The opening day of the 2015-16 year for AAPS staff and teachers was a busy one Tuesday, with each school focusing on the year-long theme of caring.
It was also a time for team building, as staff got reacquainted with colleagues and met new ones. Principals led staff meetings, where they reviewed parent surveys, goals, new learning initiatives, and started discussions about best classroom practices.
Forsythe Middle School staff embarked on a road rally, dividing into cars with a long list of local destinations, all designed to give them a deeper insight into their students’ neighborhoods and hang-outs, while solidifying relationships.
“Find a Forsythe parent” and “Visit Peace Neighborhood Center” were two of the tasks.
At Carpenter Elementary, Principal Michael Johnson stressed the need for staff to focus on the “big rocks” of family, caring, and self first and foremost. He says it’s easy to let the day-to-day tasks, or little rocks take up all of your time so you don’t focus on what’s really important. He also took the staff on a tour of the Carpenter community.
At Pathways to Success Academic Campus, the morning was highlighted by a visit from Yvonne Dulin, the wife of the creator and long-time leader of the former Roberto Clemente School. Pathways behavior intervention specialist Jeffrey Nzoma says Dulin made it clear that they need to understand the social reality of their students to show they care.
Also throughout the day, custodians were busy making sure conditions are tip-top for Sept. 8, when about 17,000 students will fill the buildings.