As parents we want the best for our children. We want the best opportunities, best schools, and best teachers.
When parents describe the perfect teacher, I almost always hear the exact same expectations. Parents want a teacher who is nurturing and structured.
Don’t we all want and need those characteristics in our lives?
We all need to be supported, and we also thrive on structure and encouragement. Bryan County administrators have successfully met this need by hiring excellent teachers who employ the best resources and methods to instruct their students.
In the last five years there has been a positive shift in education. Superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, and students are all held accountable for student progress.
All are being recognized as partners in the education of our children. Standardized tests and scientifically based assessments are being used to measure student, class, and school improvement. Questions about student progress are asked more frequently.
For example, "Why did this class exceed or not meet expectations on the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test? Why did this demographic group do so well? What methods were employed to help them succeed?"
Data help educators look for academic areas that can be targeted or improved. The evaluation of data allows for progress, growth, and, when needed, change.
Data-driven instruction is a phrase that is used on a regular basis in Bryan County schools. This phrase refers to the practice of teachers using student outcomes on various assessments to plan instruction that meets the needs of all students.
Data-driven decisions are fluid and change as a child grows and learns. The evaluation of data allows for the use of specific interventions and a variety of instructional strategies to help all students do well.
Federal, state, and local monies are used to fund specific interventions and to help all students be successful. We are moving into an educational era that not only benefits from but also requires an individualized educational approach.
Academic success in Bryan County will continue as long as we put the individual needs of our children first, and we continue to assess those needs and adjust our curriculum to keep pace with an ever-changing world.
By Walt Barnes
Richmond Hill Elementary, Principal