District Office

Superintendent's Corner

Every Superintendent's Corner is listed here, starting with the most recent article. Click the title of an article to view it.

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Thank a Teacher   posted on Apr 27, 2018
Mission, Vision, Values/Commitments   posted on Nov 14, 2016
School Year Calendar   posted on Sep 20, 2016
Helping Our Children Do Well In School   posted on Aug 29, 2016
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!   posted on Aug 16, 2016
Volunteers Make A Real Difference!   posted on Jun 30, 2016
We Appreciate Our Teachers!   posted on Apr 28, 2016
It is SAGE Time Again!   posted on Apr 01, 2016
What Motivates Students Today?   posted on Mar 11, 2016
Gifts to Give our Children   posted on Dec 09, 2015
Attitude of Graditude   posted on Nov 13, 2015
Student Safety   posted on Oct 13, 2015
Attendance Awareness Month   posted on Sep 03, 2015
Keeping Up With the Competition   posted on Jul 15, 2015
Avoiding the Summer Slide   posted on May 29, 2015
Making Every Dollar Count!   posted on Apr 14, 2015
State Legislature and Education   posted on Mar 06, 2015
ACT Testing - What's It All About?   posted on Feb 12, 2015
Attendance Matters!   posted on Jan 07, 2015
Teachers Make the Difference - Part 2   posted on Nov 07, 2014
Leadership Matters!   posted on Oct 08, 2014
Teachers Make the Difference!   posted on Sep 16, 2014
Helping Students Succeed in School   posted on Aug 14, 2014
A New Era Begins ...   posted on Jul 14, 2014
Future Challenges   posted on May 22, 2014
Selecting Administrators   posted on May 15, 2014
Common Core   posted on Mar 31, 2014
Student Groups - School Based or Not?   posted on Mar 21, 2014
Textbooks - Not Enough to Go Around?   posted on Mar 14, 2014
Legislative Priorities   posted on Mar 03, 2014
Course Selection for Secondary Students   posted on Feb 18, 2014
Important February Dates   posted on Feb 05, 2014
Student Safety - How You Can Help   posted on Jan 27, 2014
Tax Challenge   posted on Jan 21, 2014
2013 - A Year in Review   posted on Jan 02, 2014
2014 District Calendar Options   posted on Dec 20, 2013
School closure as a result of weather   posted on Dec 10, 2013
District Audit Report   posted on Nov 25, 2013
Bits and Pieces of News   posted on Oct 25, 2013
UCAS – Another Accountability System   posted on Oct 10, 2013
There is Good All Around   posted on Oct 04, 2013
Grading the Schools   posted on Sep 03, 2013
Last Minute Notes   posted on Aug 12, 2013
Potential Budget Crisis   posted on Jul 30, 2013
Transparency vs. Right to Privacy   posted on Jul 15, 2013
Student Attendance - A Key to Success   posted on Jul 11, 2013
Negotiated Agreements   posted on Jun 19, 2013
Changes During the Past Year   posted on Jun 17, 2013
As the Class of 2013 Departs   posted on May 28, 2013
Administrative Succession   posted on Mar 25, 2013
Concerns Regarding Student Behavior   posted on Mar 05, 2013
Local Scholarships   posted on Feb 27, 2013
District Comparisons   posted on Feb 21, 2013
Concealed Weapons - Arming Educators?   posted on Jan 24, 2013
Dual Immersion   posted on Jan 14, 2013
School Violence   posted on Jan 03, 2013
How Do our Schools Compare?   posted on Dec 17, 2012
Reflections on a Recent Trip to China   posted on Nov 26, 2012
Federal Funds in our District   posted on Nov 06, 2012
Make Your Last Year Count   posted on Oct 29, 2012
Construction over the Past Four Years   posted on Oct 17, 2012
What Should a Grade Represent?   posted on Oct 08, 2012
Things to be Excited About   posted on Sep 25, 2012
Grading Clarification   posted on Sep 12, 2012
Not All Criticism is True   posted on Aug 27, 2012
District Transportation   posted on Aug 13, 2012
School Lunch Prices 2012-2013   posted on Aug 06, 2012
Follow up - Taxes and Grading   posted on Jul 26, 2012
Setting Property Tax Rates   posted on Jul 20, 2012
Tax Increase   posted on Jul 19, 2012
“What Counts” – Class Size   posted on Jul 06, 2012
What Counts - Grading System Background   posted on Jun 07, 2012
What Counts   posted on May 10, 2012
Dual Immersion   posted on Apr 08, 2012
Effects of Promontory Charter School   posted on Mar 12, 2012
Emergency Plans in the District   posted on Feb 13, 2012
2012 Legislative Session   posted on Jan 27, 2012
Highlights of 2011   posted on Dec 22, 2011
Why Replace the School in Snowville   posted on Dec 05, 2011
Questions Regarding the Sale of Bonds   posted on Nov 07, 2011
What Test Scores Mean to Me   posted on Sep 20, 2011
Opportunities for Online Courses   posted on Aug 24, 2011
Will your child be ready for college?   posted on Aug 15, 2011
Bullying   posted on Jul 28, 2011
The Reality of No Child Left Behind   posted on May 02, 2011
School Fees at Elementary Schools   posted on Apr 27, 2011
Negotiations   posted on Apr 04, 2011
Recruitment of Certificated Staff   posted on Mar 21, 2011
Boundary Changes - North End of County   posted on Mar 04, 2011
Governor's Commission   posted on Feb 14, 2011
Boundary Changes   posted on Jan 18, 2011
Charter Schools   posted on Jan 13, 2011
Concurrent Enrollment   posted on Dec 21, 2010
The Common Core Curriculum   posted on Nov 05, 2010
Early Out Days   posted on Oct 12, 2010
Truth In Taxation   posted on Aug 31, 2010
SC Building Fund vs General Fund   posted on Jul 30, 2010

District Focus for the Upcoming School Year

Superintendent Tolman

Box Elder School District’s Focus for the Upcoming School Year

For years now schools and school districts across the nation have been working on how to improve student learning.  In much of the research in the educational field teacher collaboration has been tabbed as one of the best ways to improve student learning.  Building a school district with schools and teachers who work collaboratively to improve teacher effectiveness has been going on in Box Elder School District for several years now.  The term for building and organizing this collaboration is called a “Professional Learning Community” (PLC).  PLCs are based on “3 Big Ideas”.

Big Idea #1: Ensuring That Students Learn—So much of the focus in education for years has been how teachers teach, not are students learning.  The focus of the PLC and this big idea #1 is that student learning is not only the key but really the only thing we should focus on. How do we know if students learn is a key factor in this entire PLC process.  Waiting to find out if a student has learned the concepts and ideas that a teacher hopes to share in a chapter, unit, or end of level test is too late.  Teachers need to know if the students are learning in smaller chunks of time and material.  In teachers co-laboring together they develop smaller assessments called “Common Formative Assessments” (CFSs).  These CFAs are given after a teacher teaches an idea or a concept.  These CFAs are designed to inform the teacher if students are learning.   Once the CFA is given a teacher knows if the students learned this smaller chunk of information.  If enough of the students did not learn the information then the teacher would re-teach that lesson or lessons.  If just a few did not learn then there would be some interventions put into place to help those who did not get it the first time. With this process in place it helps teachers not leave students behind.  Once a week teachers meet officially, and more often informally, in grade level collaboration teams or content level teams to discuss their CFAs, the results of the CFAs and determine what is the best method to teach the information and how best to help with interventions for students who don’t learn the information the first time.  This is an ongoing process that improves with time and effort.

Big Idea #2: A Culture of Collaboration—In the past a new teacher would be given a text book and maybe be shown the state standards for a particular subject in a particular content area and then they would go off in their room into an environment of isolation and teach the best they knew how.  Thirty six years ago that is exactly how I first started teaching and I wasn’t near as good at my profession as I would have been had I been able to collaborate with my colleagues in a collaboration team.  The “team” evaluates the state core standards, then they decide what key elements that they will teach.  They then determine the scope and sequence of how they will teach this information.  Then they will develop the Common Formative Assessments on how to determine if the students learn the information presented.  This is all done in a collaborative effort, which will improve the effectiveness of student learning.

Big Idea #3: A Focus on Results—The entire concept of the Professional Learning Community is based on the fact that we believe all students can learn at high levels.  In order to determine the effectiveness of that belief we, as a PLC, must focus on results.  The assessments to evaluate the effectiveness are varied.  In the short term the CFAs are used, then there will be chapter or unit tests and ultimately end of grade level tests (formerly known as SAGE test, but now will be called the RISE test) and even ACT or SAT tests.  With a focus on results we co-labor to evaluate our effectiveness and how to improve our efforts to better help students learn.  We believe that all students can learn and we must not be afraid to share out our results to let results of our efforts be viewed by all to allow us the opportunity to improve.

Box Elder School District has been a PLC school district for several years now.  Being a PLC is not a destination but a process of constant evolution and improvement.  We have several new principals and assistant principals in our school buildings this upcoming year.  They will be a member of the collaboration team of current building principals and district level administrators and will co-labor together to improve their skills on how to monitor, evaluate, and improve effectiveness of collaboration teams in their buildings.  In monthly principal meetings we learn together by watching videos of our teams throughout the school district and evaluating the effectiveness of the team and giving feedback.  As we do this we improve as administrators to help teachers be more effective.  As the Superintendent of this school district I want to assure you that we are striving as leaders and teachers to do the best job we can to help your children learn at high levels.  It is imperative in today’s high tech world that we prepare students to face an ever evolving job market.  I need to thank the Box Elder Board of Education for their direction and support of the entire PLC process.

Date posted : Jul 13, 2018.