Dolores School District Superintendent
Superintendent Kasper's Fall Report 11/3/2018
There is quite an academic buzzzzz going around DSD these days. Our senior class is comprised of 36 students. As of today there are now 14 in that number who have had their applications accepted into colleges and universities! Our secondary school reports that 62% of all students have earned honor roll status this 1st quarter. At the elementary we have 55% of students in 3rd – 6th grades achieving honor roll status. THANK YOU Mom’s & Dad’s! The direct correlation between parent involvement and students becoming successful learners is astronomical! A big shout of recognition and respect to the hardest working team of professional teachers found anywhere.
Our school system is making progress in the way we apply “Continuous Improvement” to the development of academic skills. The information we ask boys and girls to master over the years between preschool and graduation is routinely referred to as “The Curriculum”. I wanted to define some terms you might be hearing over the span of the year that relate to our work toward improving our curriculum.
Districts often provide sets of resources to teachers that cover a massive amount of information. Taken collectively these resources often reflect about 25 years worth of information that professionals need to synthesize into 14 years of teaching and learning. Curriculum Management is the term used to manage or organize that information into smaller yearly priorities that professionals take responsibility for, usually by grade level or subject level.
Is the term used to define those yearly chunks of curriculum that are organized by subject or discipline between preschool and graduation. (IE) Beginning at preschool and vertically progressing to 12th grade. In essence, those building blocks of curriculum that are aligned and identified as prerequisites from one grade level to the next.
Note: This is the work our District Curriculum Team is currently engaged in. We have a team of 10 professional teachers representing various grade levels that are “Articulating” the English Language Arts and Writing curriculum “Vertically” through the grade levels.
Is the term used for describing the curriculum teachers teach within the same grade level.
Deep Curriculum Alignment
We ask our teachers to cover these three dimensions when planning their units of instruction.
Content - the concepts, skills, knowledge, and needed vocabulary
Context – The mode of student responses, environmental conditions, givens and the task specifications
Cognitive Type – the type of thinking required to complete the activity or assignment
Project Based Learning
This is the process, procedure and methodology of delivering the identified “Curriculum”. These decisions are made at the building level between professionals and their administrator. (IE Our Elementary staff has implemented this design.)
What an exciting fall athletic season!
The Lady Bear volleyball squad is roaring into the district playoffs. The football team gave us much to cheer for and justified our future optimism by getting better each time out. Supporters of Dolores athletics have reason to be proud of the cross-country team for having individuals place in every meet they ran. The state XC results had Dolores runners place 12th and 18th respectively. Congratulations Phillip and Brenan!
I wanted to draw your attention to several quick video clips that have been posted under the “Community Tab” on our website. I receive multiple questions concerning school finance as well as, how does the district benefit from the marijuana industry in Colorado? These video clips provide a great deal of information to answer some of those questions.
As we move into the holiday season my wish for each of you is to be surrounded by the blessings of family and friends.
With Respect, Phil Kasper Superintendent of Schools Dolores School District RE-4A Dolores
Proud / Dolores Strong / Dolores Bears
Superintendent Kasper's Beginning of the Year Slideshow (Aug 2018)
Superintendent Kasper's Introductory Letter (July 2018)
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