I was hired in February while working in China to join the Reedsport School District starting July of 2015. In my initial months we accomplished a variety of good things in both our schools and our district office. With the help of two Board Directors we completed an analysis of the central office staffing and effectiveness performance. At the policy level we implemented a student drug-testing requirement for high school extracurricular activities that will support students and families in pushing back against drug use. Our Special Education Department was able to broaden its services to more effectively meet the diverse needs of a large (and growing) special education population. Lastly we were able to bring some coherence to the hiring process, and the processes of new teacher integration.
In our schools we were able to frame the change process in a manner that supported consensus building around the difficult issues we faced. Having a Focus School that was preparing all our Middle school and High school students was putting pressure throughout the system. We began the conversations about vision, skills, incentives, resources and action plans; a conversation that was greatly needed after the significant turn-over in staff and leadership in the preceding years.