On the Job: The Intergenerational School’s Principal Dr. Mario Clopton-Zymler highlights challenges (and many) successes during his first year leading TIS

On the Job: The Intergenerational School’s Principal Dr. Mario Clopton-Zymler highlights challenges (and many) successes during his first year leading TIS

(On the Job is a series of blog posts highlighting the experiences of IGS staff. While roles and responsibilities of staff vary, the core commonalities exist in a shared desire to provide quality education for all under the intergenerational learning model.)

As I look back on my first year as The Intergenerational School’s (TIS) Principal, I am heartened by the experience. Admittedly, this year started with a lot of big changes and a bit of chaos. Tomika Tate and I started our first year as Principal and Assistant Principal, which by itself is a big change. We started the school year not fully staffed and with several teachers out on medical leave. This presented logistical challenges they don’t prepare you for in Principal school. We got through those initial bumps in the road by being honest about our issues, communicating with parents, and utilizing the expertise of the teaching staff to meet the needs of our students.

As the year progressed, I was able to take a front seat to witness what is truly special about our school, like the student-led community meetings with our entire school or the Kaleidoscope Celebration of the Arts. These events made our mission to connect, create, and guide a multigenerational community come to life!

In just one year, our teachers and students realized their hopes and dreams of academic success and personal growth. By the end of our school year and because of the hard work of our students and the commitment from our teachers and parents/guardians, the number of 3rd graders in danger of retention because of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee was reduced from 60% to less than 15%. More than a third of students schoolwide exceeded their growth goals from September to May in Literacy.

This year, we committed to our mission of spirited citizenship by adding a Social Studies curriculum for Refining and Applying students. We also added a Science curriculum for 5th to 8th grade. Students demonstrated their boundless learning at our STEAM Fair, wherein students tackled the scientific method by collaborating on various experiments in Science and in the Arts.

Our collective work at TIS was recognized by the State of Ohio, designating The Intergenerational School as a Quality Community School for meeting school success criteria as established by Ohio lawmakers.

As we continue our journey, I’m reminded by our great former president, Barack Obama that “Progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path.” We will have many more successes and many more setbacks. But the way forward is together, confident that our school’s mission and core values will order our steps towards every student reaching their fullest and exponential potential.

To learn more about The Intergenerational School, click here.

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