One of the many great life lessons that I learned as a soccer player and varsity level coach is that the most sophisticated levels of play require a rock solid foundation in fundamentals. A team simply cannot bypass the hard work of mastering fundamentals and skip right to multi-faceted schemes designed to confuse opponents. In fact, many of the most successful teams achieve greatness by keeping their play simple and outshining their opponents with mastery of the basics. The same is true for teaching and learning in our schools and classrooms.
The 2020 Vision developed for Pequot Lakes Schools with input from our business community, parents, staff and many others calls for us to provide a rigorous, relevant and personalized learning experience for each student. Creating learning experiences that are personalized and relevant to careers not yet invented requires students to access and interact with online learning environments and to develop the digital citizenship competencies required for future employment.
Just over a year ago, the Pequot Lakes School Board adopted a strategic roadmap establishing our 2020 Vision after multiple forums to engage community members, parents and district staff. The process reaffirmed the incredible amount of pride felt for our schools and resulted in a bold vision statement that sets very high expectations. Pequot Lakes Schools is recognized as a world-class learning organization that: • Provides a rigorous, relevant and personalized learning experience for each student. • Inspires learning, excellence, creativity and innovation. • Cultivates a diverse worldvie
A recent exit interview with Pequot Lakes Teaching & Learning Coordinator Tracy Tschida tossed me a challenge about how we ignite passion in the hearts and minds of our school district's most important resource - our teachers. Tracy has served as our teaching & learning coordinator this year and she is returning to her high school social studies classroom in the fall with a renewed sense of excitement.
Another Minnesota legislative session is now under way, and the process is rolling toward the compromises and deals that are struck in May in hopes of making our great state of Minnesota even better. No doubt the media will give us a constant stream of glorified sound bites over the next three months in hopes of increasing followership and selling advertisements. I encourage all community members to stay engaged with local legislators and to respectfully weigh in on issues as they are put on the table for discussion and action. Always at the forefront in St.
It's time again to revisit how school closing decisions are made and communicated related to Minnesota winter weather. When weather is questionable, I will be in contact with our transportation director, public safety and transportation officials, and area superintendents. Our transportation director or I may choose to drive some of the most difficult roads to confirm conditions on the ground. Our goal is to make a decision by 5:30 a.m. or no later than 6 a.m., as we have employees rolling into work by that time.
Education is a quality-of-life investment. Most of us parents embrace this concept as we nudge our children toward college or some kind of post-secondary training, hoping they will find their spark and a successful career. Some parents take this understanding further and work hard to provide their children with purposeful trips and educational experiences during their school years.
“Whoever tells the stories defines the culture.” I first heard this quote when listening to Dr. David Walsh ( www.drdavewalsh.com ) lecture about the impact of media on our children. He is a wonderful author and speaker on the topic of parenting, and I wish we could hand every new parent a copy of his books. On the day I heard Dave sharing this quote he was explaining how the culture of each civilization has been defined by the storytellers in the community. In generations past that largely included elders, teachers, pastors, parents and community or tribal leaders.
One of the most challenging topics to communicate about in public education is finance. The constant debates that are a necessary part of our democratic system of government create many misperceptions about the numbers. In addition, there are so many different revenue streams and variables to consider in each stream that it’s a complicated topic to understand in the first place! As a community we do need to understand it at a basic level, however, to engage in meaningful conversations about the future of our district and how to align our resources.
Over the past three months our community has offered a lot of meaningful input about the future of education here in the Pequot Lakes School District. We’ve heard from our parents, our local business leaders, our communities of faith, our teachers and staff, and our elected officials. Through an online survey, a public input listening session, and through many forums with community groups we have gathered a healthy amount of input that is now being analyzed and synthesized by our school board and district leaders.