Superintendent's Blog


The Lazy Days of Summer?!
July 27, 2016


As I look at my ever-growing list of summer “to-do’s” and listen to the energetic pace of District Office staff as they bustle about -- focusing on closing last fiscal year’s books, planning for In-service Week in August, and assisting principals with their hiring processes -- I laughed-out-loud a little bit when I penned the title for this entry. The truth is, the summer months are the time when many of us are able to take a deep breath and focus on all of the important work that needs to be done to ready our schools and our District for the coming school year.

Here in the Sherwood School District, over the course of the last year, we have been deeply immersed in conversations and work related to the struggles we are experiencing as overcrowding of our schools becomes more and more of an issue. With all of our schools either at or nearing capacity, the Board and administration engaged the community in a conversation related to a capital bond. At their June 8th Board meeting, the Board approved a motion to place a measure on the November 2016 ballot (there will be many more specifics on that work in subsequent blog posts!). For now, one of our summer projects is moving a portable from Middleton Elementary to SHS in order to help accommodate the overcrowding at the high school.

As a reminder, our high school was built for 1,550 students and our current enrollment is 1,674; portables at the high school have become necessary for the upcoming school year and beyond, as we hope for and work towards the successful passage of a November ballot measure that will include the construction of a new, larger high school on a new site.




The most important thing we do...
July 27, 2016

...is hire the right people into the right positions within the District.

Late spring and into the summer, we have conducted very in-depth, collaborative processes that included students, parents, classified and certified staff, administrators and Board members, to select new staff for vacant roles throughout the District, from administration, to teachers, to classified positions.

We have three new leaders joining our administrative team, and I am excited to introduce you to each of them!

Marc Jolley is the new Associate Principal at Sherwood Middle School, and Scott Hadden is the new Associate Principal at Sherwood High School; both men stood out all throughout the hiring processes for their positions and are servant leaders who care a great deal about the students and teams they have been chosen to serve.

Coincidentally, they both join us from the Tigard-Tualatin School District, where Mr. Jolley served as a language arts teacher at Tigard High School for 11 years, and Scott Hadden was at Tigard High School for 10 years, serving as a math teacher and assistant basketball coach.

We have also welcomed Erin Lair to our team as the new Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology. Originally from Oregon, Ms. Lair began her teaching career in the Baker School District, but most recently was serving in Idaho as the associate principal of Vision Charter School.

The District is excited for the coming year with the addition of perspectives and experiences that these great administrative leaders will bring!   Please join us in welcoming them to our staff and Sherwood community.


Official Press Releases can be viewed at the links below:






The articles below were part of our web site's "What We've Been Up To" feature, which were updates on some of the focus areas of our District and the Superintendent's work between the 2010/11 to 2015/16 school years.

Beginning in Summer 2016, we are transitioning this feature
to become the new 
Superintendent's Blog!

Dr. Heather Cordie will write about personal and professional reflections, as well as District news updates of interest for stakeholders in an ongoing blog format.  New posts will be dated and will appear at the top of this page.






What We've Been Up To
(The Archives)

Organizational Assessment

In spring of 2014, Sherwood School District was awarded a grant through the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) that has allowed us to be part of what's called an "
Organizational Assessment."  It's been a three-year commitment, and we just completed the third and final year, during the first week of February 2016.  This assessment is a series of interviews with groups of various stakeholders, such as students, staff, Board members, building administrators, and community members.   We were very eager to be a part of a process where a trained team spends a week in the school district, talking to literally hundreds of stakeholders in order to provide us feedback on what is going well throughout Sherwood Schools, and even more importantly, how we can improve.  We are very appreciative of the time and candid thoughts and perspectives that participants gave to make this process beneficial for all that are served by the Sherwood School District.  


District Considers a Bond Measure

Sherwood School District's Board of Directors began ongoing conversations this year about capacity issues as well as facility and program needs facing the District for all Sherwood Schools.  An option available to address these challenges is to get a bond measure on the November 2016 ballot.  The decision to go for a bond has not yet been made by the Board of Directors, as there are many steps involved in researching the District's needs while evaluating the process of a bond measure, while doing so within a short timeline, between now and November. We recently created a Bond Process web page dedicated to everything happening in the District related to the bond discussions.

  • Board Work Sessions · The Board of Directors spent extensive time in discussions with District leaders and outside consultants to discuss what a bond process would require.  On January 27, 2016, the Board asked the District to move forward with establishing the Bond Vision and Bond Steering Committees, requesting a new demographic study for the District, and conducting a "pulse poll" of Sherwood residents to learn about our community's understanding of Sherwood Schools' capacity
    challenges.  On March 8, the Board received an update on the progress made and the next steps that will help them continue the dialogue and ultimately decide on whether or not to move forward with a bond measure in November.  The Board will again receive an update on District staff's continued 
    research and bond process information at a work session scheduled for March 29, 2016.
  • Bond Visioning Committee · Comprised of over 80 stakeholders including staff, parents, community, Board members, and administrators, the committee convened on February 16, 22, and 29 to discuss facilities and how they are linked to the Strategic Plan, desired features and elements for school buildings, and also developed the guiding principles for preparing for capacity growth.  Members completed a survey at the third and final meeting; the results can be viewed here.
  • Bond Steering Committee · Concurrently, the Bond Steering Committee convened four times between February 16-March 1 to discuss in much more detail the specific needs of each school in the District as related to educational spaces, safety and security, technology, and other priority environmental concerns.  A subcommittee has been created to detail the logistics, costs, and long-term impacts of various potential scenarios identified to address the District's capacity challenges.


Superintendent Job Shadow - SHS Office Support Team

Continuing my goal of sharing work shifts with various employee groups to learn more about our staff
members' stories and the important roles they play in the District, I had the opportunity to enjoy a full day with the office support team at Sherwood High School on January 21, 2016. Specifically, I served as Receptionist for the day, alongside Terran Stuckey and Sherri Fisher, who job share in that role. Included among the many things I learned and was able to perform that day, were: I helped to create the SHS Newsletter; answered phone calls and responded to face-to-face inquiries; tended to fee payment
questions; called the alarm vendor to initiate the fire drill that occurred at 12:35pm; and fielded students’ questions and submissions related to the forms needing to be completed in order for them to bring a guest from another school to the winter formal. 

As is always the case, I learned so much during my day at the front desk -- I learned many technical pieces of the work but, most importantly, I had the honor of learning more about the amazing women who serve in that role.  


2015-16 Administrator Book Study



Every year our Administrative Council members participates in a book study to engage in professional development and to learn from one another.  This year we have been reading Leadership Can Be Taught, by Sharon Daloz Parks.



Superintendent Job Shadow - Transportation Services


Superintendent Cordie resumed her job shadow days in 2015-16 with a visit to
Transportation Services.  Cordie began spending shifts with staff and their work teams in 2014-15, after sharing her goal at the 2014-15 Back to School Rally, in order to strengthen relationships and learn more about employees and their professional and personal stories.  Job shadowing is not about simply observing work being done but, rather, getting into the trenches to help with work tasks while learning about each critical role and the job responsibilities of each employee group. This year, with a new Strategic Plan in place, and one of its focus areas concentrated on building a positive culture, Superintendent Cordie was excited to continue the job shadow program.  

 

On November 20, Superintendent Cordie spent a shift with staff in the Transportation Department.  The day started early with Kristy Kalina, completing a Pre-Trip School Bus Safety Inspection before the morning run to pick-up students.  Upon returning to the Bus Barn, she spent time alongside Tammy Edginton and Kris Spencer who taught Supt. Cordie all about routing and dispatching.  She then ventured out again for another bus run with Bruce Maplethorpe, who has been driving in Sherwood School District for 43 years!  The Hopkins 4-year-olds on that run shared with Supt. Cordie what they learned about that day - the letter 'G', and the accompanying "G-g-g-gopher Song." Thank you to all members of the Transportation Department for their warm welcome and eagerness to share their work with Superintendent Cordie!



Stakeholder Meeting


On November 19, 2015, the Board of Directors held a Stakeholder Meeting/Special Work Session at Archer Glen Elementary School, where 17 community members attended to hear presentations from various staff regarding potential investment strategies should the Sherwood School District pass a bond measure in the future.  In addition to learning more about the bond history of the District and what financing and taxation implications are involved with a bond, participants received a very broad overview of ideas that have been discussed by the Board as possible ways to approach current and future capacity needs.  Some of the topics discussed included: expansion versus new construction at various school sites, facility maintenance/retrofit and seismic upgrades, long-range curriculum and technology plans, bus replacement, and high school expansion options.  A unique element of the Stakeholder Meeting was the inclusion of a polling app - a "live" polling tool - which allowed staff to pose questions to the audience related to each topic that allowed them to use a smartphone or wifi device to "vote" and share their opinions and preferences on the concepts and proposals presented, and those responses were displayed instantly for the group.  The Stakeholder Meeting was one of many opportunities that the District will hold for staff, parents and community members to offer their feedback and ask questions.   We will continue to share news with our readers about those opportunities and the steps toward a bond measure that the Sherwood School District may be taking in the coming year. 



Strategic Plan


Over the course of the past year, Sherwood School District was in the process of creating and implementing a
Strategic Plan. A
diverse group of stakeholders started the process in September 2014, by coming together to develop areas of focus for the District moving forward. The group collaborated to develop "Game Plans" which laid out basic plans to reach our goals in five focus areas: Increase Student Achievement; Equity/Closing the Achievement Gap; Integrate Instructional Technology; Develop Early Learning Opportunities; and Prepare Students for College and Career. District staff worked to turn the stakeholders' vision for Sherwood Schools into a tangible action plan which became a Strategic Plan built on three main goals, each with several measurable objectives within them:


1.- Ensure positive student outcomes

2. - Build a positive culture

3.- Ensure efficient and effective operations


During the monthly Board meeting on October 14, 2015, District leadership shared with the Board of Directors each of the strategic plan goals and described the measurable tasks and resources that will be implemented toward achieving each objective. The School Board adopted the proposed Strategic Plan for 2015- 16 at that meeting. Click the link provided here to visit the web site page dedicated to our Strategic Plan ongoing work.



Superintendent 2014-15 Evaluation Process


Each year the Board of Directors conducts an evaluation of the Superintendent based on her performance,

goal attainment, and feedback from a 360-degree survey for the 2014-15 school year.  The anonymous survey was distributed (and the results collected) by a third party entity; recipients of the feedback survey included all certified and classified staff members, all District administrators, community members, City leaders, and regional superintendents.  179 people responded to the survey and the Board used that information, along with other data, to complete their evaluation of Dr. Cordie.  Linked here is the letter summarizing Dr. Cordie’s evaluation, which was read by Board Chair Sue Hekker at the monthly Board meeting on June 3, 2015.



Superintendent Job Shadow - Technology Services


Wednesday, April 1, I spent the day as a “techie!” When I arrived at the Technology Services Department that
morning, I encountered a very diligent team, thoroughly engrossed in their work, though something struck me as odd.  I soon realized each one of them was wearing a hat made of aluminum foil -- one had aluminum foil Mickey ears, another a cowboy hat -- you get the picture!  Once I stopped my nervous laughter, they explained that their hats are their protection from the network server (located in a very large area directly behind their work stations)!  We had a good laugh and I knew that I was in for an interesting day!


Over the course of the day I learned how to update the secure browser in a lab at SMS, imaged various computers, untangled a myriad of cords attached to the server, went to Hopkins to check on the network connections for the Apple TVs, and learned about the hundreds of lines of script Adam Cohen has written in order to create an attendance report that is provided to each school every month.


Many thanks to the whole Technology Services team for letting me spend the day with them and to get a glimpse into the detailed, skilled, technical world they work in. They are a hard-working team who learns together, laughs together, and makes customer service a clear priority!



Superintendent Job Shadow - Instructional Assistant


In February, I had the opportunity to spend the day with Instructional Assistant Janelle Maddox at Sherwood Middle School.  

My shift began at 7:00am and we jumped in with supervision 
duties.  Our day was a whirlwind - filled with assisting students in Ms. Ficklin’s math lab, assisting in Ms. McFarland’s math class, I was able to interact with an iPad application referred to as “Fast ForWord” alongside an 8th grader, supervised during all three lunches, and helped the SMS custodian with cleaning in the cafeteria whenever I could!  I now know that there really IS a Wonder Woman -- she goes by the name of Janelle Maddox!  What an amazing employee, team member, and colleague.  She knows nearly every student by name and has her duties and responsibilities refined like a well-oiled machine.  


I also had the honor of learning some of Janelle's personal stories, too, to include her three children and what a proud Grandma she is!

Thanks to Janelle, Principal Funderhide and the staff at SMS for making my day so memorable!


Superintendent Job Shadow - Custodial


Bright and early on December 19th, at 5:00 a.m., I reported for duty at Hopkins to job shadow with custodian Judith Techman.  


We began the morning by cleaning all of the bathrooms, cleaning the touch 

points throughout the school, and making sure all garbage cans were emptied.  It was a busy day in the school, as the last day before the break -- it was filled with parties, lots of special treats (which translates into more sweeping and cleaning, etc.) and very excited students!  


Judith and I set up for the all-school assembly, which included a pie-in-the-face event, and thanks to Mr. Smith, my face was also a recipient!  Once the 

assembly was finished, we immediately began setting up for lunch.  It was a long day and I marvel at the hard work done by our classified staff -- on this day, the hard-working Judith Techman.  


I learned so much about Judith's family and her history in the District, and I am so thankful that she opened up her life and her job and let me join her for the day.  (She even made us homemade tamales for our lunch that day!)   


Superintendent Job Shadow - Maintenance


I had the opportunity to enjoy my second job shadow on
November 19, working alongside Paul Spath in the Maintenance Department.  Paul and I spent our day working on outside projects including changing light bulbs that were burned out in various parking lots (we borrowed the City’s bucket truck for that activity), and then worked on the Archer Glen, Edy Ridge, and Hopkins playgrounds. It was a busy day and I learned so much!  Paul Spath was very kind to invite me to work alongside him for the day; I am honored to have had the opportunity to learn more about his personal story, his wife Stephanie, their two daughters, and his experiences growing up in and around Sherwood, and graduating from SHS -- Go, class of ‘87!
          


"The Promise of Oregon" Campaign


I am very pleased to share that the Sherwood School District Board of Directors passed a resolution at the 
December 10th Board meeting that brings Sherwood on board with "The Promise of Oregon" campaign.  This campaign, coordinated by the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA), seeks to create public support for K-14 education and creates collaborative support and awareness across the state to help meet Oregon students' 40-40-20 goals and lift student achievement and graduation rates.

The resolution reads, in part:  

"This state's children constitute “The Promise of Oregon” through their potential as thinkers, leaders, and caretakers of their generation and the future; and we believe funding a strong system of public education is the best investment Oregonians can make to strengthen our economy, create thriving communities and improve the quality of life for every Oregonian; and we support a well-rounded curriculum that meets the needs of Oregon's students, including: art, music, PE, career and technical training and co-curricular activities; and we must ensure that efforts to close the academic achievement gap and supports for students who have been historically underserved are expanded; Oregon's political leaders have codified an ambitious “40-40-20” goal for our education system to reach by the year 2025, which requires a significant financial investment to attain...Sherwood School District's Board of Education pledges to join and support the efforts of “The Promise of Oregon” campaign to ensure that Oregon's lawmakers continue to prioritize investments to improve the educational outcomes for Oregon's greatest natural resource: our children."

 You can learn more about "The Promise of Oregon" campaign by visiting the web site at:  http://promiseoregon.org/.


Superintendent Job Shadow - Food Services

At our Back to School Rally in August, I reminded staff how important relationships are, especially taking the time to learn more about one another’s stories.   I also shared that I want to get to know our staff better this year, with a focus on our classified staff.  It is important that I learn more about their jobs and the critical work they do in our district, and it is even more important that I get to know them better as individuals.  

To that end, I set a goal to dedicate one day each month to a different district department, working alongside an employee during their shift in a job shadow.  My aim was not to just observe, nor get in the way or spy on what they were doing!  I simply wanted to do their job with them, to learn more about their daily responsibilities, and experience what a typical work day might be like in their position - and most importantly, I would be able to get to know members of each department on a more personal level.

I was quickly taken up on my offer!  My first job shadow experience was October 22, where I had the opportunity to spend my day working in The Ridges cafeteria. 

During my day devoted to Food Services, I spent a full shift working alongside Crissy Morris and her team in the cafeteria at The Ridges.  When I arrived for my shift, I admit that I was a little nervous, but when I walked into the kitchen, I saw the Food Services team standing there waiting for me...all of them wearing high heels!  I loved that they were already comfortable enough to poke some fun at me (and my well-known shoes!).

After a very full day of 
stocking the salad bars, filling salad dressings, preparing pizza sales, serving cookies, washing dishes, recycling boxes, unloading the vendor delivery, and learning to operate the cash register, I am still trying to process and absorb all that I learned, and the ways in which I grew as a leader on that day.  Our cafeteria staff work so hard and I am truly humbled by the work they do.  I was really excited to have the experience and I am so thankful for colleagues that were willing to let me into their lives in that way.  I especially appreciated the pleasure of learning a great deal about their stories during our time together.

In November, I will get the opportunity to work in our Maintenance Department for a day!... Stay tuned for my report!

              



Oregon Educators Benefit Board Appointment

In October 2014, I was honored to learn that I was selected to be one of the newest members of the Oregon

Educators Benefit Board, after going through a nomination process and being interviewed and considered by the Senate Rules Committee.  The Board consists of ten members serving four-year terms, each governor-appointed.  I have been eager to extend my reach into broader initiatives and programs that impact education at the state level, and by supporting the educators of Oregon, we ultimately support the academic and 

personal growth of the students within its schools.


Key components of the OEBB program are: 

  • Value-added plans that provide high-quality care and services at an affordable cost to members.
  • Collaboration with districts, members, carriers and providers that ensures a synergistic approach to the design and delivery of benefit plans and services.
  • Support improvement in members’ health status through a variety of measurable programs and services.
  • Measurable goals and programs that hold carriers and providers accountable for health outcomes.
  • Encourage members to take responsibility for their own health outcomes.

(More information can be found on the OEBB web site.)



Boundary Adjustment Process

This fall, we asked for parents to apply to become part of a Boundary Adjustment Committee, who would work alongside our outside facilitator, Margot Helphand, to make recommendations for boundary adjustments throughout Sherwood School District. The reason this process is necessary is because Sherwood schools are experiencing imbalances in enrollments in the elementary and middle schools - some are at or over capacity, while others are under.


To ensure we can sustain quality education for all students and support teachers by providing manageable class sizes for future years to come, we need to make some adjustments to the boundaries. These changes will take effect for the 2015-16 school year.


You can learn more about the process, the timeline, and keep up to date on the progress of the Boundary Adjustment Committee by visiting our dedicated web page, here: Boundary Adjustment Information



Strategic Planning

During the spring of 2014, Sherwood School District participated in an Organizational Assessment 

process and what was revealed was that without a clear vision statement and strategic plan in place, there can be confusion or lack of clarity throughout the district.  Recognizing this need and the importance it holds in aligning the goals for all staff and students, we have taken a huge step in creating a strategic plan for our school district by embarking into a visioning process - and it began this fall!

Two Strategic Planning work sessions brought together Sherwood School District’s Board of Directors, district administrators, school staff, and community representatives, and offered opportunities for input during the process from additional stakeholders and anyone interested in seeing the progress of the work.


Consultant Mike Dugas facilitated our work together.  Mike has recently been very successful in working with school districts and other organizations in developing strategic plans.  The process he uses is interactive, including multiple opportunities to break up into small groups so that everyone’s voice is heard.  At the conclusion of our time together, we developed the themes and desired outcomes that will shape our Strategic Plan. The strategic plan ultimately will become the compass by which much of the District’s work will be guided for the foreseeable future.



2014-15 Back To School Rally

As the Sherwood School District prepares for the start of another exciting year, one of our favorite "welcome
back" events is the Back to School 
Rally, which takes place during in-service week just prior to students' arrival.  It is a gathering which has become a tradition and highlight for teachers and staff as we kick off the new year.

The Back-to-School Rally was held on August 27, in the Sherwood High School gymnasium.  Staff were welcomed musically into the event by our amazing high school band in a tunnel formation!  We also were excited to have the SHS a cappella choir, Mixolydians, perform the National Anthem, while Student Body President Lexie Criscola provided a welcome and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

In my presentation to staff, I shared some of the bright spots from last year, talked about some of the projects coming up in 2014-15, including boundary adjustments and a visioning process which will lead to a strategic plan, and welcomed the 50 new staff that we had hired over the summer.  

A theme throughout the event, in my talk, as well as Chief Academic Officer Gary Bennett's, is that of forging relationships -- relationships with peers and students alike.  It takes courage to share personal stories with others, but in so doing, we build bonds and create compassion and understanding, but we ultimately build trust and learn more about our own vulnerabilities.  To explore this further, I encouraged staff to invest some time in reading the book by Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, which is the selected book study for administrators this year.

We were very fortunate that Dr. Nancy Golden, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer, honored us by delivering the keynote message to staff.  She is a humble, hard-working, instructional leader who places a very strong emphasis on the importance of relationships.  She is a sought-after keynote around the state and we were lucky to have her.

(You can view excerpts from this year's rally by visiting the video in the right margin of this page.)



Long Range Planning Committee

The Sherwood School District Board of Directors and administration work in tandem to create and then implement policy and direction that are proactive, visionary and forward-thinking in nature.  

Our guiding principles are based upon a belief in transparent operations and the idea that the very best decisions will be made when there are diverse opinions represented in the conversations; therefore, whenever possible, via community and staff forums, listening sessions, and other avenues, we strive to glean input and guidance from our various stakeholders. To that end, we are creating a Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) that will be appointed by the superintendent and will act as an advisory body to the Board of Directors. 

In mid-January, approximately 40 invitations were sent out to a representative group of City leaders, local business men and women, parents, School District and City staff and association leaders – asking those individuals to consider being a part of the LRPC and the conversations that will ensue relative to long range planning within the Sherwood School District.  

It is our hope that this committee, while having a specific assignment this winter over the course of five or six evening meetings, will remain intact and be called upon regularly, in the future, to weigh-in on topics germane to long range planning.  

Upon conclusion of their work this spring, the LRPC will be making some big-picture recommendations to our Board of Directors, during their April Board meeting. Specifically, the three areas the LRPC will focus on during this series of meetings, include: enrollment, facilities, and financing.  

I am excited about the work that will be done by this committee and thankful for the time and energy they will be investing.  



School Board Recognition Month

   Governor Kitzhaber and Mayor Middleton have deemed January to be School Board Recognition Month

Our Sherwood School District Board of Directors, Sue Hekker, Jessica Adamson, Connie Hansen, Eric Campbell and Patrick Allen, along with SHS Student Representative Ryan Ax, volunteer countless hours every month guiding the direction and the policies of our District as they tend to the well-being of our 5,000 students.  

Our Board was honored at their meeting on January 15.  To show our appreciation, we donated a book, in the Board’s honor, to each of the District’s seven schools and the Laurel Ridge Middle School Choir performed a song during the Board meeting.  We are so grateful for their support and focused leadership, and hope you will join us this month in saying "thank you!" to these wonderful volunteers.


U.S. - China Administrator Exchange

The week prior to Thanksgiving, we hosted a very special guest in our District -- Principal Jian
hua Li from the Fugu County Senior High School, located in China's Shaanxi Province.  

I am one of seven administrators selected from Oregon to participate in an exchange program with administrators from China. The objective of the program, sponsored by the Confederation of School Administrators (COSA) and The China Exchange Initiative, is to provide learning opportunities for both the U.S. and Chinese administrators about one another's schools and communities, and to form relationships that might serve as the foundation for ongoing exchange programs with students and teachers.  
Principal Li is my counterpart in the exchange program.  He spent six days with us touring our schools, conversing with students, teachers, administrators and community leaders, learning about our Board of Education and education policy at the state level and much, much more.  It was an incredible week!  
  

My Oregon cohort will travel to China next spring to learn about the Chinese education system; this is when I will reunite with Principal Li and spend time observing in his school in Fugu County.  


Presentation at OSBA Annual Convention

On November 16, 2013, a team from Sherwood presented a 75 minute session entitled,Finding Focus in Chaotic Times, at the 67th Annual Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) Annual Convention in Portland.  
Presenting alongside Dr. Cordie were Board Chair Sue Hekker, Chief Academic Officer Gary Bennett, Middleton Principal Jeremiah Patterson, Laurel Ridge Principal Steve Emmert and Sherwood Middle School Principal Marianne Funderhide.

The team shared how our District has aligned systems t
o focus on individual student growth and achievement, including our decisive steps to create consistency and clarity in our attempts to meet the governor's goal of 40-40-20.  

Click here to view our Power Point presentation.


2013-14 Teacher Book Study

After a successful book study last year, teachers asked me to consider leading another study this school year.  Of course, I agreed and after careful consideration, selected the book, Teach with Your Strengths by Rosanne Liesveld and Jo Ann Miller.  A natural fit with our administrator's study of the book, Strengths Based Leadership, this book explores 40 years of research and helps teachers learn about how they can tap into their natural talents in the classroom.  

20 teachers have committed to meeting over the course of this year to reflect on their learning and share their experiences with one another.  Our time together is one of the highlights of my month!


What We're Reading in 2013-14

While my staff and I read many books over the summer, preparing for the new year, the entire Administrative Team is focusing their 2013-14 group study on Creating Innovators by Wagner, Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillian and Switzler and Strengths Based Leadership by Rath and Conchie.  We invite you to read along and learn with us.



Superintendent Cordie reflects on three years in Sherwood









Student Forums

This year I am trying something new! In December, I began meeting with groups of students at each of our seven schools to conduct student focus groups.  Students, randomly selected to participate, received an invitation in the mail from me, offering them the opportunity to spend about an hour visiting with me about school, their education, their challenges and their successes.  I have shared with the students that I spent much of my time talking to adults -- and that one stakeholder voice that can sometimes be overlooked is that of our student population.  It is very important to me, as the superintendent, to hear their voices.   The conversations are (of course) different based on the age group with whom I am visiting, but my intent has been to listen to them and learn from them as they share their stories and experiences with me.  

Thus far, I have met with groups from four of our schools.  The students have been an absolute DELIGHT!  They are smart, witty, honest, polite...and funny!  They have told me about upcoming speeches they would be delivering, portion sizes in the cafeteria, the implementation of proficiency in their classrooms, the staff they admire and respect, their opinions about policy around cell phones at school, as well as the playground structures and how some additional balls, sidewalk chalk, and the like would be much appreciated!  :-)  The opportunity to hear directly from students has been the absolute highlight of my weeks! 



Teacher Book Study

This year, I invited teachers to join me for a book study where we will read and discuss Charlotte Danielson's book, Teacher Leadership That Strengthens Professional Practice.  This opportunity, suggested to me in my 360 degree evaluation, is based upon my desire to get to know teachers on a more personal level, while engaging in collegial conversations about a topic that is at the core of what we do.  I am excited to report that 24 teacher leaders have accepted this invitation!  Stay tuned for an update about our dialogue and key learnings from this time together.

To learn more about Charlotte Danielson, click here.


Administrator Book Study

Here are a few of the books our leadership team has been reading and studying:



                   Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard



         



All Staff Back-to-School Rally

The week prior to the first day of school we welcomed our staff back with a back-to-school rally held Monday morning at the SHS gymnasium. Our marching band and drumline, along with our a cappella choir and students representing each school in our district, all participated in what proved to be an energizing, meaningful, poignant start to our new year.

During the back-to-school rally, within my message to staff, I highlighted some of the many bright spots in our district, we honored staff with a video featuring them and the amazing things they do everyday for our students, and I talked about the 21st century learners who sit in our classrooms -- a generation of students sometimes referred to as ‘Generation Z’ or the iGeneration (ipads, iphones, etc.) who were born with technology at their fingertips and, in fact, cannot imagine a world without it. One of the videos we created (featuring our own students) and shared with our staff, is available in the sidebar of this page.
 


Back to School Rally 2015-16

Back to School Rally 2014-15