Friday Letter, July 19, 2019
Hello Woodworth-Monroe Students, Families and Staff,
Summer is flying by (as planes go over our heads every 15 minutes or so I thought you’d like the “flying” reference here). I want to take a few moments to tell you about a few things of importance.
First, we have a new principal. Yes, that’s me. By way of introduction, this is my 28th year in education. I spent seven years in the classroom and now 21 years as a site administrator. I am excited to be taking the helm (a Mariner referenceJ) of our newly constituted Woodworth-Monroe TK-8 Magnet Academy. We occupy an important place in the history of the Inglewood Unified School District as we’ve been part of serving our community for sixty-six years. Remember, we first opened our doors in 1953. I couldn’t be more excited to be taking the helm of such a prestigious and important school in our community.
So you know a bit about me. My priorities are simple. In life I am a father first. I have two children, a son who is going into the 9th grade and a daughter who will be a senior this year. As with most parents, my kids come first, and as your students’ principal, your students’ success and well-being will always come first when they are in my care. We work best when we work in partnership with our families to help our students to succeed. Next, I am a teacher. The hardest and most rewarding work in our schools happens in our classrooms. My job as principal is to support that work so that we maximize our students’ opportunities to learn and excel. All of the collective energy of the adults at Woodworth-Monroe TK-8 Magnet Academy is and will continue to be focused upon exactly that, “maximizing our students’ opportunities to learn and excel.”
Equation for Success: Next. I believe that the equation for success in school and life is pretty simple. Here it is: First, we have to show up every day and on time. We cannot succeed in school (or life) if we are not present. Second, we have to do the work, all of it (both classwork and homework). This doesn’t mean that everyone has to get all of the work right all of the time. In fact, when students make mistakes this actually provides good information for our teachers. Those mistakes help us to figure out what we need to work on with our kids. To help us to tailor our learning efforts effectively we need our kids to be doing their best work, all of it, always. Finally, and most importantly, we have to treat each other with kindness. Life is hard enough. By treating each other with kindness, we create environments where it is safe to be ourselves, to learn and to grow together.
So, the equation for success, in school and life is: 1) Show up + 2) Do the work, all of it + 3) Be kind with each other. I cannot claim to have developed this equation on my own, but I can say with absolute certainty, that if we do these things we will have a great experience here at Woodworth-Monroe TK-8!
Just like our kids will be learning and trying new things this year, our teachers will be doing so as well. We will all be learning together. Often that learning takes place at different paces (both for adults and kids alike). As our kids make mistakes, as we make mistakes, we must always be looking to ways that we can learn from those mistakes rather than assessing blame or passing judgments. Caring about each other is core to who we all are and how we interact. Seeing the potential in each other, and figuring out how to tap and build upon that potential is core to our work.
Though I’ve only been here for a short time, I love coming to Woodworth-Monroe TK-8 Magnet Academy. There is lots of work to do to help our students to learn and to grow. The good news here is that we know what that work is and that, together, we have the ability, the will and the commitment to do what needs to be done. I am proud to be your principal at Woodworth-Monroe TK-8 Magnet Academy!
Work in our Building: You may have noticed that there is a lot of construction happening on our campus. IUSD believes in and values our students, community and school and this construction activity is a direct manifestation of that value. Here is a brief rundown of the construction work that is happening and that will happen (remember, we were built in 1953 and little modernization has happened in the previous sixty-six years):
- All classrooms on the secondary side of the house (what used to be Monroe Intermediate) are being renovated. This means new windows, doors, lighting, paint, air conditioning and heating systems and various other projects. Importantly in all of this is the sound abatement. When the work is completed our students will be able to hear their teachers and classmates rather than the planes flying overhead. Some of this work will continue through January of 2020.
- Newly renovated (gutted and rebuilt from scratch really) student and staff restrooms.
- A renovated Multipurpose room (taken down to the studs) with new air conditioning and heating systems and sound abatement.
- A newly renovated main office that allows for us to service our students and families more efficiently and effectively.
- School wide painting
- On the elementary side of the house there are brand new buildings and playgrounds being constructed and installed. This work will not be finished until the end of March, 2020 at the earliest. This means that we will spend the bulk of this school year in the Woodworth buildings with our TK-5 students.
- A new parking lot with an efficient drive through drop off and pick up flow for our families.
The scope of this work is enormous. There has been, and continues to be, considerable resources (time, personnel, money and energy) poured into making our TK-8 shine for its next fifty years. Meanwhile, there is a lot of dust, paint and material about. We need to be patient with each other as this work continues as the final result will be a great thing for our students and community.
Friday Letter (What is this?): I believe strongly in the power of the written word. Toward that end I commit to publishing a Friday letter each week once school is started. My intent here is to shine lights upon the great things happening in our school weekly and to keep people informed.
Hopefully these two pages have helped you to know a bit about who I am; my values; my commitments; and, my passion for our school and community.
Let’s have a great year!
Principal, Woodworth-Monroe TK-8 Magnet Academy