Friday, February 13, 2009

The Principal's Corner

One sign of a healthy school is the fact that parents want to enroll their children in it. As I have written in the past, we have lost students to private and neighboring public schools. We have taken steps to reverse this tide including:
• adding pre-AP and accelerated classes,
• increasing our gifted electives,
• creating a schedule that targets interventions to struggling students
• providing lockers
• creating a safe climate with consistent and immediate student discipline

At our 5th Grade Open House last week, we shared these changes with parents and students with the hope that we would attract more students. I am pleased to report that the results have so far borne fruit. I have received well over a dozen phone calls from parents who want to transfer their incoming 5th grader from their neighborhood middle school or a private school to attend Taylor. I also received the following emails from parents in response to our open house. The first was forwarded to me by our evening’s speaker, Rep. Heather Wilson:

“It was good to see you at Taylor Middle School. (My wife) and I were a bit skeptical and not sure if we would send Aaron to Taylor Middle School before we went to the open house. After visiting the school, meeting the teachers and hearing your testimonial about the school, we left feeling very positive and will be sending Aaron to Taylor next year. Thank you for speaking about the school, as it helped us make our decision and Aaron like the school very much. A couple of his friends will be joining him there too.”

This email to me arrived several days later:
“I got your email address from the literature from the open house on Thursday that my family and I attended because we have a 5th grader that will be attending Taylor next fall. My wife was very impressed with the presentation because she felt it was very genuine and it was something that you and your staff seemed to be very proud of. I had my doubts because my oldest boy attended Taylor 8 years ago and to say the least it was very challenging. We have high hopes for our son’s education at Taylor and we feel that you and your staff will get him headed in a positive direction and keep him challenged while he is at Taylor.”

We are encouraged by these unsolicited testimonials. I expect great things from our teachers and kids this school year and in the years ahead. I am particularly eager for the NM Standards Based Assessment in April because it will be an opportunity for our talented students to “show what they know.” I will be writing to you in the future about what you can do to help us shine. For now, thank you for your support of Taylor.

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