Mondays with Mendenhall - Dec. 2, 2019
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Holiday and had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Hopefully, you used the break as an opportunity to recharge your batteries and come back refreshed for the final stretch of the first semester.
As you may already know, the Oklahoma State Department of Education released its school grades last week. I am proud of the progress that our students have made throughout the district. We had three schools improve their grades from last year which is a credit to those students and staff at those school sites.
Academic achievement was a focus of the findings of the 100-Day Entry Plan and will be a major component of the District Strategic Plan. We are encouraged by the gains that this snapshot provides our district and will continue to strive for excellence moving forward.
We have a clear and concise focus on instruction. We are talking about each individual student and individualizing their needs to improve academic achievement. I am pleased with how our teachers have responded to this intentionality and are becoming more purposeful in engaging our students on a daily basis.
With the foundation of Literacy First at the elementary level, the implementation of Imagine Learning for our English Language Learners, the utilization of Star360 as our progress monitoring tool, and the remediation efforts of Reading Recovery we will continue to see impressive gains in the future. We know these are good instructional practices that will provide a strong foundation for our students.
I want everyone to understand that we are making changes that are best for Muskogee students. I understand that it’s uncomfortable but our students will benefit from these modifications. Let me be clear, we are not chasing test scores, rather test scores will continue to improve because of the quality of teaching and learning.
Since arriving in Muskogee, I have spoken about an ownership culture and ensuring that our students are being taken care of on a daily basis. This includes teaching and learning inside the classroom every day. Our expectations have increased and our student’s achievement is a reflection in this year’s improved grades across the district.
Continue the work you have done so far this semester through the remaining few weeks leading to Winter Break!
Jarod Mendenhall, Ed.D.
Muskogee Public Schools