From the Superintendent

On January 25, 2017, I will be delivering my first State of the Schools address. I am hopeful there will be parents, students, teachers and administrators, as well as local community and business leaders in attendance as they embody the “Elkhart Promise.” As we know, it will take all of these groups coming together to realize a stronger Elkhart. The “Elkhart Promise” inspires us to know each student by name, challenge, and support students with highly effective staff, and in partnership with the community, graduate students who are college, career, and life ready.

In knowing each student by name, we hope to embrace all students: students who learn differently, speak differently, and come to us with different kinds of challenges and opportunities. To know each student by name means we will go the extra mile to embrace every student wherever they are and ensure they reach their potential.

In order to ensure all students reach their potential, we need to empower our highly effective staff. It is through the idea of empowering a highly effective staff that we begin to fully realize three main initiatives. First is the realization of the quality profile. While state standardized tests are important, they do not tell the whole story of our school district. The quality profile reports not only what the state of Indiana believes is important, but also what is important to our local community. Second are the Instructional Cycle Teams which will guide us in the development of curriculum, assessment and instruction. Third is the realization of a new PreK – 12 platform in which to deliver highly effective instruction. Over the next five years, we will look to increase PreK opportunities through federal, state, and private funding. During that same five year period we will look to incorporate sixth grade into our current middle school concept, create a freshman division and develop a grade 10-12 college and career campus.

Finally, the promise cannot be fully realized without the help of our community. Preparing students to be college, career, and life ready is not only the work of our schools but also our families, churches, business community, and not-for-profit organizations. Working together, we have the opportunity to keep our promise.

The State of the Schools address, as well as this newsletter represents the fulfillment of a few of the many elements of the 2017-2022 Elkhart Community Schools Strategic Plan. Improving internal and external communication is a key element of the plan. It is my hope that over the course of this year you and our community will see a different level of commitment to improve communication. In order for the Promise to be fully realized, communication must and will improve. Our work together to ensure the promise has just begun; communication as we move forward will be the key element to ensure that the promise is realized. I look forward to hearing from you throughout 2017.

Happy New Year,
Rob Haworth
Elkhart Community Schools