May is the most unbelievable month (have I written that in other months?) because of a number of end of the year events, along with planning for next year, and the added pressure of getting all 125 seniors to graduation, with 38 facing some additional challenge and some who are melting down under the pressure that they feel even more than we do.

I literally spend all of my time thinking about what we do every day, researching ideas and programs, and looking at alternatives. Today, in a day so busy I could barely complete an idea in a full sentence, two of our counselors and I talked about alternatives for kids including a vision that we came to term “night school”. Not the same as our “day” school, but a significantly different idea of credits and requirements and time and preparation for the Regents exams.

But the purpose of this post is really to talk about those counselors, Beth and Jennifer. And my superintendent. And my colleague at Silver Creek, David. And the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at BOCES, Colleen. And the Assistant Superintendent from Niagara Wheatfield, Bob,  whom I met yesterday and who emailed me today. And the encouraging readers of G-Town who take the time to comment.

I want to take a moment to recognize how absolutely vital these people are in my life. As I seek out information as answers, as I try out ideas, as I problem solve and dream, I positively need these people in my professional life to think through ideas with, to offer encouragement, but most of all, to entertain the ideas with me. To walk down the path, to think and listen and learn and discuss. To imagine the possibilities.

There is enough discussion of the barriers, of the reasons why the system is the way it is, of the desire to stay in the status quo, that I am immeasurably grateful for everyone who is willing to step off the ideological ledge with me and at least ask the questions about why we do things the way we do and how they can be better. Thank you, colleagues, for the connections and the discussions, for not saying “no, it can’t be done”. You energize me with your efforts.



  1.   Cindy says :

    You are so right to thank the people who challenge and offer provocative and innovative ideas. Those conversations bring about changes in perspective and often are the genesis for the directions we may take. Please keep us informed about your “night school” ideas as they evolve and check out the ASCD Info Brief “The Building Blocks of High School Redesign.” Their proposals are exciting and long overdue!

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