A Note from our Superintendent
First, I’d like to apologize for my tardiness in getting this information
out to the neighborhoods of the KAPS Community…Where can I begin… =-)
Well… how about my beginning…
I LOVE Alternative school settings… After 11 years as a teacher and principal of a traditional school, I fell in love with the students of alternative schools about twelve years ago… as the superintendent/principal of a charter school. We “grew” our school from ½ of a 30 year old, single-wide trailer, to a LEED Gold building. The process was collaborative with parents, students, staff, community, and the Board. The school grew in enrollment, but the student:staff ratios were protected, because we know the critical value of that piece of the puzzle in Alternative Ed.
I knew I wanted to “hit the ground running” here at KAPS, the end of April. I had a “gift” given to me that the former, veteran, Superintendent would be on staff and that I could work alongside her throughout her remaining months at school. In the 23 days, on the ground, I have joined the “Strategic Planning Committee” lead by an HR expert on our Board, Lisa McClananhan. This collaborative group is asking “Who Are We”… “What is the Mission/Vision of our school”, and “Where do we want to go in the future?” We plan to develop a Framework for our curricula that weaves mission/vision ideas … “Great Thought and Great Art”…. directly into the coursework. Our hope is to implement (collaboratively with teachers) a curricula that is uniquely KAPS, yet driven by the school…rather than an individual staff member skill set. This allows our school to vertically align what students learn from the 9th to the 12th grades…it's like this…each teacher “hands off the baton” to next year’s teacher… and they know what has been taught…scope and sequence…
This dovetails into the Academic Excellence Committee… that is purposefully looking at the academic culture of our school and wants to assist teachers, students, and parents with the rigor and depth of our curricula. The collaborative group is also exploring ideas for future courses that would incorporate the community with our students’ learning… and much more. This Committee is lead by a Board member...Heather Carter, a local artist, activist, and parent.
The KAPS building is overflowing with students… and continues to have a waiting-list of students who want into the school. We are exploring the idea of a “night school” program that would serve students who cannot attend school during the day. This would also better utilize our building, while reaching out to students. This idea is just in the conversation stages, and may or may not work out… but I have found, in my past experience, this was a great way to provide for a group of students that were under-served.
Another exciting plan is for our Professional Development in the fall…
We plan to train the entire staff in ways to de-escalate emotional or classroom management conflict… the program is based on the notion that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity… it can create a “common language” for staff to help students who need emotional support in a conflict… also to de-escalate aggression….
We hope to do training for all staff that will assist teachers/staff in what I call: “Data Mining”…. It helps teachers “drill down” to the essential skills of each student’s performance, and even generates assessments to guide the student in the areas of need. Okay…. So what I’m saying is--- this will help teachers and students learn what skills they do or do not understand in our core courses. This helps teachers generate assessments that precisely pin point the areas of each student’s needs. It also, I believe, will help our students take ownership of their learning needs… they will be able to pinpoint their own areas to focus on learning…
Might not be too very exciting to the “masses” but to us… who take our student’s learning seriously…it is very helpful information… =-) And there are many more trainings on the agenda….
And of course … there is the Financial Committee… headed by two experts in the fields of IT and Finance… our school Board President and Treasurer, Ronnie Pinkerton and Brian Ziarnick. KAP School’s, “F.I.R.S.T.” financial rating is superior! Now we plan to slowly steer our ship, and plot a course toward a school that offers expanded opportunities for our students that would perhaps lead the way to KAPS becoming a “model” charter school that could demonstrate greater fiscal capacity and academic excellence for the charter “world” to replicate….
I have also created a Transition Task Force… 8 member’s collaborative effort (let me know if you want to commit to join the team) to assist during these times of change… We want to be supportive of all the work our veteran superintendent Jordan has done for the good of the school… and yet help others on our team work through the changes that may come… to carry the school into a bright future.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve our school, students, staff, and community.
-- Coni Wilson
A Note about my contract: To stand along-side my administrative team and teachers, my current Letter of Agreement reflects a one year time period. I re-negotiated with the Board to drop my agreement down from a three year time period to a one year period, in order to be aligned with my staff.