Greetings from Winfield City Schools,

Change is to make different, alter or modify.  Over the years, I always enjoyed watching the changes of the maple trees at Winfield Elementary School.  The leaves are a full green when we start school in August, and the trees stand very tall and full against the blistering sunlight that comes with summer.  We start to see a change as we enter autumn.  The leaves that were green begin to take on an array of different colors (red, orange, yellow, brown, and gold).  However, that is not the only change.  The fullness of the leaves with their masterpiece of colors begin to fall from the trees, and over time, they are completely gone until the spring brings nourishment and rejuvenation for the trees to blossom and begin making new leaves.

I’ve seen this change in other ways as well.  There is an old song by Al Stewart called On the Border.  The song talks about a fishing village in Spain.  Part of the lyrics include these words,   "In the village where I grew up nothing seems the same.  Still you never see the change from day to day.  And no-one notices the customs slip away."  Change will happen.  When my family first came to Winfield in 2005, we were amazed at the compassion, love, and care that was on display within our community. 

As the elementary school principal, I remember our school was a target assisted Title 1 school.  We qualified for this based on a very low amount of student poverty.  Currently, we operate as a school wide Title one school as our poverty level has risen.  Like the trees that stand strong against the summer sun, we have begun to show changes in an array of ways.  Poverty is unfortunate for anyone, but it is not an excuse for not showcasing those brilliant colors.  The colors I refer to are our children.  How can you help your children display those brilliant colors you might ask?  Well, we attend school daily and on time. We make sure they are well groomed and prepared for the day.  We invest in their lives when they get home and ask questions about their day.  As the days grow dark sooner, and much colder, we continue to uplift them and encourage them.  This is the nourishment that causes their rejuvenation.

Please let us be, along with you, the school that brings out the full richness of their talents and abilities.  This does not need to be unique to the primary years.  It is, like the changing seasons, an investment that is made at every level of their growth.  In doing so, we will see bright tall trees that will be ready to weather the storms and changes that will be ahead as they enter the world of college or career readiness.