New School Superintendent Provides Entry Plan Goals | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA
Community engagement, learning and working environment, and educational excellence are the primary goals of the new Lee County Schools Superintendent.
Dr. Christopher Bernier told the school board during a June 13 workshop that it’s important for him to be as visible as possible because interaction with employees and the community is critical to student success. .
To achieve this, he is committed to listening, learning and planning, he added.
The primary objective of his “entrance plan?” To ensure that as superintendent he is well informed and fully aware of the needs of the community — all stakeholders.
This will encourage college- and career-ready kids who have the ability to get out there and earn a living to support their community, as well as create a world-class system so businesses and others don’t shy away when one gives them the opportunity to come to Southwest Florida.
“We drive the economic engine” Bernier said.
There will be an open letter to the community from the superintendent sharing his appreciation for the opportunity to serve the district, while also inviting employees and community members to engage in the work ahead.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for me” Bernier said, adding that board members shared they were worried he was overdoing it and asking him if he finds ways to unplug and relax. “I have to learn to pace myself, but at the moment that’s not an option.”
He told the board to stop worrying about their superintendent.
“I’m exhausted, but strangely full of energy at the same time”, Bernier said, adding that his entry plan is the start of what he expects of himself as superintendent.
The letter is important because there must be collaboration because the work cannot be done alone.
“You have established a great culture for a team to follow in your core values . . . unwavering commitment to students and success,” Bernier said. “The goal is to listen, learn and then plan in order to lead students to success.
The three areas of its goals are aligned with the district’s core values, which are founded on its belief in students. All children should have the opportunity to grow academically, socially and emotionally and to be celebrated, nurtured and loved, he said.
“These core values must be integrated into our work as living examples for our students”, Bernier said.
Other core values include excellence, integrity, high expectations, accountability and professionalism.
Bernier said his entry plan goal includes legitimate community engagement, which is underway this month with the district’s equity plan, as well as preliminary work on the proximity plan, which would allow children to attend schools closer to home.
“This is not a listening tour. This is the start of a process of community engagement and an engagement that I will be with the community asking critical questions about what works, what doesn’t and what keeps you up at night,” he said, adding that it’s different from the point of view of a council member and the parents.
“All voices are incredibly important,” he said.
The second goal, learning and workforce environment, will include the cultivation of particular areas of the district that may have leaders who have not received all the training they need to be successful. Bernier said it’s about creating a workplace and a culture for the students first, and for everyone working for the district, starting with safety.
“If an individual’s basic needs are not being met, it is very difficult to meet anyone’s needs,” he said.
With excellence in education, Bernier aims for graduation rates that need to be improved, as well as improving the number of students who have achieved subject mastery in the district.
The board of directors gave its full support to his plan.
Council member Gwyn Gittens asked if Bernier could share her schedule, so council can attend community engagement meetings.
“I’m more than happy to provide access to my calendar, so you know exactly what I’m doing,” Bernier said.
He said that on Fridays he sits down and writes down what he has accomplished this week, what he is happy with and what he wishes he could do better. Bernier suggested he could share with the board on Monday morning what had happened to him the previous week.
“I will continue to say it out loud. As we engage and create equitable educational processes that meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of every learner in our care, I really want to focus on the last three words – in our care. We are a local parent when we have someone else’s child, but that doesn’t stop us, and shouldn’t stop us, from communicating with parents and guardians to make sure that as we develop young people academically, socially and emotionally, we work in accordance with their values and beliefs”, he said.
Bernier said that when they made academic plans with counselors to get ninth-graders through this stage of their senior year, they did so with parental permission.
“These are my own deep convictions. I love having this job and I love working with all of you. I look forward to what we will accomplish in the future,” he said.