A message from Dr. Dan Zorn, Longview Public Schools Superintendent
It is my great honor to serve the students, staff members, and community as the superintendent of your public schools. I’d like to echo what noted journalist and author Tom Brokaw wrote–“Public education after all is the engine that moves us as a society toward a common destiny… It is in public education that the American dream begins to take shape.”
As your superintendent, I can tell you we are working hard to to improve our students’ overall experience at Longview Public Schools. Much of my time during my first year here was spent observing the great things happening in our schools and identifying areas that still need work. This led to a lengthy, collaborative process of creating a new strategic plan. This plan, “Our Design for Excellence,” focuses on the following key areas:
- improving student achievement levels of all students,
- improving the culture and climate of our schools,
- creating effective relationships with our students,
- encouraging our students and families to “connect” with their schools, and
- prudently managing the financial resources and the public’s facilities.
To achieve our academic goals, we have committed to improving the rigor and relevance of the education we provide. Rigor helps students be able to demonstrate quality thinking and mastery of challenging tasks. Relevant learning enables students to apply what they’ve learned to solve real-world problems. Our focus on rigor and relevance will help ensure that we provide challenging and diverse educational experiences that meet our students’ needs.
We are also committed to providing a specific and appropriate set of steps to help struggling students. These focused interventions in the areas where they need the most help, as well as other opportunities, will help get—or keep—our students on track.
Improving the culture and climate in each of our schools is essential to our students’ academic and social success. “Our Design for Excellence” promotes strong and effective relationships between our students, their teachers, and the school and between families and their child’s school.
We recognize that many of our students come to us with social, emotional, behavioral, and physical health needs that can become barriers to learning. We believe that it is our responsibility to the “whole child” to work with our students, their families, and community organizations to help our students overcome these challenges so they can effectively learn. We have expanded emphasis by extending access to mental health services, including an additional five “climate and culture specialists” for our highest-need elementary schools, and three additional counselors for our middle schools.
When it comes to our facilities, we are committed to maximizing the life and functionality of our buildings while we plan for the future needs. You will continue hear a great deal about facility planning as we strive to map the future of our facilities and determine how best to utilize them to maximize student achievement. I encourage all members of our community to get involved in planning processes.
In closing, I want to assure you that the staff at Longview Public Schools is deeply committed to serving our students, our families, and our community. We can realize the improved achievement levels that are at the center of “Our Design for Excellence” by working together for our kids. We look forward to working with each of you as we make the Longview Public Schools the district of choice in Southwest Washington for families and prospective staff members.
Dr. Dan Zorn