Welcome! I trust that your family has smoothly transitioned into the school year with excitement and eagerness for the memorable experiences ahead. It has been an exciting week for the staff who serve your students. On Tuesday morning, we held our annual all-staff event that highlighted a number of inspiring student speakers. And on the first day of school, we greeted students—ranging from the timid and anxious kindergartners, to the confident and boisterous seniors—with great enthusiasm, compassion, and eagerness to get started!
Though we begin the year refreshed and with great hope for the many successes ahead that our students will celebrate, we are also sensitive to the current state as a country and the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. As we consider these recent events, we reflect on our mission and beliefs. The work in our district is guided by six core beliefs: equity, innovation, student learning, culture/climate, student ownership, and leadership. Two of those six beliefs are especially relevant as we begin the year and as we reflect on the recent events in Charlottesville: culture/climate and equity. Specifically, one of our primary goals this year is to ensure that all of our spaces are safe for students physically, socially, and emotionally, and to provide a welcoming culture to everyone. We also believe in equity—that all students matter, their voices should be heard, and they should be provided equal opportunities and resources to help them achieve at high levels.
Our theme for the school year is “Teach to the Power of We.” While we have long cared about the individual learning needs of each of our students, it is more important now than ever that we focus on the “We.” One of the things I most appreciate about our system is our diversity. Our school district is a community in which we work to ensure all students, staff members, and families—including those who are racially/ethnically diverse, LGBTQ, refugees, diverse learners, celebrate various religions and traditions, speak a first language other than English, and come from varied socio-economic backgrounds—feel valued, safe, and respected. We are a community of diverse learners and leaders. To say we believe in the “Power of We” is to say we value our connectedness and we acknowledge that our diversity strengthens and enriches our learning environment and our community.
I look forward to continuing to serve the students in our district, alongside dedicated, highly-qualified, and compassionate staff. I’m wishing you and your family a wonderful start to the school year.
Dr. Brad Buck