No Summertime Blues for Schools in the Summer, We’re Busy! 

No Summertime Blues for Schools in the Summer, We’re Busy!    

Now that summer is over, you may be wondering what we have been up to these past few months? Believe it or not, summer is one of the busiest times for administrators and superintendents in their school districts.

My first priority each summer is to review the previous year’s goals with principals and directors. As a school district, we are always trying to improve our practices and identify what goals need to be developed for the coming school year. Every June, we meet for two days to discuss, revise and enhance our ideas. After getting a sense of what needs to be accomplished, we finalize our goals with action plans and assign them to the appropriate administrative team member to complete as we start the new school year. 

Hiring is probably the most important activity we tackle each summer. There are usually retirements at the end of the school year that need to be filled and invariably a few resignations. And like all school districts, we want to hire the best candidates. The process begins with a list of qualified individuals who meet with principals for a first round interview. Candidates that do well are asked to a second round interview and possibly a third round until we can make a hiring decision.

Teachers also spend a lot of time at school in the summer developing curriculum, attending professional development workshops and working with our students through various summer programs. Curriculum writing is one of my favorite activities to observe during the summer months. Teachers write in subject area teams to align state standards and develop curriculum that is engaging and meaningful to students. There is always a buzz of excitement when teachers gather together to write, knowing that what they are about to create will be used by colleagues to improve student learning. The same goes for professional development workshops. I recently asked a teacher what she thought of the differentiated instruction class she was taking and she excitedly told me that it was the best class she has ever taken and so motivating!

The budget is never far from anyone’s mind, especially during the summer. July and August is when we finalize expenditures and revenues and close out the previous fiscal year. We also start planning for the coming school year by meeting with administrators to review their purchase orders and supply needs, so that they are ready for the start of school at the end of August.  In order to align with the state budget process, we begin our planning and budgeting a year ahead. So this summer, we reviewed our five-year budget projections and began to give thought to 2017-2018 school-year budget, even before we started the 2016-2017 school year!

Principals spend a great deal of time and energy working on building schedules for the new school year during the summer months. Perfecting schedules is like doing a jigsaw puzzle, where all the pieces need to fit together. Class lists are also carefully considered by principals so that students will have a successful year. The bus schedule is another complex summer endeavor as students each year move in and out of the school district as well as move from grade level to grade level causing schedule changes and adjustments. 

Maintenance is the summer activity most people associate with schools. And yes, there is a lot of cleaning, painting and waxing of floors in buildings during the summer break, but there are also bigger projects to tackle. Here at Twin Valley, we installed a new scoreboard, patched driveways and macadam areas around the district, resurfaced chipped sidewalks and shingled a roof at one of our elementary schools.

As you can see summers are really a busy time in school districts... certainly no time for napping. But it is all worth the effort when the first day of school arrives, and we watch as enthusiastic students enter our buildings, ready to learn and take on the challenges of another school year. And this year was no exception!

Posted by On September 07, 2016 at 3:10 PM