Fuchs Proud of Emphasis on Student Learning
Counts handling budget cuts as a frustration.
Like just about any job, this one has its ups and downs, which Fuchs took the time to describe for Patch. One positive she noted was just how much emphasis has been placed on actual student learning.
“I am most proud of the focus the district has on students and increasing student learning and the positive results that are evident due to the efforts of our staff and the support of the Board,” she said. “When I first arrived in Jefferson we involved all interested stakeholders in helping the district to establish long-range goals—with the stipulation that each goal had to be student centered. Once the goals were established, staff worked to develop a master plan designed to address the goals. The long-range goals became known as ‘JT2015’.”
Fuchs noted that the district staff continues to work to forward these goals on a daily basis.
“Since the master plan is a living document, it is monitored and adjusted as need arises,” she said.
Fuchs also discussed that with this emphasis on student achievement has also come the development of an instructional framework which is the district’s definition of good teaching, the collaborative work of professional learning communities (PLCs), a systematic approach to student intervention through the district’s pyramid of intervention, K-12 writing portfolios, an independent study component of the district’s Gifted & Talented program, an increase in the use of technology to enhance instruction, and increased communication with parents via Instant Alert, teacher web pages, and the RealTime parent portal.
“I am proud of the infrastructure that is in place because it is now part of the mission/culture of our schools. I am also proud that the district has been able to accomplish this work in the current economic climate,” Fuchs said.
No job is without its problems, and the job of superintendent is no different. Trying to keep the district on its game during tough economic times was among Fuchs’ chief challenges.
“The greatest frustration for me was dealing with the impact of the loss of $2.6 million in state funding two years ago. There were some very difficult choices that had to be made. In the end I believe the Board and administration made the right ones,” she said. “I would have been very frustrated, for example, if a pay to participate were in place when research has shown that students who are involved in athletics and activities often perform better in school.”
So what will Dr. Fuchs do now?
“I am retiring completely, although some of my colleagues are finding that very difficult to believe,” she said.