Today, I was fortunate to have a longer drive to a conference in Asheville. As I drove to Asheville, I thought about the new school year that we will start with students on Thursday. Earlier today, we hosted an Open House where parents and students were invited to pick schedules, register, and receive their laptops. This was my major experience with a cross section of the North Rowan community. I had longed wondered how the community would be. Given the status of Rowan-Salisbury's first "Restart School," the school year is beginning two weeks earlier than most other schools. We are also changing the school curriculum for all 9th and 10th graders. As I worked with a variety of parents and grandparents registering their students, I was impressed at how genuine the community was. The parents were kind, excited, and asked questions. I think that perhaps the best thing that I realized is that the parents and community are interested in what changes are occurring at the school. There is excitement and hope with the changes that are occurring at North Rowan High School. I had several parents visit with students and they asked a lot of questions about the Design Challenge course. We explained to them that this class would help them to solve problems while applying critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. We also shared that we wanted them to be excited about the course and have the ability to explore their passions. This seemed to be a pleasant surprise for some of the students. We explained that we would focus on helping them learn and expand their strengths while helping them discover new abilities. I was very energized by the positive interactions. My hope is that the community will continue to support the school in our quest to #changetheequation and engage students. We want our students to come to school eager to learn and be challenged at levels that allow them to grow. We want students to explore their passions and discover new talents. We want students to develop the necessary skills and talents to live in an ever evolving society where they are prepared for unimaginable opportunities that do not yet exist. In short, we want our students ready to meet a future that no one change yet imagine. We will work to accomplish this and more. With continued community support, North Rowan High School will transform in a model of success and hope to guide other schools. The North Rowan community has long produced many talented leaders who are able to work with a variety of people to find solutions to problems. Today, I saw many of the faces that I will be blessed to teach this year. I now understand the importance of our work and see that it matters so much more.
The ideas shared here are my own and do not necessarily represent my employers, associations, or organizations. These thoughts are entirely my own.