The Administrator’s Corner: Foundations of Academic Success – Albert Lea Tribune


The Administrator’s Corner by Nicky Severtson

The new year rings with excitement, not just for educators at Sibley Elementary, but for all educators in Albert Lea area schools. The second semester began with Dr. Phil Warrick providing professional development to support our journey to becoming a High Reliability School/District (HRS). Dr. Warrick is a global author and consultant in the areas of school leadership and effective teaching and learning practices that promote high levels of learning for all students.

Nicky Severtson

A few years ago, the HRS model was adopted by our schools in the Albert Lea area, and we became certified at Level 1, valuing and providing a safe, supportive and collaborative culture. To continue this journey, despite all the challenges educators have faced, teachers at Sibley have continued to commit to a culture of continuous learning and focus on what is best for our students – socially, emotionally and academically. We will continue to meet the social and emotional needs of students while focusing on the importance of effective teaching in every HRS Level 2 classroom.

At Sibley, teachers worked in collaborative teams to plan, share instructional strategies, analyze student data, and seek ways to improve their teaching effectiveness to create an environment in which all students learn and can succeed. Teachers enhance their teaching skills through reflection and individual growth and development plans to ensure student success and engagement in their learning. There are many amazing teaching practices in our classrooms that help our students shine and grow in their learning.

A new year always seems to be the time when we reflect on our personal and/or professional growth and then set new goals for the year ahead. At the start of the school year, staff and students at Sibley were asked to think of one word that would help each of them achieve their goals, pursue their passion and perform at their best. Their word would be an inspiration, a daily reminder of their direction while allowing them to focus on what matters and bring more of their word into their lives. Research shows that the words and thoughts we speak and think have a direct impact on our motivation, our sense of purpose, and our physical and social well-being. With the start of a new semester, these words and goals will be revisited, allowing us to recommit to our goals and an opportunity to rekindle enthusiasm and energy at the start of the new year and next semester.

At Sibley School, we will continue to build an environment of positivity that provides a safe and supportive culture for our students and staff. Building relationships is the foundation for successful learning so that our students feel comfortable, safe and secure so that they are able to learn, grow and succeed emotionally, socially and academically.

Nicky Severtson is the principal of Sibley Elementary School.


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