Superintendent's News

Posted: February 11, 2022

Follow-Through

"In golf as in life, the follow-through makes the difference," writes Superintendent Elder in his weekly message.

As a dabbler in the sport of golf, I understand the importance of follow-through. It tells the story of the golf swing, what went right or what went wrong.

As the saying goes, in golf as in life, the follow-through makes the difference. We learn, grow, and strengthen relationships when we follow through on tasks, promises, and responsibilities. 

This is especially true for educators whose work centers on the progress of others. Whether you are a teacher following through on a student's academic plan, a supervisor providing follow-up training for your staff,  or a school district fighting a contagious virus surge, it is essential that we do what we say we are going to do.

And don't forget to follow up with praise when warranted and course corrections when needed.

With that said, I want to thank students, families, and staff who abided by the enhanced COVID-safe practices for a couple of weeks during the recent omicron wave. I am happy to report that cases among APS students and staff have dropped dramatically. At the beginning of this week, cases had fallen to below a third of the number we saw at virus peak. And so, as promised, we have relaxed the enhanced safe practices except at a handful of schools with a 5 percent positivity rate. More good news — the number of those schools is decreasing as well.

I also want to assure you that the district is following through on efforts to secure our information systems to prevent future cyberattacks. Again, I want to thank employees, students, and the community for their patience as we implement extra safety measures such as two-step authentication and more protections to close holes in our firewall. These efforts make our jobs a little more cumbersome at a time when you are already doing so much. Still, they are necessary in this ever-changing cyber-sensitive world, and I appreciate your cooperation.

In the coming weeks, we will be following through on budget planning, implementation of legislation that comes out of the ongoing session, hiring efforts especially for hard-to-fill support positions, technology updates, improved academic supports, enhanced student and family services, professional training, public records access, and much more.

Stay tuned for follow-ups.