Superintendent's Newsletter

January 2018

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to a bright new year that promises to be richly rewarding for our students, staff and the district. I am confident that we will continue to see progress in our district due to our focus on student achievement, well-being and engagement. Our Strategic Coherence Plan guides our improvement strategies as we continue to improve in science and mathematics instruction and performance; refine our curriculum in social studies, art and music and develop more sophisticated programming in pre-school, and increase support for well-being for all. We are more deliberate than ever in our identification of rigorous student outcomes at the individual student and grade level and have refined our assessment approach and identification of student learning outcomes. Our professional learning for teachers and staff is based on best practice and is directly linked to student learning outcomes. We plan our professional learning by asking ourselves, “What adult actions are most likely to result in the student learning outcomes we have identified.” What we can’t teach the staff in our schools is how to care for and be committed to our students; that is something they do naturally and it makes the District 13 difference.

Budget

Our budget season will be officially underway on February 14th. I would like to invite you to attend the Board of Education meeting that evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Coginchaug library or watch it on our website. Your support of our school district is essential as we continue to support students’ academic, social and emotional growth and development. Please add “Budget Vote” to your calendar on May 8th and check our website for future budget meetings. In addition to your support, we appreciate your questions, suggestions and comments. A budget review will be included in my February newsletter.

Communication Survey

We are currently improving many areas of communication so that we are able to share information more effectively and accurately and you are able to access information with greater ease. During the next six months we will be making changes and finalizing plans for improved communication. Please take a moment to offer your feedback on this communication survey. Your feedback is invaluable as we strive to make improvements. Please submit your results by January 31st. Please be sure to take some time to check out our new website design.

Utilization

The Utilization Committee will review the “Facilities Restacking Study” at the next meeting which will be held on January 25th at 6:00 p.m. in the Coginchaug library. The study is a review of the building design and potential in light of possible grade reconfigurations at Brewster, Memorial and Strong. A team of teachers and staff will be working with me to examine the vision for the academic future. The committees’ first meeting will be held on January 23rd. The second meeting in February will be open to the public and will be held in the Strong School Library from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and will be recorded and available on the website. Once the meeting dates for the remainder of the year have been set, they will be posted on the website.

Pupil Personnel Director

We will begin the search process for a Pupil Personnel Director immediately as Amy Emory has left District 13 for personal reasons and will no longer serve as the director. Information will be sent next week from the office of Organizational Development so that parents are aware of the timeline for the interview process and are able to share their thoughts through a focus group and/or survey.