The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation requires each state to develop a state-wide plan to identify schools for support and improvement. The federal statute requires that the state plan identify how the state will support schools that fall in two distinct designations – either Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI). These terms replaced the old Focus and Priority School designations, of which Kelly had been identified as a Focus School when I arrived in the District as Superintendent almost three years ago.
On November 14, superintendents received a personal call from representatives of PDE if their district or any school within was identified by the state as in need of CSI or TSI support. I am proud to report that I did not receive a call. Wilkinsburg is not identified nor are Kelly or Turner identified as in need of TSI or CSI support. Wilkinsburg is not on the list.
This does not mean that our work is done. It means that we are improving, that the District is on the right track and most of all, that Wilkinsburg is being recognized by others outside of the District for our improvements.
So be encouraged! Stay the course! Trust the process and the District initiatives that are in place. Learn them and do them! They are designed to make all of us better at what we do. I know that this is hard work. The accountability bar of expectations has been raised for all of us.
Please know that I am not taking credit for these improvements. This has been a collective effort of every administrator, teacher and staff member, secretary, custodian, maintenance, cafeteria worker and central office personnel. But now, we are not only working hard, we are working more effectively for the students of Wilkinsburg who deserve it.