“Very busy, very productive.”
Those were the words Campbell County Director of Schools Jennifer Fields used to describe her first 100 days.
Having set a lengthy list of goals for herself prior to taking the helm, Fields believes she has accomplished them.
“I have felt very successful with it,” she said. “I feel like I have accomplished everything I set out to do.”
Aside from doing “a lot of reading” Fields has spent some time on the road visiting all of the schools in the county. All visits were unannounced giving her a feel for “the true culture of each school,” she said.
“More than anything I have enjoyed seeing the students countywide,” she said. Along the way, she also left notes for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Next on her list was establishing an Aspiring Leaders Academy.
The academy is meant to provide educators with opportunities to experience leadership roles.
Thirty applicants made for a “great turn out,” according to Fields. While it is not a guaranteed road to an administrator’s position, Fields said, “It would provide the applicants with several opportunities for a leadership role within the schools.”
Students were also surveyed during the first 100 days giving them a chance to be heard by the new director. High schools and their parents were allowed to participate in the survey through the Aspen system used by the county schools allowing their voices to be heard in topics such as dress code and class choices. The anonymous survey had a “good response,” according to Fields.
Civic engagement is also a priority for Fields. “That is one of the things we did early on,” she said. From joining the Rotary Club to helping teachers reach for resources, Fields said this area has been successful.
Classroom data has also been reviewed in the last 100 days.
Breaking down all of the data from the state report card, Fields said she and her staff had been using it to look for trends in the classroom.
The idea is to use the data to “find strengths and offer praise” while also using it to see how the system can help the students on a daily basis.
“What the data has shown so far is that teachers are using the benchmarks set by the state to drive their instruction. They also collaborate when it comes to instruction,” she said.
The data has also shown what the staff needs to improve on, according to Fields.
As Fields took the reins, outgoing director Larry Nidiffer was there to help her. They began the transition at the end of January and by the time her March start date rolled around, Fields felt as though she had a strong understanding of her new position.
“I can’t say enough positive about Mr. Nidiffer,” she said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/12/2018-10:30AM)