Welcome to Grand County School District

 

Parents and Patrons,

 

Welcome to Grand County School District. As Superintendent of Schools, I would like to thank you for allowing us to teach your children. I believe that the greatest resource in Grand County is our children and together we can help them gain the knowledge, experience and confidence to meet the demands of the 21st century.

I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in education for the last 35 years as a teacher, coach, school level administrator, district level secondary education specialist, business manager, assistant superintendent and superintendent.  I have served in three school districts. I began my career teaching and coaching in my home town of Burley, Idaho and then spent 26 year as an administrator in Blackfoot, Idaho. In Blackfoot I began my administrative career as a middle school assistant principal and ended as the district superintendent.

 In 2010 I retired from Idaho and began my second career as the Superintendent of Grand County School District here in Moab, Utah.   I received my Bachelors of Arts Degree from Brigham Young University and my Masters of Education, Educational Specialist and Doctorate from Idaho State University. I have two children, three grandchildren and have been married to the love of my life for 38 years.  I believe a true leader is one who has learned to serve those whose lives and careers have been entrusted in his care. My leadership is based on years of research and experience. I believe that school districts able to meet the demands of the 21st century are founded on:

-the organizational renewal philosophy, that the only true constant is change or renewal. Successful organizations create a climate in which renewal becomes the norm or culture of the organization.

-an educational philosophy that all students can learn and be successful if student learning goals are specific and measurable. Where the environment is one of success breeds success. Where schools control the conditions of success and the fundamental purpose is learning not teaching.

John Kotter, Emeriti’s Harvard Business Professor stated, “Effective organizational visions are communicated simplistically without organizational jargon or technobabble using verbal pictures, metaphors or analogies.” With this research in mind I created the following vision for Grand County Schools. Climbing to New Heights through simplicity, consistency, quality, and victory. The visual reminder of this mission or vision is Castle Rock in Castle Valley.

                           

vision image

 

Simplicity, Consistency, Quality, and Victory are the key elements that create a pathway to academic improvement and student academic success.

Simplicity: Simplify (Organize) our curriculum through alignment of state and federal academic standards

Consistency: Consistently teach vertically and horizontally aligned standards throughout the district

Quality: Instruct, through simplistic, aligned, and consistent educational programs which will allow students to meet the demands of the 21st Century

Victory: Finally, celebrate student academic successes that we have worked for diligently through structured standards based curriculum

 

To accomplish this mission the district will create Professional Learning Communities which focus all district instructional practices to meet the individual, social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. This will be accomplished by the implementation of the following research based programs: Data Driven Decision Making, Response to Intervention, Total Instructional Alignment, Parent Involvement and Sheltered Instructional Observation Protocol through the Professional Learning Community process.

Professional Learning communities (PLC): A PLC is a group of “Educators committed to working collaboratively in an ongoing process of collective inquiry and action research in order to achieve better results [academic] for the students they serve.” (DuFour, 2008) PLC’s are characterized by the following six elements:

 -Shared Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

-Collective Inquiry

-Collaborative Teams

-Action Orientation/Experimentation

-Continuous Improvement

-Results  Orientation

 

Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM): DDDM is a process of analyzing student assessment data to formulate relevant instructional intervention to improve student learning. “…The choices they [administrators and teachers] make should be guided by empirical evidence rather than emotion, personal bias or political … [motivation].” (Kowalski, 2008)

Response to Intervention (RTI): RTI is a multi-tiered approach to providing systematic and data-based instruction, services, and interventions. RTI is used for identifying and resolving students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral difficulties. (McCook, 2006)

Total Instructional Alignment (TIA): TIA is a process to ensure that what we teach, how we teach, and what we assess are consistent. The TIA process allows alignment of standards, curriculum, assessments, and instructional classroom practices (Carter, 2007)

Sheltered Instructional Observation Protocol (SIOP): The SIOP Model provides a framework for well-prepared and well-delivered lesson designs for all students in any subject area. The SIOP framework or lesson design provides critical instructional features that allow the instructor to respond appropriately to the unique academic and language development needs of all students. (Echevarria, 2008)

Parent Involvement (PI): PI means the participation of parents in regular, two-way, meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring –

That parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;

That parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school;

That parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child. (Epstein, 2002)

The implementation of these research based programs will not only focus the district’s instructional practices to meet the needs of our students but they will also serve to emulate the research of Dr. Terry Bergeson (2007) which identified Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools:

                                -Clear and Shared Focus

                                -High Standards and Expectations for all Students

                                -Effective School Leadership

                                -High Levels of Collaboration and Communication

                                -Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Aligned with Standards

                                -Frequent Monitoring of Learning and Teaching

                                -Focused Professional Development

                                -Supportive Learning Environment

                                -High Levels of Family and Community Involvement

 

I would like to invite parents and patrons to join us in our quest to Climb to New Heights of academic excellence. If you have any questions or concerns, I am always available.

 

Dr. Scott L. Crane

Data Driven Decision Making