More Than Academics

As I have taken the opportunity to reflect on the beginning of another school year, my thoughts have centered on the critical aspect of relationship-building as it relates to investing in the learning of ALL. Much of our focus in education today is on academic and behavioral outcomes for students, setting high expectations for learning, and then holding each other responsible for that learning through meaningful collaboration. Yes, I believe these elements are important and key to putting our students on the right path to future success. However, I also believe that equally critical, if not more so, is the ability of every educator to “…succeed with all students by seeing their possibilities, establishing trust, and helping them take positive control of their lives” (Tomlinson, 2016, p. 93). It is all about building relationships that will prompt students to learn even in the face of trauma and unrest.

Many within our district have been studying the works of John Hattie and we continue to focus on teaching strategies that are high-leverage and have been proven to have the greatest effects on student learning. As I reread his book, Visable learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement (2009), this summer, I was impressed by the fact that woven through this book (that sounds quite technical in nature) is the contention that positive teacher-student relationships are essential to student achievement. When kids understand that for educators it isn’t just about the grades, that we care about them and we have chosen this profession because we want to make a difference, learning can take place even when the odds are stacked against that learning.

Thank you for all that you do that brings hope to our students and families… for your willingness to invest in learning for ALL.


Tomlinson, C.A. (2016). Fox taming and teaching: The little prince offers a lesson on building relationships. Educational Leadership,  74(1), 92-93.


Previous Messages

: Welcome Back!

Welcome back Iron County School District!


As I reflected at the end of our snow day, at the forefront of my thoughts was my deep gratitude for the wonderful people I get to work and associate with in the Iron County Sch

: Happy Holidays!

As I have stated before, I love this time of year.

: Happy Fall!

The year is passing quickly. Second quarter has begun, and our students and educators are accomplishing great things.

: Welcome Back!

Welcome back ICSD faculty, staff, and families.


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Iron County School District is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on account of race, age, color, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or religion or otherwise as may be prohibited by federal and state law.

School District Office

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Cedar City, Utah 84720
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