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OSPI Visitors Give Rave Reviews

posted Jul 7, 2011, 10:12 AM by Elaine Smith   [ updated Sep 23, 2011, 6:41 PM ]

Every four-five years a team from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction visits a school district to review how federally funded programs are being implemented and maintained.  Our district hosted such a team of reviewers this past week.

After their day long visit out to our schools and looking into files and speaking with our teachers, administrators and office staff, they came back to debrief the day and to give us our report out for what they had found that we would need to correct within a 45 day window. They had shared with us not to be surprised or upset when they come back with multiple findings because they are here to help us and in all districts they find several things that need to be addressed. In many cases a binder is need to hold the report as it is so extensive.

After spending the entire day and having looked through documentation that was sent ahead for extensive review prior to the visit they were sort of dumbfounded. They had one small suggestion about something in the student handbook and it was fixed before they left the building where they found itSince they amazingly had nothing for us to fix they spent the rest of the meeting sharing with us how special they think our school district is and that our focus is so unique, collaborative and genuine. Two of them even shared that they regretted that their child did not have the chance to attend school here. They say is it truly rare and to be commended.

We have captured below a few of the direct comments we heard that we proudly want to share with our community:

Obvious from the visits to schools that we are 'walking the talk' about student work being the real focus in our school district.

 "If you want to do it right, look here in Fife."

 Large integrated focus between learning and equity. NOT separate strands. 'Multi-cultural' is not a buzz word here.

The roles of ‘Teacher’ and ‘Learner’ have been exchanged and that is so rare in public education and to be commended.

There was a HUGE shout out to the ELL teachers in our district. They were so impressed with the care, dedication and professional focus on our ELL kids. They shared that is was also incredible that our system capacity has allowed for us to implement our staff development around GLAD strategies into our work and into our collaborative academies.

 "You should be proud of your systemic change. The model is great that you have found but it is evident through strong leadership and dedication at all levels that the WOW frame is really the work of the district". "Why is this not happening everywhere?"

 "In Fife kids do not get a "grade", they get an "education".”You are focused more on profound learning and less on artificial test scores."
 
The culture of Fife was evident from beginning of day. The Fife team all were early; casual conversations occurring. Throughout the visit noted happy faces, clean environment, and welcoming atmosphere. Please do not take for granted that this is the norm. This place is special.
 
 "You are leaders in the field of education. You have built and sustained an incredible model over a decade here in Fife. That just does not happen in public education".