Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Back!

August is quickly coming to a close and the long hot days and humid nights are giving way to the crisp feeling of fall and the sounds of activity in the schools.    Students are returning for athletics, to pick up schedules, or to a sneak a peek at their new schools or classrooms. Teachers have been stopping in to attend trainings, organize lessons and prepare their rooms.   The district is starting to once again come alive!  Its good to see.

Although the schools were quiet over the summer months, as they always are without the energy and enthusiasm of the kids and staff, the district team was hard at work prepping the facilities, filling vacancies and planning for the year ahead. With many people retiring or moving on to new adventures, there will be several new faces among the ranks this year.  Today was one of my favorite days of the year – New Teacher Induction.  As a Superintendent, this is my equivalent to meeting a new class at the beginning of the year.  It is the day we invite all new faculty to spend the morning getting to know the district better.  We introduce them to the full-year staff, share with them the district mission and vision, and provide them an overview of our expectations for teaching and learning.  I have been incredibly impressed with the level of professionalism and student-centeredness that our new members have exhibited, and I am certain they will make our team stronger. 

As we begin the school year, I’d like to remind you of the many ways you can stay up-to-date on what is going on around the district: 
  • Visit the School & District websites – we are making an effort to keep them informative and up-to-date.  Be sure to check out the MEMO link on the Middle & High School sites.  This is the student-run electronic magazine.
  • Enroll in the email alert system particularly the NEWS sections on the district website –  By enrolling in alerts you will receive an email notification when items are posted to a particular section. We are regularly using the News Section to alert community members about key upcoming events and meetings.
  • District & School website calendars have up-to-date information about school and district activities.
  • The Principal’s Corner located on each school site is the place for newsletters,blogs and communications from your building principal.
  • Community Happenings is a mini-brochure of local activities, camps, and events for families and students.  It is pushed out weekly through the news and posted on the Community Happenings Page of the website
  •  Athletic schedules can be accessed from a link on the Athletics page.
  • The budget page can be accessed by a Quick Link off the district home page – here you will find our FY 12 budget documents and presentations as well as an FAQ page.  We will be updating this in the fall to reflect the FY13 budget process
  • Superintendent’s Blog  is a forum to share good news, observations, and information about our schools and about education in general.  I will continue to use my district web page for formal communications of meetings, announcements, budget development and the posting of public documents.  There is also a quick link to my blog on that site and/or you can enroll to receive update notifications via Twitter.
In closing, I thank you for strongly supporting education, and I encourage you to stay involved.  Schools are a part of their communities and work best when the lines between home and school remain open.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher, counselor or building Principal.  Please also know that I welcome and value your input.   We are all in this together!