I am pleased to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2012-2013 school year.
We have much to celebrate in our School District. Almost 1200 employees, each with a role that provides invaluable support for our learners, bring extensive skills, knowledge, capacity, and work tirelessly each day in the service of our learners. Together, we help each student become their best, and prepare them for life, work and further learning. This is a privileged position in which to be; our community has entrusted us in this important work.
The Board of Education has established a series of four Student Expectations as a framework for our work with Students: Academic Success, Imagination and Creativity, Citizenship, Resiliency. These domains are not new to us. However, by framing these expectations in Policy, the Board has said these are important and has provided clarity for the direction of our District. We are now seeing alignment. We have made tremendous strides in the past two years to create a razor-sharp through-line from vision to practice – with a focus on the instructional core.
Our students are exposed to an array of learning opportunities that transcend previous images many people have of schools and schooling. Together, we need to continue in our tenacious efforts to ensure that our students are engaged in authentic, relevant, challenging learning opportunities. We need to continue to help them make choices about their learning – and provide avenues for them to pursue those choices. Our students need to continue to stretch their imaginations and approach challenges creatively. And, they need to be astute Digital Citizens, who participate seamlessly in a global community.
Celebrating What is Right in our District is an important focus for this year. Our efforts throughout the District are numerous, and often unheralded. Some initiatives to help us share our great stories about learning include our Celebration of Learning publications (accessible in paper and digital format), our newly developed Virtual Learning Commons, and an updated Website (soon to be opened). As well, we continue to send our good news stories to local media throughout our District. School newsletters provide a glimpse into many of the learning opportunities which engage students. And, student representation of their learning. We want our community to see the outstanding work of our students, and the exceptional efforts of our employees.
I invite you to share your good news stories with me – so that we can include them in our efforts to focus our conversation on the Celebration of What is Right in our District. Please send your stories about professional breakthroughs, innovative learning opportunities for students, and successful practices that are helping to educate our students well. An email address has been set up for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all of you for your efforts on behalf of our students. It is a privilege to be employed in this District, and to work with such a high caliber of outstanding employees in all roles. I hope you each enjoy a terrific school year and that you experience a high degree of satisfaction in your work.