Superintendent outlines plan for school year

Tiffin City School District teachers, staff and administrators gathered Tuesday morning to gear up for the new school year, to start Thursday.

Superintendent Gary Barber laid out his plan for the year and his expectations for teachers and his administrative team.

During his talk, Barber discussed the findings of the curriculum audit that took place over the summer.

He discussed his leadership style, and talked about how he displays four critical behaviors he believes make an effective leader, including communication.

“I want to make sure you know why we are doing what we are doing,” he said.

Barber also said he hopes to build trust throughout the district and community.

The last two behaviors he said he hopes to show is capacity building and accountability.

“These ideals are what makes a healthy culture,” Barber said. “It is a two-way street and I want you all to feel supported so we are able to continue to move forward.”

Barber also discussed his expectations from the teachers, including becoming a collaborative team through professional learning communities.

“There will be no working in isolation,” he said.

There are four questions the district is to focus on, such as what students need to know, how they are to learn the information, how to respond if a student doesn’t know the information and how to respond if a student already knows the information.

Barber said the staff is to work through professional development to outline the districts goals and to focus on the first question this school year.

To be a great school, Barber said employees have to have a vision, data to support that vision and perception of what a district can be.

He said while talking to teachers and staff, he continually heard the same idea.

“I heard that Tiffin once was considered the lighthouse district of Seneca County and all came here to work and was a placed to send their kids and they want to be that again,” he said. “This district is good, there is a lot good going on, but I want to see it be great.”

Barber said the district has its North Star and he can see change coming through that of professional learning communities.

Barber also talked about the positive trend he has seen with the school report card and hopes to continue that success.

“The report card does not define an excellent district,” he said. “There are many parts, including teacher and student relationships, curriculum, community relationships and the report card. All are parts that make an excellent district.”

The main focus, Barber said in regards to the report card, is the increase the performance index, which measures a student’s growth.

“I am honored to live in a wonderful community,” he said. “I am very impressed with the pride you all have for the district.”