We’ll continue to work like crazy to implement the Common Core Standards in Language Arts and Math. To best implement the standards in Mathematics you’ll see a drastic change in how our courses are taught. No longer will Worthington students’ progress through the traditional pathway of Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2. Now all three will be taught together over the course of three years in courses tentatively called CCSS Math 1, 2 and 3. This integrated pathway (the choice of most international countries such as Singapore) will allow Worthington students to learn their math in context and to better apply the skills they learn. (Learn more about the Integrated approach to Mathematics here.)
Furthermore we will implement new state standards in Science and Social Studies. As a result of this change old, confusing, high school science courses will go away, and what is now PESS and BESS will be replaced with stalwarts, Physical Science and Biology.
Continuing to build on the foundation of teaching and learning, we will advance in our use of Formative Instructional Practices in every classroom. All students should know what they are supposed to learn, and what they should be able to do (their “Learning Target”) and all teachers should be providing specific feedback to students on their progress towards what they need to learn and be able to do. When this happens it empowers students to take charge of their own learning and students grow. We’re doing these things now, but you’ll see more, better, and greater fidelity of practice in 2013.
In 2013 Slate Hill Elementary will finally move from being an International Baccalaureate Candidate School to an official International Baccalaureate World School. This has been a long journey for Slate Hill, but along the way they have made great progress and 2013 will bring pay-off!
In 2013 we will digitize 8 high school classes so that students can register for them for the 2013-2014 school year and take their Worthington High School course from either campus in a fully digital or blended format. These 8 courses will join our current digital art course and our blended physical education course F.A.S.T.. Our goal is to provide choice and delivery options for our Worthington students and eventually to offer most Worthington courses in at least two different delivery models to best meet the needs of all learners. Students today have many options for learning providers. We want Worthington families to choose Worthington courses. We believe we can provide the greatest rigor and an ongoing personal relationship that other providers can’t.
In 2013 we will see between 40-70 teacher retirements. These retirements are due to the experience level of our teaching staff as well as recent State Teacher Retirement System changes. Filling these positions with the best and brightest young talent will be a critical goal for our administration in the spring.
In the 2013-2014 school-year Worthington will begin to evaluate teachers using student data. For the 2012-2013 school-year Worthington used the State of Ohio, Ohio Teacher Evaluation System rubric to evaluate all teachers. In 2013 we will begin to tie student data as 50% of all teacher evaluations. This is mandatory under Ohio law and Worthington is in a strong position to comply.
For families the 2013-2014 school-year should bring two welcome changes. Parents should no longer need to complete multiple (pink) emergency medical cards and should only have to update their emergency information online when it changes. Likewise families will have the ability to pay school and athletic fees online through the Worthington Cloud. Finally we’ll be moving into the 21st century.
In 2013 families will also see a continued emphasis on improving the culture and climate in each school. In the spring of 2012 each school completed a culture and climate survey. Those results were turned into action plans and our schools are hoping to see significant environmental improvements for students and staff when surveys are completed again this spring.
With the passage of Issue 54 the school district will begin to make improvements to our facilities and to replace technology. In 2013 you should see rusty light poles replaced and other cosmetic improvements across the school district.
Finally in 2013 we expect to see a continual improvement in all academic areas. The 2012-2013 school report card showed Worthington with our highest ever performance index at 103.9. In 2013 we expect this to score to continue to climb. Officially it should be 104. something in 2013. Unofficially, I believe it could be 105. something. We have great teachers doing great work with great kids. The sky is the limit.
There will be challenges in 2013 that we do not yet know. We will see some administrative turnover in schools and in our central office. We will have some crisis situation and there will be a new state budget. There’s bound to come some trouble in this life….
As we embark on 2013 we will strive to make at least one year’s growth for all students and catch-up growth for those students who are behind. We will work to build positive relationships with every child and strive to make a life-ling positive difference in the lives of students, parents and community members. We’ll do lots of good things in 2013, most important we’ll strive to improve the life of every child and every adult who enters our school.
Happy 2013! It’s going to be a great year in Worthington!