Latest News‎ > ‎

Superintendent's Corner

posted Oct 13, 2016, 7:51 AM by website team   [ updated Oct 13, 2016, 7:52 AM ]
As I mentioned previously, the Kansas State Department of Education unveiled a new vision for Kansas schools -- Kansas Can. The outcomes from Kansas Can (KSDE’s new vision) are as follows:

·      High School Graduation Rates

·      Post-Secondary Completion/Attendance

·      Remedial Rate of Students Attending Post-Secondary

·      Kindergarten Readiness

·      Individual Plan of Study Focused on Career Interests

·      Social/Emotional Growth (measured locally)

The new outcomes are very positive as they change the focus to preparing students to truly be College and/or Career ready versus hitting a target on a single test.  Last week, I shared information regarding Kindergarten Readiness and this week I would like to share information regarding High School Graduation rates. 

As we begin to discuss high school graduation rates, there are a couple of key pieces of information to bring to your attention:

-       Individuals without a high school diploma qualify for only 17% of all jobs

-       A recent study from Georgetown University found that over 99 percent of job growth in the recovery went to workers with more than a high school education and workers with a high school diploma or less saw virtually not jobs in the recovery. 

-       Data from the Kansas State Department of Education tell us that by 2018, 71% of jobs will require a post-secondary degree or certificate.

High School Graduation and Post-Secondary Completion is simply a must for our students today.  We had a graduation rate of 100% this past year and this is typically the norm for our district.  While those numbers look positive and our staff, board, and community should be proud of them, the work remains on a daily basis in order to ensure that we maintain a 100% graduation rate.  It has been my experience that students who may be in danger of dropping out or not graduating do so not because of academic reasons, but due to lack of engagement or motivation.  It is imperative that we engage all students in the educational process from an early age.  Students need to see the value that their education provides and that it is a means to the end goal they hope to accomplish.  Exposing students to career opportunities early on can provide a great motivation factor as they complete their schooling.  Extracurricular opportunities, career exploration, after school programs, technology integration, dual credit offerings, peer tutoring, project and authentic learning opportunities, and diverse academic offerings are all ways within USD #386 that we work to engage students in the educational process.  Additionally, we have asked teachers to take at least on virtual field trip each quarter.  The virtual field trip can be done over a medium like Skype and provides students the opportunities to hear and interact with professionals in the field related to a specific content area.  Relationships are another tremendous piece of student engagement.  Having a staff who really takes the time to form positive relationships with students and become invested in their success is another critical component of student engagement.  Receiving a high school diploma used to be enough to ensure positive career opportunities.  While it remains an important step, a high school diploma is not enough anymore.  Post-secondary training is essential in today’s society.   

Next week, I will share information regarding post-secondary attendance/completion.  As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.  Have a great week and remember, “It’s A Great Day to Be a Bulldog!”