Education Corner 2

31 August 2015

Last issue the Education Corner (EC) left a little homework for everyone about student attendance. Quite simply, are children seen around neighborhoods playing when they should be in school? We should have added are there many students straggling along "on their way" long after school has begun. But the homework was a little unfair since school is just now beginning.
For now readers should know that some schools have very high Average Daily Attendance (ADA) and some schools are not quite as high. Why is this? That is really the homework question. It's a community matter. While we have no real research it seems that communities that make formal education a community priority have good attendance. But EC will continue to ask, "Why do some schools have high ADA and some not?" So let us know what you think at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a comment on this article in the Kaselehlie Website at  www.kpress.info.


In the last EC, teacher attendance was mentioned and more homework promised. Like student attendance, teacher attendance varies from school to school. In some schools teachers rarely miss a day. In other schools teachers seem to "take leave' very often. We all know part of the answer to this one—some teachers attend more funerals than others. Why do some teachers teach most of the day and attend after the teaching day? We would like some thoughts on this as well and we encourage your comments. womackandassociates765@gmail. com
We ask these questions for the sake of improving student learning. We assume that with more students in school more often and with teachers missing fewer days more will be learned. Are these important factors for improving student learning? We believe so and it is important because it is the community that can impact the improvement.
EC will always pass on to the school principals any useful suggestions you may have.
To be sure the most important factor to improving student learning is improving teaching. This job falls on the school principal. The school principal's job is to be the school leader and particularly the leader of teachers and the curriculum. Today, with FSM Accreditation, far more is required of the school principal.
Dear Readers: The job of a Pohnpei Principal seems almost overwhelming when we look at accreditation language like this and what is required:
A Pohnpei Principal will exhibit Leadership when (s)he demonstrates:
Skills and actions that improve Teacher Performance as measured by improved student performance
The ability to use Data Management for decisions leading to improved student performance
That the teachers understand and teach all the National (and PDOE) Curriculum Standards, Benchmarks and Student Learning Outcomes
That the School Campus, Classrooms and Facilities meet or exceed all building codes and health and safety codes.
The ability to rally the teachers and community to produce and implement a School Improvement Plan (SIP) focused upon improving student learning.

This SIP and knowing how it works will be the topics of future of EC comments. To be sure, the SIPs must show how the student and teacher attendance will be improved. If we all knew the duties, responsibilities and expectations now placed on our principals---we would act much more kindly upon them.
Lastly "hats off" to our Municipal Police as they tend to the safety of the school children as they travel to and from school and make the road crossings. EC commends our police for making our children's safety an important part of their job.

Richard Womack, Ed.D

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