It was great seeing our students arrive to our campus for a positive start to another school year. The enthusiasm of our staff and students permeated throughout the district. I truly believe this is going to be an outstanding year for Portsmouth West.
The focus at Washington-Nile Local School District is Student Learning. In that spirit, the District Leadership Team has developed two goals to build on the capacity for student learning as we move forward into this school year. First, every child will experience at least a year’s worth of academic growth in every subject with every teacher. And our second goal is to foster an atmosphere conducive to learning and create a positive culture for our staff, students and community.
Within the framework of our goals, staff will work diligently to continually improve instruction for our students, address students’ social emotional learning, and strengthen the culture of our schools.
Instructionally, our principals and curriculum department continue to lead an effort to align our reading and math curriculum for kindergarten through grade twelve. As a result of this effort, students and parents will see a new math curriculum at the high school this year. We also know that our literacy efforts must increase. Principals, along with our literacy coach, will work with teachers on new innovative methods to improve purposeful reading, writing and discussion.
“Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions” (Ohio Department of Education, 2019). Our district offers many services helping students to develop and refine SEL skills. This year we will work to better align and deliver those services as well as seek additional resources.
We have decided to implement as part of the PBIS initiative - Focus 3. This process is used by many elite college athletic programs such as The Ohio State University and the University of Washington and several Fortune 500 companies. The goals of Focus 3 include building better leaders, developing better culture, and having better behavior. The high school began implementing parts of the program last school year. Our goal is to expand this initiative to the middle and elementary schools. We believe that it will have a positive effect on the culture of our schools as well as our athletic and extra-curricular programs. Upon graduation, we want to ensure that all students are adequately college and career ready.
We look forward to another successful year by helping our students to become the best version of themselves.