August 2013 Column

 It’s time for Hobbs residents to show some pride in their schools. Grading and/or labeling of our school has not been kind to HMS in recent years. We have worked hard over the past two years to identify areas of academic concern and create a plan of action to address those educational needs. Our recent A-F report card demonstrates that the hard work has paid off. Our staff and students rose to the occasion and achieved well beyond our predicted goals.  When we underperform we should accept the criticism, but when staff and students excel -  as they did this past year - they should reap the benefits and praise for their effort.

 HMS had four campuses (25 percent) that earned a report card grade from the state of "C" or higher in 2011-12.  Our goal for 2012-13 was that 50 percent of our campuses (eight schools) would attain a passing grade of "C" or better.  Actual results indicate 11 of our campuses (65 percent) scored a "C" or better. Thirteen of the 16 schools improved their overall point total. Heizer is not included in the growth since it was not open during the 2011-12 school year. I have accepted the responsibility of our less than stellar results, but the rewards for improvement should be given to the staff and students for their diligence in maintaining the focus of our initiatives. We set the goal for 2013-14 to achieve 75 percent (13 campuses) passing with a "C" or better.

 Although HMS made some measureable gains, we still have a journey ahead of us to achieve a status worthy of this community. Hobbs Schools are still performing below the state in proficiency rates in most grades for Math and Science. In order to catch and surpass the state, we must make gains greater than the state.  Each day must be a day of high academic standards. Children must come prepared to be engaged and teachers must be prepared to instruct at a level to attain the lofty goals we’ve set.

 Our focus this year will be TLC - Teach, Learn and Care.
Teaching: Classroom transitions will be conducted with minimal waste of time. Every teacher will teach bell to bell. Lesson pacing will be conducive to grade level. Objectives will be displayed visibly in the classroom. Data will drive and influence instruction.  
Learning: Lessons must be relevant to the students. Students will be appropriately engaged in every lesson. Teachers must be able to disaggregate and use the data to positively impact each student. Students and staff alike must collaborate.
Caring: Each campus must emit a positive environment.  Teachers must work with parents and parent with teachers for the betterment of the children. We must treat each other equitably and with respect. Discipline will be enforced in a constructive manner. HMS will provide a safe and clean environment.
 As our community grows, the burden of providing a quality education expands exponentially.  Our data shows the longer a student spends in Hobbs Municipal Schools, the better his academic achievement. HMS has grown by more than 1,100 students since 2009.  To put that into perspective, our growth is larger than the entire district of Tucumcari Public School. Teaching done well is a difficult and arduous profession.  Please encourage our students and staff as you see them in the community.  Their achievements will directly impact the success of this great community. We ARE Hobbs Eagles!
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