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Being Creative

September 9, 2010
As I have previously stated, for Saline Area Schools to continue to build on its tradition of excellence, we need to be innovative in our approach to teaching and learning.  How do we sustain a climate of innovation?  Individuals must understand how to be creative.  However, there are many reasons we don’t bring our best creative self to work….
  • We feel being creative in our jobs makes us vulnerable to criticism.
  • We feel the school district or administration won’t support individuals creativity.
  • We feel the “mandated” curriculum doesn’t allow for creativity.
  • We fear we are not really that creative.
  • We don’t see how creativity adds to our job or the teaching and learning process.
There are a multitude of reasons why people are not as creative at work as they could be, but ironically most of them are really self-imposed.  We tend to see barriers to purposeful creative action without seeing the opportunities for growth – both individual and organizational.
Unlike many things, creativity is not a limited resource. Many of us have a wealth of great ideas that can create energy, solve problems, improve efficiencies and ultimately improve the organization for the benefit of our students, staff and community.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly Saiya-Cork permalink
    September 10, 2010 8:48 am

    Creativity is the start of process improvement. However, it is not the end. Analysis of the initial problem must be done to determine if the creative solution has indeed worked. If all goals have not been met, then more creativity and design are needed.

    The new pick up/ drop off loop at Heritage/Woodland Meadows has not met the safety goals for our children. Changes must be made immediately to decrease the number of near misses between cars and pedestrians. As a community, we should work together to ensure a system that is safer than walking in the Saline Community Fair parking lot. Simply improving on what has been done in years prior is not acceptable.

    There are not enough parking spots for everyone to park in the paved lot which results in overflow to the athletic fields. The walk to and from the overflow lot is unsafe as there is not a designated crosswalk to this lot. This results in children being walked randomly between cars driving in the loop.

    The parents that have walked their children from the athletic field to the school have no choice but to exit through the loop, causing greater congestion and near misses as they are directed around the drop off cars. An exit for these cars must be made. This can easily be accomplished by the removal of a few barriers along the paved lot.

    Crossing guards must be placed at the crosswalks. These guards do not have to be police staff. They must, however, be adults who are able to effectively communicate directions to adult drivers. They should indeed have a stop sign. Guards should be directed on the optimal number of pedestrians to cross at a time. This would greatly reduce the number of near misses of pedestrians in the cross walks.

    The paved lot does not have its own loop for when it is full. This results in cars having to reverse out of a parking row in order to go to the next row over to see if there are more spots. Removal of the parking spots along the barricade would provide the internal loop necessary to protect pedestrians from reversing cars.

    We need a better way of moving cars and children safely in and out of the buildings. The number of verbal complaints to the administrators monitoring traffic are abundant. I noted more than 1 every two minutes yesterday as I sat in the loop for 25 minutes. Many of these complaints came with creative solutions from the parents. Many were creative and would be very effective.

    There are 3 days before school opens again on Monday. We must get the newest creative solutions into action before the 8:35 am bell sounds.

  2. Steve Laatsch permalink
    September 11, 2010 7:55 am

    Kelly,

    First off, I appreciate all of your comments. You raise some very valid points.

    We recognize that the new pick up and drop off procedure at Heritage/Woodland Meadows is congested and it does present some challenges. However, we feel very confident that in working with our staff and community we can make it work safely and efficiently. With that said, we are attempting to move a great deal of traffic in a short amount of time. Therefore, we are asking for patience from the community as we work to create the safest situation possible. When we were in the initial planning phases of this new route, our primary concern was safety. As you know, the situation in previous years was not optimal. We had at times where over a hundred cars backed up on Woodland Drive which created a very unsafe situation. We feel that this new plan has addressed this safety concern. Now, we need to focus on dealing with some of the internal issues inside the parking lot itself.

    In response to your concern about walking to and from the overflow lot, we are addressing this by creating a paved sidewalk that connects the overflow lot to Woodland Meadows. We will create a crosswalk and direct parents and students to cross at this point. We will station a staff member here to aid with this process.

    In response to your concern about exiting the overflow lot, we are addressing this as well. We will be allowing parents who park in the overflow lot to exit the same way they came in. As you mention, there is no reason for parents to have to go into the loop and attempt to exit out by Ann Arbor-Saline Road which does add to the congestion.

    In response to your concern about crossing guards, we are going to be permanently stationing trained staff members at various crosswalk areas to make certain that students and parents are safely getting to and from the school buildings.

    Again, thank you very much for your suggestions. We value the input of our community.

  3. Kelly Saiya-Cork permalink
    September 12, 2010 11:14 am

    Thank you Steve. I look forward to seeing these improvements on Monday. It is always great to know the school district is working with the parents. It is wonderful when the creative process moves forward to create the safest environment possible.

    Please send out the call for volunteers should assistant be needed in making these safety changes.

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