What a great start to the 2010-2011 school year! This August Morgan Elementary School welcomed back almost five hundred fifty eager students in grades one through five with more than one hundred fifty kindergarteners and preschoolers starting the first few days of September. Back to school is a time for new beginnings in an elementary school with new friends, new teachers, and new learning planned for the next nine months.
I too am beginning a new chapter of my professional career as the principal of Morgan Elementary and wish to thank the Board of Education, MCSD Administrative Team, the communities of Morgan County, and especially the students, staff, and families of Morgan Elementary School for their warm welcome and personal support during my transition. I am truly humbled by the opportunity I’ve been given to work with such dedicated parents and staff towards the realization of the educational goals we’ve set for our children.
This year at Morgan Elementary our staff will continue with the professional development plan developed and implemented over the past few years. This plan focuses on creating additional collaboration opportunities for our teachers, individualizing instruction for our students, and increasing our academic performance as measured by the State of Utah. As a staff we will focus on literacy skills using data to guide instruction that is differentiated or specific to individual student needs. Through this process we hope to increase student engagement and improve the learning that is happening in our classrooms.
As part of our implementation plan Morgan Elementary has restructured the time our students attend school allowing for an “early release” on each Thursday yet providing students with the same amount of time in class by lengthening the school day on the other days of the week. This gives our teachers the opportunity for collaboration by creating a common planning time within each grade level. This also allows for planning across different grade levels where all teachers can gather and investigate effective instructional strategies used from preschool through fifth grade.
Common planning will also allow our staff time to meet and develop benchmarks or common assessments that when used in the classroom create student data at a more frequent rate than the state’s annual testing. Using this data teachers can then plan interventions and instruction that addresses the specific needs of our students starting this cyclical process all over again.
Our mission at Morgan Elementary is to ignite curiosity, incite a love for learning, and empower students with life skills. Our responsibility to our students and this community is to use our collective experience, wisdom, and professional expertise to develop an exemplary educational program for each student and every family that participates in our school. I truly believe we have the knowledge and desire to continue as a premier elementary school. The new structure of our schedule, continued support of our professional development plan, implementation of common planning, and increased teacher collaboration are all vehicles that we will use to make this year, the 2010-2011 school year, our best year ever.