Thursday, August 29, 2013

YPS Technology Night for Parents - Come LEARN with us!

YPS Technology Night for Parents

Come join us in learning about the various types of technology York Public Schools is offering to the parents and community. If you have a laptop, iPad, smartphone, etc... please feel free to bring it and follow along or use one of our computers in the lab. We want to help you learn how Infinite Campus Parent Portal can benefit you. Did you know you could add lunch money and keep track of lunch balances, as well as check grades and assignment due dates through Parent Portal? If you don't yet have an Infinite Campus Parent Portal account, please come early and we will set you up before the training begins.

We will also go over our website, show you how to sign up for "Duke Alerts", and introduce you to our Facebook Page and Twitter Account. Technology can feel intimidating until it's understood....however it is a great way to stay informed and up to date with your child and what's going on in your school system.

Two sessions will be offered; Wednesday, September 11th or Thursday, September 19th at 6:00 in the York Middle School computer lab.
Registration fee: $5.

Please pre-register by calling 402-362-6700 or by email

Tea and cookies will be provided.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another NEW Year

Working in public education is wonderful. Each year, you get a "fresh" start. Every year you get another "1st day" that allows you to re-channel your enthusiasm and excitement. It is such a great feeling to move around YPS on the 1st day of school to see all of the energy and hope that our students and staff possess.

2013-14 is going to be another great year for York Public Schools. We have outstanding students and supportive families. We have a talented and dedicated staff. We have a community that values education and a school board that works hard to provide opportunities for us all. Let's all do our part to make this the best year yet.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Student Achievement Successes

Assessment scores are just a little snapshot of what we’re about at York Public Schools BUT we want that snapshot to be as strong as possible and it’s improving all the time!

The percentage of our students that meet or exceed proficiency on the state math test has increased 10% in the past two years to 77%
• Duke 5th and 7th graders had the HIGHEST average score in the conference!

The percentage of our students that meet or exceed proficiency on the state reading test has increased 16% in the past three years to 85%
• YPS’ district-wide average student score of 123.0 on NeSA-R in 2013 tied for the “conference championship”
• Duke 3rd, 5th, and 7th graders had the HIGHEST average score in the conference!

The average student score for all 5th, 8th, and 11th grade students in Nebraska on the State Science test last spring was 103 while York’s average was 112.7

70.3% of Nebraska’s public school students in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades met/exceeded proficiency on the State Science Test compared to 81.7% of our York Dukes

The 11th grade average student score on the NeSA-Writing test last spring was 45 while York’s average was 47

69% of Nebraska Public School juniors met/exceeded proficiency on last spring’s state writing test compared to 75% of our York Dukes

The average ACT score for the York Dukes is currently 22.6 while the state average is 22.0 and the national average is 21.8

We're proud of our students, their families, and our staff and look forward to continuing to manage the accountability that comes with assessments while also providing enriching educational experiences for our kids as well.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Beliefs on Leadership

I try to read some leadership books over the summer when the opportunity presents itself. One leader that I've grown to admire is Bill Parcells, who was recently inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame as a Super Bowl winning coach. Coach Parcells has several quotes/beliefs that I have bought into. One is "what gets measured gets improved." To me, this means that what you focus on and identify as an area of improvement gets the attention it needs. It is a leader's job to identify and communicate what needs to improve. Once that determination is made, an action plan can be into place to improve results. Coach Parcells also believes that "what you tolerate, you encourage." If you tolerate mediocrity, you are encouraging it. If you tolerate less than a maximum effort, you are in fact encouraging it.

My favorite "Parcellism" is that "all winning organizations have a comfortable level of discomfort." I have absolutely found this to be the case and the YPS administrative team and I discuss this quite often. To be a winning team, you have to be pushing forward. You can't be in a comfort zone. You need to celebrate successes and accomplishments but you don't have time to sit around and reflect on how good things are; you must keep improving. It is OK for teams to never feel 100% satisfied or comfortable. We all need to keep our edge and hunger for success.

Bill's favorite speech has now become mine. It is titled, "The Man in the Glass" and it was written by Dale Wimbrow. To me, it is about personal accountability and being your own harshest critic. We all need to have high expectations for ourselves. We need to put more pressure on ourselves than others do. We need to reach for the stars and believe in ourselves. The rest of the world sometimes tries to tear us down but if we can stay true to the person in the mirror, we're on the right track!

THE MAN IN THE GLASS by Dale Wimbrow

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the man staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may get what you want down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.