Fish addressed the superintendents during the annual Leadership Institute, which took place this week at Stonewall Jackson Resort.
“Right now, principals of schools that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress may be feeling a little low. That is expected. But it must not be allowed to continue,” said Fish. “Applaud them for the improvement that was made even if every standard was not met. And then, push them forward with the vision that improvement will come in all areas.”
Fish focused on the importance of county and board support to improve curriculum, instruction and student achievement in every school.
“You (county superintendents) are the morale builders, the positive attitude enforcers. If you can do that the state will help with professional development and technical assistance to schools to improve the quality of instruction,” added Fish.
Fish highlighted areas she felt must change in an effort to raise academic standards:
• We must establish a seamless system of high standards pre kindergarten through college;
• We must offer more challenging coursework to prepare for college, the workforce and life;
• We must set high standards at the earliest grade level;
• We need to make sure all students, including students with disabilities, achieve academically; and
• We all need to do a better job of ensuring that all students learn what they need to know.
“I am confident that working together, we can accomplish these goals,” said Fish. “The State Board is counting on our superintendents to continue to instill high expectations and to make your principals and teachers feel valued.”