Kruse's Korner

Notes from the Superintendent’s Desk

Championing for Students

During the first couple of months of school, I shared some insights with building principals from Jimmy Casas from his book, Culturize.  I think it is appropriate to share some of the information with others as well.  By being a champion for students, we must focus on the three "Rs" and the three "Cs".

Some students feel school is an institution which puts limits on their potential.  The school system categorized them though-out their school experience and labeled them as average, low-ability, at-risk, poor reader, etc. while others got the labels of T/G, college bound, athletic, etc.  Some students have checked out and are just hanging around the prison yard of lost potential waiting to escape.

We can help students achieve by focusing on the "three Rs":  relationships. . . relationships. . . relationships.  Getting to know students on a more personal level is vital to creating a culture where every child feels valued and understood.  Too often we stay near the surface of treading water rather than diving deeper.  A critical step requires allowing the students to get to know us down to our core principles. 

Jimmy writes in his book advice given to him by a friend and colleague:  "Jimmy, everyone has a savior, but it isn't always going to be you."  Then after a pause he said, "But it doesn't give you an excuse not to try."  We must not judge a student's contribution to our school community, but it is our duty to help them acquire the necessary skills and strategies to improve their chances of not walking out as a prisoner of potential but rather as the embodiment of promised expectations fulfilled.

The three "Cs" interrelated areas that either propel or inhibit a child's success in school:

  • Connection - When educators sustain a connection with children throughout their entire school experience, the positive impact is profound.  A champion for students systems approach insures that all not some students are cared for on a more personal level at school.
  • Capability - We either believe all students have potential to learn or we don't.  We have to share in the excitement when they are successful and offer guidance when they struggle.
  • Confidence - Lack of confidence can be the number one reason kids fail.  A growth mindset, complimented with a strong work ethic and determination, helps ensure students' success in school and beyond.  Empathy, yes.  Sympathy, no.  

It is the policy of the South Central Calhoun Community School District to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status in its programs, activities or employment practices.  Questions or grievances related to this policy may be addressed to the district’s Equity Coordinator, Wendi Geno, at South Central Calhoun CSD, 1000 Tonawanda Street, Rockwell City, IA 50579 or call 712-297-7222.