Dear Centennial School District Community,
One of the challenges I face every summer is how much shorter the summer is becoming—and each year they are even shorter. I know it’s not because I’m getting so much older! Regardless, I want to wish everyone a warm welcome on your return for the 2016-17 school year. I hope you had a great summer, read some good books, shared some good meals, and laughed heartily with friends and family!
Things have been incredibly busy here. Our Facilities Department has been working quite hard to move things forward. The schools look great and are coming along nicely. It always comes down to the 11th hour because of the number of camps and campers using our facilities, and we are pleased to be such a resource for our community. Far better to have this challenge than lots of kids at loose ends all summer!
On the technology front, the tech team has been working incredibly hard to get the 1,000 iPads ready for deployment. On top of that, we are outfitting each classroom with an Apple TV. While we are facing aging infrastructure issues, we expect to have 70%-80% of the classrooms ready to go on the first day of school. Another exciting opportunity in technology-land is our work with Google and Chrome. We hope to have forty Google Certified Educators in our ranks by this time next year. Our Chrome Book pilot is not only replacing the aging Chrome books in the high school, but it is expanding the Chrome footprint at William Tennent High School as well as pushing into Log College and Klinger Middle Schools. Most importantly, you probably are aware, we have hired A. J. Juliani as our Director of Technology and Innovation—Mr. Juliani is a nationally recognized presenter on technology integration and the transformational power of technology in the classroom. Mr. Juliani has either authored or co-authored three books on inquiry, learning spaces, technology initiatives, innovation, project-based learning, and related topics.
In district, there have been numerous trainings and workshops. One of the most powerful was a three-day workshop with teachers and administrators around distributed leadership. Distributed leadership, or DL, is a process of developing teams of teacher leaders to support instructional practices within the schools. Each building was represented by their administrative team and groups of teachers with a focus on developing a real-time vision and a set of beliefs that would guide the work of the schools moving forward. In addition to those aspects, the schools began working on action plans to help articulate where they want to go and how they will make a difference in our students' lives—building on Safety, Trust, Inspiration, Innovation, Caring, Excellence and Resilience. The building teams intend to take us to new heights of increasing opportunities for our students, whether it is getting into Princeton or a top-rated apprenticeship, the teams are committed to putting our students at the center of the work!
We are looking forward to the first day of school for students on August 30 and a very powerful year of focusing on teaching and learning. Have a great rest of summer, and I look forward to seeing everyone back learning in the near future!