By Loveland Assistant Superintendent Keith Koehne
“Will you take care of my baby?”
That was her question, as she sat in our office last week enrolling her oldest child in kindergarten. She didn’t say it out loud. But that was really what she wanted to know.
Relationship building – in every classroom, every lunchroom, every playground and all of the arts, athletics and extracurricular activities in between – this is the foundation of how we will help all students manage the unique challenges and pressures that greatly impact their personal development and academic success. This description of our district Care goal has always been at the heart of what we do in education – but it could be argued that relationship building has never been more important in the growth, development and success of our Tigers.
Every child needs to know they are cared for, and every student wants to grow. We know that the foundation of support that a child has a direct connection to how much they can grow. But how do you measure how strong that foundation for success truly is? That was our challenge as we looked to define actions steps and measures related to our Care goal. This school year we initiated the Gallup Student Poll in grades 5-12 (and our own student poll mirroring Gallup in grades K-4) to give us critical feedback from our students as to how they feel.
Every child needs to know they are cared for, and every student wants to grow.
Gallup’s decades of research has proven that Care can be measured through Hope + Engagement. According to Gallup, “Hopeful students are positive about the future, goal-oriented and can overcome obstacles in the learning process, enabling them to navigate a pathway to achieve their goals. Engaged students are excited about what’s happening at their school and what they’re learning.”
Gallup’s decades of research has proven that Care can be measured through Hope + Engagement.
So how did we do?
The information from Gallup came through with a few main themes. First, our students are hopeful. They feel safe at school, they have good friends at school, they know their teachers are there for them, and they have a positive outlook on their future. Second, while our students enjoy school, they want to be engaged. Being reflective, we can find ways to better engage our students in their learning – and this is key to the growth process, both for them and for us as educators. Lastly, our students want to do well. They care deeply about their success and understand what it takes to reach their goals when they graduate.
What will we do?
Share. Understand. Reflect. Act.S/quote_box_right]Share. Understand. Reflect. Act. We have reviewed the results with the Loveland Board of Education, the administrative team, the teaching staff and Student Advisory Groups. Everyone appreciates this information and take pride in the relationships they have built with students, but (as all growth-minded professionals do) see it as a call to do more. We will measure again next year and hope to see the fruits of our labor.
We’re doing it all because we really do care – for our students, for our staff, for that mother who sat in our office to sign her son up for kindergarten. Thank you for trusting us to care for your children and for all of your continued support.
Many Stripes; One Tiger
Keith Koehne is the Assistant Superintendent of the Loveland City School District