Affton School District Channel Article January 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are stepping forward into a new developmental phase at the Affton School District. As I have written before we will need the support of staff, students, parents, and the rest of the community to be successful. To use a farming analogy, up to this point we have cultivated the ground and planted the seeds. The next step is to grow the crop so we can get to the harvest. This will take commitment and consistent focus, patience to allow people and systems to grow, and rain in the form of community support. If we can stay the course we truly believe we can be one of the top school districts in the state.

To put in perspective what this can mean, consider where we are today. We have recent graduates studying at Stanford, BYU, Ohio State, University of Chicago and many other top universities. We have the Missouri Teacher of the Year doing a fabulous job representing our district. We have a foundation with a generous endowment supporting our mission with grants, funding of a college counselor, and other support. We have been recognized for our Engineering, Biomedical and Business programs. We have been recognized by Special School District as a model for integrating special needs students into the life of the school. We have a lot of very positive successes, but we truly believe this is just the start and we can be even better.

In a school district it takes many years for some decisions to bear fruit. For example, when we make a change in elementary curriculum, we may not see the results until those students are in middle school or high school. That is a long time to wait. We will not see the full results of the Early Childhood Center for twenty years when those students are heading off to new careers. That is a very long cycle. The decisions we make today are so important because of the long term effect they will have on our community.
I would like to specifically ask the community to get involved in our schools. We need your support in so many areas. Just a few of the opportunities for involvement:
  • Dozens of committees in the district that have real impact on our direction.
  • Volunteer opportunities with our students and student groups.
  • Organizations that directly touch our schools.
  • Forums held by the Board of Education and the Administration on various topics.
  • Encouraging our staff
  • Attending sporting events and theatrical productions
All of these make a difference. I want to emphasize that during this next phase we will be cementing new positive habits into ourselves as a district, this delicate time is when the community can make the greatest difference. We may not see the results for decades but we believe the benefits will be profound and beyond our expectations.
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