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Inside the Supt's Office
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Inside the Supt's Office

January 2018

I resonate with the start of a new calendar year.
It’s a time for fresh starts, for beginning again, for wiping our slates clean – another opportunity to get it right.
The new year is a time for looking forward, but not without a good strong glance over our shoulders to ensure we know where we started. We can’t live in the past, to be sure, but we can learn from it – realistically setting our direction based on where we’ve been, where we want to go, and how long it will take to get there.
We are on a 2-3 year journey to rebuild a budget that’s MPS Strong – and this new year feels like our official new beginning. New beginnings bring hope and optimism, and after 1-½ years at MPS, I am truly optimistic about our future.
As we move through some initial rough waters, I encourage us to also focus on thepossibilities presented by a structurally sustainable budget – possibilities like the freedom to invest more fully and intentionally in the learning initiatives we have identified as important to student achievement. We have ambitious goals for our literacy program, for infusing equity throughout our system, for teaching and modeling social and emotional learning, and for providing individualized supports for both struggling and accelerated students.
Focusing on literacy is—I’m sure—no surprise. Reading and writing are the bedrock of knowledge, but the routine days of teaching the three r’s (reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic) are long gone. Students today enter our classrooms with diverse needs and learning perspectives.
Our first job is to determine how we can best and most equitably meet each child’s needs based on their innate skills and abilities, then supplement their instruction from a system of MPS supports and accelerations.
I wish you a happy, hopeful 2018.