Message from Dr. Scarsella
The other day, I was looking for a document and came across my very first speech to staff as the newly appointed superintendent. As I read that speech, I was reassured that my personal philosophy for leading an elementary school district has not changed over the years. At the elementary level, I continue to firmly believe we have two primary goals when it comes to the development of our students. The first goal is preparing students academically for high school, post-secondary and beyond. The second goal is fostering a love of learning in our students at a young age. Both goals are equally important. If students love coming to school every day to learn, they are much more likely to excel academically.
One important way Palos 118 prepares students academically while at the same time instilling in them a love of learning is through building positive assessment cultures at all three of our schools. We want all of our students to feel confident and dare I say excited to demonstrate what they know and are able to do. We want them to feel safe taking chances and learning to persevere when they struggle. Our schools do this by providing students multiple opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, encouraging them to put forward their best effort, and celebrating their success.
The way we talk about assessment as adults has a profound impact on children. I’m asking parents to partner with us to maintain positive assessment cultures in our schools and school community. In approximately two months, our students will take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR). The IAR is the new state reading and math assessment for grades three through eight. You can read more about the IAR in Dr. Cozza’s Curriculum Corner. Please encourage your children to do their best on the IAR, just as you would on any classroom assignment. Please join us in celebrating your child’s success by focusing on their motivation to do well and their individual growth, not their test score. Together, we can maintain an assessment culture that prompts students to say with confidence, “I Am Ready (IAR) for whatever comes my way!” I hope you will join us in our efforts.
Dr. Anthony Scarsella
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