Looking Forward to a Fresh Start

With the world not coming to an end as predicted by the Mayan Apocalypse, I did what I do every year — cleaned off my desk, deleted old emails and files from my computer and organized my office so that I can put the past behind me and start the new year fresh. Looking ahead the question is… what will 2013 hold and how can we prepare? The economy is still in a fragile state, but signs all point to recovery. The job market is improving with unemployment hovering around 7.8 percent, down from 9.7 percent in January of 2010. The number of foreclosures has dropped dramatically; the housing market continues to improve and consumer confidence is up. The Dow Jones Industrials are trending upward, finishing the year up 
7.3 percent. States are seeing an uptick in tax collections. The fall off the fiscal cliff has been delayed for at least a few months. In short, the mood of the country has become more positive. This could be the result of acceptance of our current state, but no matter the reason, we are no longer immobilized. We know that despite the predicted apocalypse — we can and will survive.

On page 11 you can read our annual outlook, with input from industry experts and school administrators, exploring what the future holds for education in 2013. School safety is sure to be an issue that is in the public eye. The horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School took the lives of 28 people including 20 children and six adults at the school. Discussions will be had ranging from gun control, to increasing resource officers on campus, to issuing permits and arming administrators and staff. Improving school climate and student behavior will be another goal, the focus on reducing bullying/mobbing behaviors, and restoring civility, empathy and personal responsibility. The issue of mental health will also be brought to the forefront. My hope for 2013 is that we truly deal with some of these issues and not stick our head in the sand — hoping that a tragedy won’t happen on our campus. Our pledge for 2013 should be that we will make a difference — this year.