It is always a challenge to sit down and write this letter, but as the nights become cooler, the days become just a bit shorter, I realize it is time to welcome you all back for the 2013-2014 school year.
This is my favorite time of the year. It is a time of new beginnings, a time to welcome our school family back to campus to prepare to greet our incredible students and to extend a warm welcome to our new students and their families to the community. I often take a ride on the first morning of school to watch our students wait for the bus, decked out in their new school clothes, posing for Mom and Dad as pictures capture the beginning of another school year. I am always left feeling an enormous sense of awe about the trust our parents and community place in us as we take the most precious members of our community and prepare them for a world we can’t possibly predict.
This year is no different than others. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us. We will continue our mapping curriculum work that we started last year. A schedule will be developed to provide as much time as possible during our early release/late start Wednesdays to complete this work. We will also spend time digging into the Common Core State Standards in Math and ELA as well as the Next Generation Science Standards in grade level teams as well as by departments. We hope to combine our work around the standards with our work on curriculum mapping during the review process. We are one year away from the new CCSS being assessed in place of NECAPs and the SAT for ELA and mathematics. Fortunately we have more time to begin to address the new Next Generation Science Standards. We will be sharing updates, information, professional development and thoughts at our new Central Office Blog, located here https://aos98.wordpress.com/. Please visit and scroll down the right hand side to follow the blog. By completing this step you will receive updates automatically. This will be an important means of communication this coming year.
As we move from laptops to Ipads in grades 5 thru 8 in the CSD, training will be provided to all staff to help use this technology as efficiently as possible. We will provide both in house and outside experts to help us with this transition. The AOS 98 Technology Team will be rewriting the AOS 98 technology plan this fall. This will give us the opportunity to shape the future of technology for the next three years in all the schools of AOS 98. Finally, we will be unveiling the new AOS 98 website in a few weeks that will serve the Superintendent’s office, the Office of Special Education and all schools. This website will vastly improve our web presence and will provide a place for those who are interested in gaining information regarding our district.
I know the 2013-2014 school year will bring unanticipated challenges and opportunities as we strive to meet each and every student’s academic and developmental needs. I am confident that we will have an exceptional year and will enjoy watching our students grow and learn. The possibilities are endless if we embrace each day and each child by inspiring hope, igniting their imagination and instilling a love of learning. (Henry)
Twenty years ago I became part of the AOS 98 (School Union 49) family. I continue to be proud to serve the children from our wonderful communities, steeped in long standing traditions that makes our region a special place to live and work. I know I am fortunate to work with a group of tremendously talented professionals who devote their lives to the students we serve.
Shawn Carlson and I both look forward to welcoming all of you to the 2013-2014 school year on August 26. Until then, we hope you continue to enjoy time with family and friends.
Superintendent of Schools