Before moving into what will be a series of “Transparency Files” blog posts which will begin with my own evaluation, then move to reveal the results of this year’s Parent Survey, follow with a discussion on this year’s standardized testing, and conclude with a conversation about next year’s faculty and schedule, let me take a moment to provide an update and a request.
It is with mixed feelings of sadness and appreciation that I have to announce the following transitions with regard to our present faculty. Due to her husband’s pending orders with our United States military at the end of the calendar year, we will be saying good-bye to Mrs. Kristi O’Neill in Grade One. We thank her for the time spent in teaching in our Preschool and Day School and look forward to her subbing plentifully until they leave Jacksonville for parts as yet unknown. We will also be saying good-bye to our Mrs. Rogo in Grade Three after 10 wonderfully enthusiastic and passionate years. Marjie Rogozinski has been the picture of optimism and creativity over her decade teaching in our school and as she vehemently insists she is NOT retiring…merely transitioning! We look forward to seeing her smile grace our hallways and classrooms for years to come.
The search process to replace both irreplaceable teachers is underway. It will consist of multiple interviews with myself and multiple faculty, collaborative lesson planning, and observed model lessons – all to ensure that the newest members of our team are best fits for the school we have worked so hard to become. I look forward to announcing our decisions in short order. Any parent with questions or concerns is welcome to email or see me at their earliest convenience.
And now let is awkwardly dance away from discussion of others to discussion of self…
…we are in that “evaluation” time of year. I have the responsibility for performing the evaluation of staff and faculty each year. Fittingly, they have an opportunity to do the same of me. Our annual Faculty Survey presents current teachers and staff with the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback of my performance as head of school. It is sent unedited to the Head Support & Evaluation Committee as part of their data collection for my evaluation. Other data points for that evaluation include 360 evaluations from colleagues and my own self-evaluation.
[To see a discussion of my evaluation from last year, feel free and click here.] My self-evaluation is based on new goals I have created myself for this year. You will not find a complete laundry list of my day to day responsibilities. Here are the relevant components from my self-evaluation for the 2011-2012 academic year:
Jon’s Self-Evaluation “Students” (5/11/12):
A few of my goals overwhelmed the others in what was a year of many new initiatives (KoleinuJax, Singapore Math, etc.) and important projects (the “Task Force”, FCIS Re-Accreditation, the “50th”, etc.). Our Faculty did make revisions to the standards and benchmarks that were created in 2010-2011 in time for their inclusion in admissions packets for 2011-2012. This will become an annual process of ongoing curriculum revision for faculty.
We had a positive transition into Singapore Math, although additional training should have been provided throughout the course of the academic year. ITBS scores in this area are up and teacher attitudes about our Lower School Math program are much more optimistic. We will need to invest more time next year in transitioning new teachers to the curriculum and providing more training for returning teachers so we can continue to improve our delivery of this new curriculum.
We now have two year’s worth of data from our Annual Parent & Faculty Surveys, which will be used to identify areas of growth throughout our school. We also did a first annual 9th Grade Alumni Survey. It did yield less than a 50% response…we will seek better next year. What did come back, however, was overwhelmingly positive!
A change in personnel brought a new “21st Century Librarian” to our team that has much enriched our “21st Century Learning” team!
Among our biggest successes, has been our work with KoleinuJax to provide services and resources to parents, students and teachers of special needs students in our school. The rate of assessment, observation and services delivered is way up. Our ability to meet the needs of diverse learners and special needs students is much-improved and looks to be even stronger in the years to come.
Jon’s Self-Evaluation “Faculty” (5/11/12):
I have felt the most compromised in terms of my time management to work effectively on growth in this arena. I do think there has been improvement in areas tangible (the bulletin board in the Faculty Lounge) and intangible (I do think morale this year is high), but with my time stretched so thin, I have not been available to be present with my faculty, as I would have liked to have. The relationships that needed building did not get the time they needed for that nurturance. Although some projects are complete, new responsibilities lie ahead – I will seek to do better despite the challenges.
We did a terrific job this year in providing deeper and more frequent professional development. In addition to our annual Tal AM training for Jewish Studies Teachers in Grades 1-5, we provided training for a MS Rabbinics Teacher, ongoing coaching and support from our 21st Century Learning Team, peer sharing through interactive faculty meetings and presentations, all culminating in the great success that was edJEWcon 5772.0
One area we did not get to that I would like to address next years is the creation of new assessment tools. We did create a new rubric for 21st century teaching that was piloted as part of formal observations. Next year, I look forward to shared leadership of supervision with both the 21st Century Learning Team and peer evaluation.
Jon’s Self-Evaluation “Parents” (5/11/12):
I did spend a significant amount of time this year working with the clergy on a variety of “Academy”-related another projects. The synagogue launched a “Camp Shabbat” program that I have helped flesh out and participated in. I have participated in a variety of other synagogue-based programs and worked hard to involve all our clergy in school-based programs.
We (Jaimee and I) began inviting different groups of parents representing all facets of congregational life for Shabbat and holiday observances at our home. It is always tricky because you don’t want to leave anyone out, so we are doing our best to be as inclusive as possible.
I will be sharing the unedited version of my self-evalation as well as the unedited version of their evaluation of me on our Faculty Ning. Hopefully it will spark further opportunities for conversation and growth.
Next week? The Annual Parent Survey!