Always Building

Update for Jan 11-15

When I host families who visit our school for the first time, I treat it like I’m on an interview.  

One of my favorite education leaders, Todd Whitaker, says that induction starts with the interview.  This is my chance to sell our building’s culture and initiatives. When I tour with a family, I want them to experience our culture and I want them to know about what we are working on as a building community.

I do this knowing that the family might not even end up being a family that attends our school.  But there is something bigger at play here than a building tour.  

It’s about building our brand.  It’s about celebrating our accomplishments and our work.  It’s about connecting visitors to our culture.  

I do this because I believe we are Always Building Culture.

This Friday, I shared a note with our staff that a recent visitor sent to me. She and her family had toured Alton Darby in mid-December, just before winter break.

The family was planning on relocating from St. Louis and wanted to tour schools in the Central Ohio area before making a decision about where to relocate.  

Here’s what she wrote:

As you can see, the family decided to move to a different school district in Central Ohio, but I believe there was a reason why she took the time to write me and positive note anyway.  I believe it’s because I committed to helping the family experience the culture we have built.  

We may not have gained a family, but we may have gained one more person who will indirectly help us build our brand and our culture.  If she ever talks about her experience at Alton Darby, chances are she’ll share something positive.

As Tim Kight reminds us, the work we do each day “creates the culture that drives the behavior that produces the results” we hope for – Students who are ready to confidently take on any opportunity that comes their way.

Each of us plays a role in creating our building’s culture. Each of us drives behavior that produces results.  The tone we set through our actions has a direct effect on our culture.  

How are your actions supporting our district and building initiatives?  Are there actions you are taking that go against what we are trying to accomplish as a district and as a building?

Do you come to school each day ready to build?


#ADCCulture Challenge continues this week!  It’s not a competition between others — It’s about challenging yourself to positively impact our culture and to connect with others. Have fun!

Have a GREAT week!


Articles Worth Reading — 

How To Get Your Kids Interested In STEM (Without Forcing It On Them) (via @LifehackerAU)

An Educator’s Gift to Their Learners: Seeing Each One of Them via @jackiegerstein

How Showing and Telling Kids ‘I Believe in You’ Can Empower Them at School

Video Worth Watching — 

Upcoming Dates — 

Jan 12 — Steering Committee Meeting, 3:45, DCR
Jan 13 — Special Ed Team Meeting, 12:00
Jan 14 — Author Visit, Steve Harpster
Jan 18 — Martin Luther King, Jr Day — NO SCHOOL
Jan 19-Feb 29 — Scholastic Reading Inventory window (Grades 2 to 5)
Jan 23 & Feb 20 — NUMATS (gifted) test (by invitation/recommendation only)
Jan 25 — Yearbook Sale Begins (Ends Feb 5)
Jan 25-Feb 26 — Calkins Writing Assessment window (Grades K to 5)
Jan 29 — K-5 Interim Reports

Feb 1 — ADE PTO Meeting, 7pm
Feb 2 — ADE Kindergarten Registration Day
Feb 5 — Yearbook Sale Ends
Feb 8-11 February Conference Week
Feb 10 — Conference Evening
Feb 12 — Parent/Teacher Conference Comp Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 15 — Presidents’ Day, NO SCHOOL
Feb 23 — K (AM) & 1st Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 24 — 2nd Grade (AM) & 3rd Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 25 — 4th Grade (AM) & 5th Grade (PM) ½ Day Data Team Meeting
Feb 26 — End of K-5 Grading Period

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