Dolores School District Superintendent
Dear Staff of Dolores School District (July 31, 2018),
I am anticipating the time when I am able to meet each of you. I have experienced a whirlwind of emotions since the board made my selection official. The stream of folks who drop in or call to express their support and give well wishes has been gratifying and I appreciate their optimism.
I have a desire to keep the staff informed concerning the tasks that are ongoing and to give you a peek into areas where effort is being directed to move the organization forward. You will be able to see my bio and how I have spent my career, awards etc. at a later date when I post them on the website. Let me begin by sharing with you some foundational beliefs that I endeavor to hold myself accountable for.
I have always believed in the power of relationships. I believe relationships can motivate all of us to step outside of our daily limitations and do extraordinary tasks for those we care about or reciprocate a kindness extended to us.
I believe in teaching and in teachers. We serve in an honorable profession that seeks to uplift and empower those we serve. We desire wholesome solutions that enhance the positive side of life. I like that.
I believe in continuous improvement. I feel it is important to measure progress by growth, not some artificially imposed benchmark. I believe a district should own its own vertically and horizontally aligned curriculum and have a set of measures that determine if it is effective or not. I believe in empowering teachers to continuously improve the district’s curriculum.
The board of education has approved a Secondary Dean of Students, Mr. John Marchino, Jr. and, Mr. Rick Edwards, as our new Athletic Director. The BOE has also set a retreat date for Aug. 1st. They will be reviewing the current District Strategic Plan and I am asking the board for consideration of two policy revisions that could be enacted after the required 3 readings (budget carryover and a curriculum management revision).
I am bringing in a class titled “Curriculum Development” - this is a foundational class to the Curriculum Management Process. Those who are able to attend will have a head start in understanding how to improve student success by managing the curriculum students are exposed to. This year the district will be taking a leadership role in vertically aligning (12th through pre K) the curriculum by content strands. I anticipate we will begin with ELA and Writing as our focus strands this year.
The date is set for our initial experience. If you are able, please reserve Thursday Aug. 2nd and Friday Aug. 3rd to join with me in this district-wide initiative. I realize you are off contract and I have no desire to have anyone change family plans; however, an off contract stipend of $125.00 per day will be offered for those teachers who can attend. Classified staff which provide direct services to students are included in this invitation. The daily off contract stipend for the classified staff is $80. Please e-mail Mrs. Arnett if you are able to attend. This will facilitate the materials we will be using together as well as the stipend amount.
I feel the need to explain the suddenness of this offering. Between the lateness of my own starting date and the last minute opportunity to secure our trainer’s services I jumped at the chance to bring this cutting edge process to Dolores. It is my deepest hope that some of you have the flexibility to attend this training with me. I believe so thoroughly in the philosophies of Deep Curriculum Alignment that they have become the foundational underpinnings of any district improvement initiatives I use. Please consider joining your colleagues and me for a delightful learning experience this coming Thursday and Friday. The dress is summer casual and lunch will be on your own. We will be learning together beginning at 8:00 in the board room, so bring your smiles, laughter, expertise and wildest introduction story.
I am very excited to meet you and connect names with faces.
With Much Respect, Phil Kasper