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Dr. Goodin's Multimedia Blog

Blog EntryBlog: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Welcome To A New School Year

Dear Spring-Ford families,
On behalf of the entire Spring-Ford community, I’d like to welcome you and your child(ren) back to school! I hope you enjoyed quality family time this summer, and made memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve spent the past few days with our staff, and am pleased to report that they are eager to welcome our students back on August 31st! This year, our district theme will be: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. You’ll see this theme repeated throughout the year as we focus our efforts on working together to provide the best educational experience possible.
Whether this is your first year as a Spring-Ford parent, or your last, the transition to a new school year can be a bit overwhelming. I encourage you to sign on to Skyward Family Access at www.spring-ford.net to help ease the transition. 
I also ask you to carefully review the First-Day packet information, which will be sent home with each Spring-Ford student. This important information includes:
  • Parent-Student Verification Letter
  • Limerick Evacuation Form – for grades K-8 and grades 9-12
  • Health Information Form
  • Publicity Refusal Form
    Additional first day packet information can be found on the home pages for each of our schools. Visit www.spring-ford.net, click on “Schools” and then select your child’s “Electronic School Bag” and click on “First Day Packet.”
    With the excitement of the new school year, we must also address concerns surrounding the 2014-2015 PSSA scores. As with many districts across the state, we anticipate Spring-Ford’s scores to be lower than previous years. When reviewing information, it is important to remember that the reason for this decline is due to changes made to the test itself. Our teachers have not changed, but the assessment has. Our students have not changed, but the assessment has. Spring-Ford teachers work diligently to prepare our students for a successful future by providing new and exciting content every day. Click here for more information concerning the PSSA scores. I appreciate your understanding and hope we may work together to navigate this change to our state assessment system.
    Enjoy these final days of summer. I look forward to welcoming our students back to school on August 31st!
    Dr. David Goodin
    Superintendent, Spring-Ford Area School District

Posted by Dr. Goodin at 10:15 AM | 0 comments
Blog EntryBlog: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Parting Thoughts to the Class of 2015

Make Every Day Count
Good evening – and welcome. What a day! As you look around you, can you imagine celebrating this day with anyone else? Whether you are a student, parent, family member, teacher, school board member or administrator, today is certainly one to celebrate.
This year, Spring-Ford’s motto was “making every day count.” As I prepared to celebrate this final day with the Class of 2015, I found myself returning to this sentiment.
In front of us we have with have nearly 600 young members of the community who are about to share the same great achievement, at the same time. But what makes today special for one person may be different for another. Today may be significant because you are the last of your siblings to participate in a Spring-Ford graduation, or you’re celebrating because you’ll be the first member of your family to attend college, or you may have just realized that you are experiencing one of the most meaningful moments of your life. A mother may be experiencing something completely different at this moment. They remember changing your diaper, singing you to sleep, reading to you when you were young, comforting you when you cried and now here you are graduating from High School.  Maybe four years ago you were so overwhelmed simply by entering the high school that you couldn’t imagine getting to this point… but you did, you made it. No matter what you’re experiencing today, I encourage you to relish this moment. You will never have this day again, make it count.
As we reflect on your time at Spring-Ford this evening, my hope is that we have taught you to think beyond these walls,
that you have learned to have compassion for those around you,
that you grow into a person who can positively contribute to our society
and that you are prepared to make a positive impact upon  the world.
And while you weren’t formally tested on these “subject” areas, your presence here today means you can confidently enter the world as a high school graduate and are prepared to make every day count.
One of my favorite graduation memories was from my son, about 10 years ago. As we were leaving his commencement ceremony, he looked at me and said, “It went too fast.” At the time, I thought he meant the ceremony itself. I simply replied, “Yup. It was fast alright.” At the end of the summer, as he was leaving for college, he brought this point up again, “It went too fast.”  I learned that he didn’t mean graduation or the summer; he meant his time in High School. He was your age, around 18 years old, yet he was mature enough to realize how quickly time passed. From then on he appreciated more moments in life, both big and small. Much like he did, I hope you realize that it is up to you to make every day count.
After today, your life as a Spring-Ford graduate will fly by. The next few months will hold graduation parties, summer jobs, packing for college, entering the workforce, serving our country, making new friends and holding onto the friends that you’ve had for nearly 20 years. Make these days count. And be sure to thank your parents for all their support and guidance through the years.
Ok, now before I end, let’s have a little bit of fun. Last year our school board president took a 'selfie' with our graduating class. I for one have not mastered the 'selfie'. But I can appreciate what a 'selfie' represents, it captures a moment of time – so let’s take a moment to pull out our cameras and capture this moment in time!
I’ll leave you today with this quote, “Make every day count, appreciate and cherish every moment and grab everything you possibly can because you may never be able to experience it again.”
Thank you, and congratulations!

Posted by Dr. Goodin at 10:24 AM | 1 comment
Blog EntryBlog: Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Golden Rules Begins With You

Do you have any books that you periodically ‘reread’? I do. One of these books is by John C. Maxwell, titled, Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know. The overall premise is that we need to follow the Golden Rule in our interactions with others. In case you have forgotten the Golden Rule it basically says that you should treat others as you would like to be treated. So the question becomes, “How do you want to be treated? Maxwell identifies 6 things that human beings have in common when it comes to how they want to be treated:
  1. I want to be valued
  2. I want to be appreciated
  3. I want to be trusted
  4. I want to be respected
  5. I want to be understood
  6. I do not want others to take advantage of me
This is certainly how I want to be treated. I am certain that you feel the same way. I have always been told that you get what you give or put another way, you reap what you sow. In all of our interactions the Golden Rule is well worth remembering

Posted by Dr. Goodin at 9:04 AM | 1 comment
Blog EntryBlog: Sunday, January 4, 2015

Is Johnny really 'smart'?

As a school district driven to provide a solid education to all of our students, it is vital that we not limit our understanding of intelligence and talent to the traditional areas of verbal and mathematical-logical reasoning. Howard Gardner, a psychologist at the Harvard School of Education has written extensively on the subject of multiple intelligences. According to Gardner, the “single most important contribution education can make to a child’s development is to help him toward a field where his talents best suit him.” To accomplish this, schools should not “evaluate everyone along the way according to whether they meet that narrow standard of success … we should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competencies and gifts and cultivate these.” I would have to agree with Gardner since my experience and observation has proven that “there are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed, and many, many different abilities that will help you get there.” Then what might be the useful purpose for testing children at all? According to Gardner, a test such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, for example, should give “parents and teachers clear guidance about the realms that these children will take a spontaneous interest in, and where they will do well enough to develop the passions that could one day lead beyond proficiency to mastery.” Well stated Dr. Gardner!

Posted by Dr. Goodin at 2:56 PM | 2 comments
Blog EntryBlog: Thursday, November 20, 2014

Responsibility, Authority and Leadership

I have often been asked, “Hey, how does it feel to be at the top?” I have to chuckle at this because I often don’t feel ‘at the top’, rather I feel the load of responsibility. Fortunately, along with the responsibility comes a degree of authority that allows me to handle the responsibilities of my position. I have met people who have authority but have no responsibility. My observation is that this condition leads to tyranny and the abuse of that authority since there is no responsibility for the how the job is done or the outcomes. There is simply the command to do this or do that with little thought of the difficulty of the task. I have also known those who have a tremendous amount of responsibility but little authority. This leads to frustration and a feeling of being overwhelmed; always knowing what needs to happen but not having the power to make it happen. Leadership requires a balance of responsibility and authority. Having responsibility helps to keep the abuse of power in check while authority gives the muscle to get things done. The only other ingredient needed for solid leadership is motive. Why are you a leader or do you aspire to a position of leadership?  Is your motivation to serve others or to serve one’s own self? I want my motive to always be the desire to serve others, otherwise authority and responsibility mean very little.

Posted by Dr. Goodin at 3:51 PM | 2 comments
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