A Message From Dr. Bell  

September 12, 2013
Collaboration, Collaboration, Collaboration!!!

I suppose all of you were wondering what topics ESU Administrator Training centered on this summer. The three main themes are listed above. Yes, you are correct. They appear to be a bit redundant, but with the changing roles of educators it is imperative that ESU 10 staff reposition our efforts to reflect what is going on outside of our organization. The main tool to achieve this seems to be consistent collaboration.

It has been the mission of ESU 10 for many years to”partner with our customers to meet changing needs through professional expertise, training, and support”. That mission becomes even more important today because the ESU customers have changed greatly in scope and need over my twenty year tenure at ESU 10. Educator roles have changed and continue to change. The biggest current challenge appears to be that achievement has become the constant with time being the variable. Anyone who works in a school district understands the value of time and effort. ESU 10 must continue to transform to be a viable partner in the educational process. We must become more like conveners to help keep schools on the cutting edge. Somehow we need to use our expertise to help you find ways to streamline your efforts in this brave new educational world.

So, you say, what do you intend to do about this?

We continue the ESU 10 Continuous Improvement Process. Just as a quick reminder, our four areas of emphasis are:

To provide professional, knowledgeable, responsive staff.
To strengthen and develop customized products and services.
To bridge gaps of time and distance through maximum utilization of resources.
To assist our customers in identifying and achieving their goals.

All four Priority Area Committees have been diligent in their efforts and are hereby publically commended for their work. In October we are going to bring together the entire staff to specifically identify which school districts receive which services and by whom. We will put that in a data bank and update it annually. We already have copies of your School Improvement Plans. Armed with this information, teams of ESU 10 staff members will meet with school district leadership and staff to explain what is being done – since a constant response in the annual survey is that folks don’t know what we are doing for them – and then listen to school district needs to help us COLLABORATE to design the best solutions to meet those needs.
It all sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Oh yeah, and then there is that time variable thing. We will need to work together to become more efficient and effective. We need to listen and respond to your needs. Changes have already been made this summer to programs after reading survey responses. Our staff must remain as a nimble dance partner and not stomp on your toes.  

In conclusion, I hearken back to the words of my favorite Canadian philosopher, Red Green. He constantly said, “Remember I’m pulling for ya. We’re all in this together.”