School started in Worthington officially on Monday of this week. However, today is the first day that all kindergarten through 12th grade students will spend their entire day at school. In Worthington we embrace the concept of going slow so that we will be able to go fast. Put another way, this week we are striving to build a solid and secure foundation that will allow us to build upon it throughout the year reaching heights we cannot yet imagine.
On Monday only 7th and 8th graders at KMS, McCord, and Worthingway, had a full day of school. So did 9th graders. However 10th-12th grade students had a late start so that 9th graders could spend time orienting themselves to their new school, and building relationships with their new classmates, before the upper classmen come back and Phoenix held meetings with students and parents like our elementary schools do.
At the elementary level all K-6 grade students spent Monday getting to know their teacher, setting goals for the school year with the teacher and their guardian, and learning the routines they needed for their first real day of school on Tuesday. At the Kindergarten level this is taken one step farther and on Tuesday when 1st-6th grade students came for a full day, only half the kindergarten students attended. The other half attended on Wednesday and then finally the full class is together today. Having only half the kindergarten students on Tuesday and Wednesday allowed our youngest students to transition to the classroom, cafeteria, and playground, with more individual instruction.
In Worthington we recognize that a strong education is best achieved when students, teachers, and guardians partner together to support learning. Thus, we ask a significant amount of our parents and guardians during this first week of school. My wife and I both work full-time. This year all three of my daughter start on the same day, It’s the first year in the last six that this happened and we weren’t transitioning into kindergarten, dealing with preschool start dates, etc. Even in the best of situations managing three teacher meets on Monday was difficult. My parents had to chip in and babysit so we could both attend these meetings. Not everyone has this luxury. Most of our Worthington families are managing multiple start dates, times and meetings. It’s very difficult for families and not something that as a school district we take lightly.
However, every year when we evaluate our school start,one of the things that most people find as valuable is that partnership that is immediately created between the school and the family. When our students walk into school on day one they know where to go, they know their teacher and their peer,s and their parents / guardians have had an opportunity to share important information with the teacher. When school begins, learning can commence immediately and we are free from some of the pitfalls that a common start would encounter.
Worthington parents / guardians understand that they are important partners in the educational process. They have embraced our philosophy of #commit, #connect, #contribute. They show this understanding every single year by sacrificing their time and juggling their schedule and child care to allow our schools time to meet and plan with students and families. As a school district we understand that we are asking a lot. We think it’s worth it.
Today we move from going slow and we begin to go fast. Because of the sacrifice of Worthington families we have built a strong foundation for the 2013-2014 school year.