Vail Valley Voices: Schools’ goal: wild success |

Vail Valley Voices: Schools’ goal: wild success

Sandra B. Smyser
Vail, CO, Colorado

Welcome back! As another summer comes to an end and another school year begins, we are extremely encouraged and are looking forward to challenging your students to higher achievement.

As educators, this is an exciting time of year when we welcome students and staff back into schools.

We worked diligently over the summer to fine tune existing systems, as well as plan for new efforts and initiatives.

Our Professional Development Department did an outstanding job organizing the Motivation and Engagement Conference up in Beaver Creek for two full days last week (paid for by the Teacher Incentive Fund Grant).

Teachers are definitely energized and prepared to bring new strategies into the classroom that will increase their ability to meet each individual student’s needs.

Your Board of Education has a newly developed “ends policy,” which defines their dreams and goals for our students.

Eagle County Schools students are inspired and able to reach their individual potential, will acquire a passion for lifelong learning, the desire to succeed, and the ability to participate and contribute, both locally and globally, as a competitive and responsible citizen and community member.

Eagle County Schools has always had the goal of pushing students to higher achievement, as confirmed in our mission statement of “Educating Every Student for Success.”

This year, we are pushing that goal to a whole new level. We have developed individual multi-year goals for each student in grades 2 through 10. When you meet with your child’s teacher in the fall, please be sure to ask what your child’s individual achievement goal is for this year.

By setting an individual target for each child and designing programs to help students reach those targets, we are paying attention to the needs of each student, whether they are high-achieving or low-achieving.

Eagle County Schools is entering into year two of the three year “Closing the Achievement Gap” initiative, funded by the state.

As we partner closely with Colorado Department of Education and Edison Alliance, we are consistently working to meet the needs of all of our students. Our focus on individual goals will allow us to further support this initiative by concentrating on every single child.

Grade-level competency in reading, writing and math is crucial, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. We want to do our part in developing well-rounded, inspired, passionate young people. We want them to leave our district ready, able and willing to go out and change the world.

As we head into the school year, I am enthusiastic about the vision that we have for your students.

Together with you, we are trying to have a huge impact on children that propels them forward into adulthood prepared and energized to be wildly successful.

Sandra B. Smyser, Ph.D., is the superintendent of Eagle County Schools.

Support Local Journalism