 different sports and support athletes ages 4 – 14.  This group touches thousands of our Worthington students and their families each year.

When I went to the WYB meeting I brought with me my fifth grade football jersey from when I played “Big White” football under the old Cardinal Boosters umbrella.  (WYB was Cardinal Boosters until Worthington Kilbourne High School opened in 1992 when the organization shifted to the WYB name.)  When moving my parents from their previous home last summer we discovered this jersey in the basement.  It was significant to me not because it was an old jersey but because of the story about how I became #15 on the “Big White” football team.  I call this the Bobby “Stinkin” Basom story.  (I’m certain there are many Bobby Basom stories, but most should never be told on a school related blog….)

If you’re a football fan try to name the famous football player who wore #15.  If that task was impossible name any football player that wore #15.  Likely you’re 0-2.  No famous or even semi-famous football players wore #15.  It’s just not a good football number!

5th grade football was my first year playing football.  “Big White” was the local Cardinal Boosters travel team and I was going to play running back on that team.  Before the first game the coach allowed each of us to choose our own number.  As a young boy this was a dream come true.  I had my number picked out.  It was an obvious choice for 1983.  I was going to be #33. This is the number that famous Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett wore every Sunday.

Not only were we going to be able to pick our number, but we were doing it in alphabetical order.  I had hit the jackpot!  My last name begins with a “B” and thus I had the third pick.  I was dreaming about how I would look streaking down the sideline in #33 when the unthinkable happened.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Bobby Basom, the person forever after referred to as Bobby “Stinkin” Basom chose number 33.  He was the player right before me in alphabetical order.  I was stunned.  I had no back-up choice.  It had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be #33.  And, with that I ended up with a number that no self respecting football player wears: #15.

32 years later I remember my experience in Cardinal Boosters.  Thus, when I spoke with the community members who volunteer countless hours to run our youth sports programs in WYB I did so with significant gratitude.  I’m thankful for my experiences years ago, I’m thankful for my daughters’ experiences today, and I’m thankful that as a school district we can partner with an organization that is good for kids in Worthington.  It takes hundreds and hundreds of volunteers to make WYB work each season.  Thanks to every one of you that goes above and beyond to make a long term positive difference in the life of a child!

Many of you know Bobby “Stinkin” Basom and his family.  They’re great, great people and invest heavily in Worthington….but, I’m still mad at Bobby!

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