98% of awards are pretty much the same

Awards, recognitions, and milestones share a unique trait. 

Although the fields of endeavor may be different – academics, sports, music, painting, business-building, military service, and so on – most of the respective awards and milestones originate from the same source.
They originate from the hearts, commitment, and talents from those involved.
Think about it.
If all of the individuals and groups willing work together toward a common cause suddenly gave up and quit, there’d be absolutely no reason continue handing out trophies and awards, right?
The recognitions would be meaningless.
This is why I believe it’s a good idea to highlight the origin story behind a special award whenever possible.
Usually you’ll find a number of good people made it happen!

It’s possible you may not have seen or heard about this.
But if you’re reading this, it’s likely you played a part in helping us earn it.
It’s this.

Receiving Level 1 Certification from Marzano’s “High Reliability Schools” Network (HRS) marks a significant first-step achievement for our district.

It means FSD has made steady progress in building a strong foundation for school improvement during the last 10-12 months.

Marzano’s school improvement framework contains five levels, and the Level 1 Certificate demonstrates our progress in four key action areas:

  • Establishing a safe and collaborative environment
  • Ensuring quality teaching practices are in every classroom
  • Providing curriculum ALL students can access and can realistically be taught within available time
  • Using standards-referenced grading and reporting to communicate student progress and proficiency

For a school district and community already anchored in a tradition of high standards and excellence, I’m grateful our board, staff, and our entire school family embraced getting on board with Marzano’s continuous improvement model last summer.

Not everyone would choose to make the attempt to go from “great to better” – but this was a challenge FSD staff relished every step of the way.

Along with every Eagle who cares about the future of our district, we welcomed the opportunity to build upon FSD’s Culture of Excellence.

With our new Strategic Plan in mind during its rollout in the fall of 2022, we admired the eagle’s unique ability to powerfully soar above the storms and turbulence hampering other birds below.
So, we began by having our district’s leadership team meet with Mario Acosta from Marzano Resources to explore how to effectively align our own Strategic Plan’s action goals within the Marzano’s HRS framework.
We wanted to have FSD to be eagle-like and similarly soar above any future uncertainties and always be in a position to provide the best education and opportunities for our students.

Within weeks of our district leadership sessions, the entire FSD staff began working with Mario Acosta, too.
It was exciting to see the momentum build for taking our Culture of Excellence to the next level.

You know, we are blessed to have wonderfully talented and caring staff in our district and everyone’s commitment to collaborating about injecting new instructional and engagement strategies into our classrooms within the context of our Board approved curriculum impressed me.
Despite our district’s longtime track record of academic and extracurricular success, there was no complacency in the ranks.
We knew our Culture of Excellence and the futures of our students would be strengthened by working through fresh perspectives, proven practices, heightened relevancy.
Three staff members shared these thoughts.

“I loved the philosophy of ‘good to great’ and ‘great to even better.’  As an educator, we should never be done improving our methods of instruction. We worked together on this and increased our awareness about the Marzano framework and the research supporting it.”

“Our work with the Marzano framework was INCREDIBLY USEFUL We reviewed and affirmed many current practices and discovered newer methods, too. I feel I gathered new resources and supporting materials I can use in my teaching.”

“I appreciated diving into the latest on brain-based learning. I picked up some excellent new strategies I could use in my classroom right away.”

These three teachers are fine representatives of an entire PreK-12 staff which contributed to helping us earn our recent Marzano HRS Level 1 Certification.
I thank them – and every FSD staff member!
In closing, I want to thank YOU as well.

Because of your ongoing support – and the caring involvement of the entire Frankenmuth community – our district is continuing to provide safe and high-quality learning environments for our students and staff, ones which truly inspire and encourage FSD’s Culture of Excellence every day.

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