Superintendent’s Message, April 2016

The month of April provides a great opportunity to recognize our students who receive special education services by raising awareness of the challenges that they face on a daily basis, as well as the opportunities that impact their education and lives. Friday, April 15th was one such day, as we celebrated our students through teamwork and competition at the third annual Meet in the Middle Event at Caroline High School.

For me, this was a great opportunity to see the spirit of our community as school board members, administrators, teachers, students, parents, volunteers and donors came out to share this special day with our students. There were many smiles today as students who are often overlooked for their physical abilities, were celebrated as athletes and competitors. I would like to thank all of our special education teachers, Mrs. Lori Askew, Mrs. Lora Glass, Mr. Jim Garrett, area Special Olympic Coordinator, and all of our donors or volunteers for making the Meet in the Middle event possible.

In addition to being Disability Awareness Month, April is also designated as the Month of the Military Child. Over 71,000 school-aged students in the Commonwealth of Virginia come from families where one or both parents serve in the armed forces. Military children are more likely to experience frequent moves throughout their childhood which may impact them both socially and academically. Additionally, as our service members deploy with the uncertainty of placing themselves in harms way in the service of this country; their spouses and children have to cope with the psychological impact of separation and possible loss of a significant family member.

Therefore, April reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that the children of military families are remembered, understood, and most importantly nurtured in our schools and in our hearts.

Superintendent’s Message, February 2016

February is a great month to say “Thank You”.

The month of February is packed with recognitions and acknowledgements.   As educators, we give thanks in February for the many contributions of school board members, school board clerks and school counselors.

At the February School Board meeting, in addition to receiving a certificate of appreciation from the school division, our board members were provided gifts and acknowledgements from each of our schools and division staff.  Dr. Rebecca Broaddus, our school board clerk, was also recognized with a certificate and gift from the board for her service to the school division.  Additionally, the school board will be treated to a lunch in their honor at Caroline Middle School on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Along with recognizing our school board and clerk, our school counselors were recognized this month for their contributions to the school division and students of CCPS.  Our counselors play a tremendous role in improving the climate and culture of our schools.  They work with teachers, parents, social workers, and many others to advance the academic, career and social objectives of the school organization.  So much so, I often tell counselors that the school counseling program is in many ways just as important as the instructional program of a school.

School counselors encourage the development of many of the interpersonal skills that students need to be successful, such as self-regulation, resilience and empathy and conflict resolution.  Additionally, when we speak of our schools being a safe haven for students, we know that our counselors are an integral part of providing that environment.

If you haven’t taken a moment to thank our board members or a school counselor this month, please do so.  They are an integral part of our team and deserve your acknowledgement.

Black History Month

In addition to the above, February is the month that we celebrate Black History throughout the country.  While this month is known as Black History Month; many in the African American community consider this month as simply acknowledging the contributions of men and women of African descent in the development of the greatest nation on earth.

Therefore, I appreciate your efforts to educate your students on the contributions of African Americans and more importantly, their roles in shaping the society in which we all live and benefit from today.

All schools and staff are congratulated for hosting events, morning announcements, book-talks, and other engaging events for students.

Superintendent’s Message, January 2016

I hope that your winter break provided an opportunity for a well-deserved rest. For many, the new year marks a new beginning for those who are planning either to make a change in their lives or circumstances. We label such decisions as new year’s resolutions. It is interesting to know that when used in the context of a new year’s resolution, by definition the word “resolution” means a firm decision to do or not do something.

Having made and broken many resolutions in the past, I find this definition to be very interesting. As I reflect on my broken resolutions, I recall that many were not resolutions (by definition) at all. In actuality, I now would classify those commitments as personal goals, such as losing weight, saving money, or taking a long trip. In retrospect, I now understand why these kind of commitments were the hardest to fulfill. A personal goal simply does not bind or commit you to make a specific or actionable change regarding something that you currently are doing or should be doing.

This year, take a second look at your new year’s resolutions and ask yourself, “Does this resolution commit me to make a firm decision to do or not do something? Does it change my actions in anyway?” If the answer is no, consider digging a little deeper. While losing 20 pounds is an important life change for the new year, committing yourself to checking your weight daily or restricting your daily sugar intake may be more tangible objectives to focus on first.

Enjoy yourselves, stay healthy, and let’s be there for our kids!!!

Note: You may access Dr. Parker’s Post-Entry Plan to the community, at About Dr. Parker.

Superintendent, Caroline County Public Schools