Simplicity

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We’re away on vacation this week. We’re at Holden Beach, NC renting a simple cottage right on the ocean. Our goal this week is only to spend time on the beach, spend time with one another, and enjoy the majesty of the ocean. Our accommodations are perfect. That is, they’re perfectly simple and exactly what we’re looking for right now. This evening I used a charcoal grill for the first time since I had a little portable charcoal grill in college (18 years ago…). There is a deck to the beach and windows that allow you to see the ocean from 3 of the 5 rooms. Not much else. We have no HD flat screen TV, no DVR, there is no Starbucks in Holden Beach, and there are no fast food restaurants. (In full disclosure we did bring our own stash of Starbucks and our simplicity only goes so far, we have a lap-top, two IPads, two IPhones and three IPods and wifi.  (That’s kicking it old school Bowers’ style…)

This week I will rarely wear shoes, I will not wear a collared shirt and I will only shave if Doreen makes me. This is our version of simplicity.

Simplicity and clarity are on my mind a lot this summer. Worthington Schools needs to simplify our systems and our communication. We need to create clarity around our core mission. How do we help a very complex organization achieve clarity of purpose? How do we simplify our systems to better serve our students, our parents, and the community? We’re attempting to do this right now with our move to Infinite Campus and our re-branded “W-cloud” which will allow staff, parents and students access to information, documents, etc… 24 hours a day.

Worthington has incredibly strong school communities. We’re working to foster those communities while also simplifying the navigation of our school district for our customers. We are a long, long way from getting where we want to be.

In today’s world achieving simplicity is not an easy task. Our school district has not yet figured out how to get there. For a short time my family is making some progress.

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3 Responses to Simplicity

  1. Pablo Sanchez says:

    I truly hope you take to heart the thoughts of Clarity and Simplicity! Worthington Schools is a mess when it comes to consistent communication and direction.
    I sure hope the new website and student system with give me a better understanding of what goes on with instruction and administration. When I go to the new website, little information is provided or correct. Who is in charge of the new website? I called your “technology department” and they were anything but friendly. They pointed me to your Information Director and she was a master at not providing information.

    I don’t understand the purpose of your Blog by mixing personal and professional perspectives. Is it to confuse the public even more? Since you refer to the Worthington Schools in this blog are you speaking for Worthington Schools? Is your opinion a reflection of Worthington Schools policy?

    Maybe this is a place I can get answers.

    Does anyone know what goes on at Worthington Schools? Why are there so many levy options? Why don’t you have an Alliance of Hispanic Parents? I asked several “administrators” the only person that returned my call offered little help on how I can start an organization.

    It has been interesting to read and see your family. You have said nothing more to me than to say Hi and that seemed like a struggle. Hopefully you are writing these postings.

    Enjoy your vacation and reflection.

    I look forward to more information about you and Worthington Schools.

    • tbowers3 says:

      Mr. Sanchez,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Your comment makes me pause and think about the nature of this communication. I am personally authoring this blog and it is in association with my position as the Assistant Superintendent of Worthington Schools. I’m not certain you can call it a reflection of our official policy but I’m speaking about our schools from the perspective I sit in as employee, community member, and parent. At times as I read over my posts they have tended to the personal and family. That’s not intentional but it is a reality of how my job, and family intertwine. It’s not inteded to confuse anyone and I can see how it may.

      I am sorry if we have met and I was not engaging. The truth is that I am much more comfortable writing than I am in speaking. I would be happy to meet in person and discuss your ideas around beginning an Alliance of Hispanic Parents. Please feel free to email me at tbowers@worthington.k12.oh.us or to call my office at 614-450-6040.

      Hopefully our Board of Education will come to consensus this evening around a levy amount. I believe that they will.

      I do believe we need to get to clarity and simplicity in Worthington Schools but I have also learned that this is easier said than accomplished. Hopefully we are taking steps in the right direction.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read and to comment.

      Trent

  2. Libby SAHM says:

    I enjoy reading this and how you mix both personal and professional reflections. It has helped me see the more human side to the person in your position. I imagine you constantly have to watch what you say, etc. and that is rough at times when you are a member of the community, a parent and an employee all at once, all the time.

    And yes, there are still issues to be worked out, but swift change isn’t always a good thing, nor is waiting forever, so it seems to me y’all are walking a tricky line. (although I do find the new website to be confusing and some links I click on are not there).

    I have met you several times and figured you were jut shy. (as an initially shy person myself, I have often been told I come off as rude and or standoffish).

    Your vacation sounds wonderful and about how we kick it old school, too…have yet to get the Professor to leave laptops and other connections to emails alone for the week.

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