A great teacher in EVERY classroom
Pat Skorkowsky, our deputy superintendent, has an excellent philosophy regarding his approach to education. If you’ve ever received an email from Pat, I’m sure you know what’s coming next. In his signature is the phrase, “Every student in every classroom, without exceptions, without excuses!”
In order to ensure that we reach every student in every classroom, we have to give them great teachers year after year, class after class, until the day they cross the graduation stage. That is why our duty is to give teachers the attention they deserve and the support they need to excel in the classroom.
Improving teacher evaluations has become a priority for the entire state of Nevada. Last year, the state created the Teachers and Leaders Council to agree on ways we can better evaluate and support our teachers. The council has studied the successes and pitfalls of other teacher evaluation systems nationwide and listened to feedback from educators doing the hard work in our schools every day, including teachers and principals from Clark County.
We are training and supporting principals so that they have the knowledge and skill to give teachers quality feedback on their performance and to help them continuously improve. The pilot will be a useful dress rehearsal that provides teachers with valuable feedback on their lessons while giving the District an opportunity to hear what’s working and what can be improved. That way, we can refine the system before rolling it out to all of our schools.
Improving evaluations is just one way we will make sure our schools have great teachers and great leaders. Our District must become smarter about how we recruit and develop teachers over time, and how we retain and extend the reach of our best teachers. This process will put us one step closer to ensuring all of our graduates are ready for college and/or careers. In Clark County, our students will succeed only to the extent that our teachers and leaders succeed.
School Board Meeting Updates
In an effort to keep the community informed, I’ll be using this space to update you all on the happenings at the school board meetings. Since everyone cannot make it to the meetings, please feel free to share these with your social networks.
The District will announce new turnaround schools next week. All of our original turnaround schools – Western High School, Mojave High School, Chaparral High School, and others – have made tremendous academic and climate gains. I am confident that the success we’ve seen with our original group will be repeated. We cannot and we will not allow any of our students to fall through the cracks. I hope the communities surrounding the turnaround schools will give us their full support as we bring transformative and sustainable change to more of our students.
Finally, the Board of School Trustees announced that our local PBS station is the highest-rated PBS station in the country. Congratulations are in order to all of our PBS employees and a big thank you to our community for their continued support of PBS.
We’ll continue to update Jones’ Journal with happenings at school board meetings.
Superintendent Dwight D. Jones