Black History Week was started in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson. In 1976, President Gerald Ford designated February as Black History Month. Ford noted the need to ensure that the contributions of African-Americans were recognized at a time when history books, schools, media and society did little to acknowledge their contributions. Many Shorecrest classrooms have highlighted the significant and important contributions of black people from around the world and throughout history.
We are fortunate. Recently I reflected on the challenges faced by families and schools that are not as fortunate as we are today, and it caused me to think back. There was a time when Shorecrest did not have the resources to offer faculty and staff a retirement program. There was a time when Shorecrest did not have the resources to build a new Innovation Center and Community Commons. During those days the administrators, faculty, staff and families who led our school were committed to academic excellence. Academic excellence was where they put their energy and resources. We were fortunate that those Board members, teachers and administrators had vision.
We can learn a lot from watching people play. The children on the playground are my favorite. It is well known that children learn a great deal about themselves and others when they play. The common expression, “Learn to play nicely in the sandbox,” wisely implies the value of childhood play in building relationships and working with others.
Student and parent feedback, re-enrollment, and faculty/staff retention are three of many ways we learn how our families and the community feel about the quality of the overall educational experience at Shorecrest. Niche.com, a school and community ranking platform, has also become a source for consistent information about our school's performance and reputation in the community.
During the past week, representatives from SAGE Dining Services met with about 100 parents and guardians to answer questions about the Community-Inclusive Dining Program that will begin in March. Our community, like most other communities who have transitioned from a retail “fast food” approach of food service to a full Community-Inclusive nutritional choice program, have had questions about allergies, choice and value. Last week in Ebytes we published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and a video describing the Community-Inclusive program benefits.
Last week I noted the importance of focusing on a priority. Mine is the completion of the second floor of our new facility. While there are other goals that are important for the advancement of the school, few others will affect every child like the second floor of our new Innovation Center and Community Commons.
One of the pieces of advice I carry with me from the past year came from Morten Hansen’s book, "Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More." The opening chapter advises us to Do Less, Then Obsess. In short, select a priority and focus on it.
Over the holiday, a friend and I were discussing the amount of advice football coaches receive from fans, players, alumni and broadcasters when he started laughing and said, “You probably get more advice than they do because you play every day not just once a week.”