Dear Families, Parents, Guardians, and Students:
The start of a fresh, new school year is just a few short days away. As a district, we have many plans, hopes, and dreams to look forward to and be proud. This summer has been one of our busiest yet to date with numerous professional development opportunities offered throughout these last two months.
If you happened to drive past the buildings during July and August, you likely noticed parking lots with a fair number of faculty and staff vehicles. During any given week, many of our dedicated teachers were engaged in workshops, trainings, and conferences in preparation of the 2017-18 academic year with the desire to further every students’ achievement and success.
Many elementary teachers were approved for curriculum days in support of the reading, vocabulary, and literacy initiatives. Additional days were approved for the elementary STEM efforts. A significant portion of the secondary teachers were approved for curricular days for new course offerings and ELA Modules.
As a District, additional teachers received training in New York City for Thinking Map implementation in the secondary with some elementary personnel participating to ensure K-12 alignment. Other staff members from each building combined their efforts to investigate and explore the new science standards to ensure proactive steps in meeting those deadlines and expectations in a timely manner. Lastly, a combination of teachers participated in NWEA Maps Assessment Training so that we can better access and utilize student progress data to influence instruction in “real-time.”
While these critical endeavors have taken shape and gathered momentum, various stakeholders, including the Board of Education, have continued to work with the engineers and architects to further refine the draft capital project plans to address the most costly and paramount issues. While pieces of the draft planning has been revised during this process, the primary focus of “no additional tax burden impact” has been maintained. To date, we are still within allotted budget figures maintaining that promise.
Lastly, as part of my review of the district and inventory of needs when I first arrived, I noted that there was no formal Strategic Plan. Throughout this summer, I have spent numerous hours crafting a draft Strategic Plan. Both principals have provided feedback and input to advance the draft to its current status of completion. Before it can be finalized, we will need the feedback and input of other stakeholders and constituents, including, but not limited to: Board of Education Members, parents/guardians, faculty and staff, and community members. After the “dust settles,” which is normal with every beginning of a new school year, I will begin to seek volunteers from the above mentioned groups who are willing to participate on this guiding and steering committee. Feel free to email me letting me know if you are interested in joining the Strategic Planning team to participate in this process.
As you can deduce, this is going to be a year of great ambition and promise! I am truly excited about the 2017-18 academic school year, as I foresee great strides on the horizon for Jasper-Troupsburg CSD. I don’t say this enough, but I am proud of the work and dedication that our entire school community invests in our children! With that said, I also hope that each of you continues to challenge yourself and your student-learners. I hope that each of you attempts something new that maybe you haven’t dared because you might have worried that you might not succeed in your attempt to try a new approach to instruction or assessment. Let us know how we can be of more assistance to families in supporting education in the homes as part of our desire to increase “home to school” partnerships. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Be brave, we will return to the top of the GST BOCES region and possibly the entire Southern Tier!!
Enjoy the remaining days of summer. I look forward to a year filled with stories of great learning, for students and professionals alike, culminating into great successes!
Michael A. Mead
Superintendent of Schools