District view: New Beginnings for the New Year

Happy New Year!! It is that time of the year again where we close out another year and hopefully look forward to the opportunities that exist in the New Year. As I seem to do every year for my New Year’s resolution, I tend to look at committing to eating healthier and exercising more this year. As always, these resolutions usually last about as long as they have every other year I have made them – maybe late February.

By  Kelly Koppinger
So this year, my New Year’s resolution is to go fishing. I decided to adopt my New Year’s resolutions after a popular motivational book called FISH! This book outlines the philosophies and attitudes adopted by a group of workers in a fish market and the remarkable effect they had on the workers, customers and ultimately the business. The book gives four philosophies we can all apply that would make our schools more engaging for staff, parents, and students. As we approach the second semester of the school year, I am going to explore ways that the following principles can be applied to our school district.
Play-This principle does not mean that everything has to be a game, but rather is a way to bring new energy to the task at hand. The more enjoyment, energy and excitement there is for what is happening in our schools, the more this is passed on to others.
Make Their Day-This philosophy entails finding someone who needs a word of support, encouragement, or a helping hand and committing to make their day. The more everyone involved – staff, parents, students, and community members make a commitment to this principle, the better our school district and communities will be.
Choose Your Attitude-Each day we have the opportunity to choose what our attitude will be. Make the resolution for the New Year to choose a positive attitude each day no matter what life hands you.
Be There-The last and probably most important principle is to truly be there. This means being completely committed to what needs to be done. If as a learning community, we all resolve to “be there” and work together to do our part in making our schools great, we will continue to see our school district improve and thrive – become a GREAT school district leading the way.
I am extremely grateful for the hard work of the staff, students, parents, and community members in making the first semester of this school year great.
As we look towards the New Year and the new semester, I hope my New Year’s resolutions will include finding ways to make the above philosophies a part of making our school district even better in the future.
During my time as Superintendent in this district, I have come to know many fine committed educators who are working with students in our schools.
Throughout this year I plan to visit as many classrooms as I can. Although the visits will not be lengthy, my hope is to be able to pick up patterns of the educational practices most commonly in use and the level of student engagement in the various classrooms.
We have very good schools and plan to be able to say very soon that we have consistently GREAT schools.
If you are reading this as a parent or guardian of a student in our schools I want to thank you for the privilege of working with your child. Our goal is to ensure that every classroom is one in which any of us working within the system would be pleased to have our child or grandchild served. If you see us missing the mark as we work towards that goal let us know. We truly value your input.
During the next couple of months, the School Improvement Committee plans to conduct a series of surveys to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the schools. The surveys will be distributed to staff, parents, community members, alumni and current students to determine our strengths and weaknesses in order to better serve our community.
Please take the time to evaluate our schools and help us determine a vision for our future.
Survey data will be available for your review on our website. We will try to keep current information available for you and welcome your comments about the results and what you would like to see added.
Please continue to stay in touch with me through my email at Kelly.koppinger@k12.nd.us or by phone at 579-4160.
Once again, I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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