Meeting sets tone for school year

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 8/8/18

FLEMING ISLAND – School Superintendent Addison Davis and the Clay County School District’s principals are ready to begin their journey to the summit of Florida education.

At a recent …

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Meeting sets tone for school year


FLEMING ISLAND – School Superintendent Addison Davis and the Clay County School District’s principals are ready to begin their journey to the summit of Florida education.

At a recent workshop, principals, vice principals, assistant principals, Davis and more met in the Fleming Island Teacher Service Building to discuss plans for the upcoming school year, with a focus on continued educational improvement all in the effort to take Clay County from eighth in the state to first. The four-hour workshop began on Aug. 2 with a presentation from Davis that took a deep dive at some of the numbers behind Clay’s educational system and some of the systems Davis hopes will make Clay County schools even better. Davis set the tone of this presentation by explaining to the executive staff in the room that it’s important for kids to be excited once more about going to school.

“If we ask our kids to be compliant, we’ll get compliant,” Davis said. “If we ask our kids to be eager and excited about learning, they’ll be eager and excited about learning every single day.”

While Davis wants Clay County students to be excited about all facets of learning, he especially wants them to be excited about literature and math. Specifically, third and seventh grade learning and eighth grade math. Across the board, students in Clay County performed well on End-of-Course exams, but in those reading and math EOCs, students certainly could have performed better.

“We do see that there are areas we have to focus on, those being literacy in third grade, literacy in the area of seventh grade and then we have tremendous work to do in the area of mathematics for eighth grade,” Davis said.

Davis said he’d prefer that high school EOCs become a thing of the past

“We will have a major push for legislation in the coming months to punt all high school EOCs and only move to SAT and ACT because while it’s nice to determine how well our kids are competing locally in a local assessment [EOCs], many of our kids aren’t trying to compete locally,” Davis said. “They’re trying to compete nationally.”

Moving forward from testing talk, Davis broke down organizational priorities for the school district: rigorous academics, talented staff and supportive elements. He asked the audience a few questions to help explain each of these priorities.

Are students studying, being challenged and engaging in relevant content? Are educators in the right roles with the right skills to help students thrive? Are policies, systems and communities supporting great schools for any student in the district?

According to Davis, if every district staff member remembers these questions, and hones in on these priorities, Clay County will be in the No. 1 spot for education in Florida. He also said that this is what the community wants.

“This is what the community wants,” Davis said. “They want us to be successful. What can we create, what can we do, how can we continue to move forward? We have to create a world-class education.”

In order to offer a world-class education, Davis said staff must demand rigorous academic achievement, establish high expectations, establish quality support systems to respond to any students’ needs and finally, establish a rich and professional learning environment for every student that walks through a Clay County school door.

To close out the presentation, Davis asked attendees to do one thing.

“Continue the work you’ve been doing,” Davis said. “If you continue to do your work, and continue to do better, we will be No. 1.”


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