It is hard to believe that we have passed our 100th day of the school year. I am tremendously appreciative of the hard work of our Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff for their efforts in meeting the diverse needs of our students and the many goals we have established for this year.
As we move beyond our midway point, it is important to reflect on what has been accomplished toward meeting our Board of Education goals for 2019-2020. To this end, our administration, faculty, and staff met together for our first annual Educational Summit. The purpose of the afternoon was to review our progress toward our district goals and the School Advancement Plans that serve to guide each of our schools. If you have not had the opportunity to review our School and District Advancement Plans, I would encourage you to access them on our district and school webpages. As a reminder to the community, the BOE district goals for this year are as follows:
- Goal 1 Establish healthy channels of outreach, communication, engagement, and collaboration with town government and the community.
- Goal 2 Systematically use meaningful data to drive, improve and track student success.
- Goal 3 Continue to design and implement an integrated plan for professional learning aligned with district needs.
- Goal 4 Continue the implementation of revised curriculum with an emphasis on alignment and consistency between documented curriculum and delivered curriculum.
- Goal 5 Develop a five-year Strategic Plan
The Suffield Public Schools continues to monitor our progress toward meeting our goals, and a formal Year in Review will be provided at the conclusion of this year to highlight what we have been able to accomplish. This will then lead to the development of our 2020-2021 goals.
During our February presentation to the Town of Suffield Advisory Commission on Capital Expenditures (ACCE), the Board of Education and school district administration requested their support for the development of a long-range facility study. The school district does not have facilities master plan that provides a long-range strategy as it relates to district programming needs, building maintenance, and the demographic changes that may occur over the next two decades. The Board’s request for this plan is not for the purpose of closing school facilities, but rather exploring the most emergent needs of our schools and the funding that will be required to maintain our facilities. The proposal for a comprehensive study of the school district facilities is being requested as part of a larger request for long-range study of municipal facilities as well. Town leadership has worked with school leadership in the development of this proposal for a long-range facilities study.
Prior to concluding, I would like to shine the spotlight on a recent commendation our high school received from College Board. Our Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science program was honored with the AP Computer Science – Female Diversity Award. This award recognizes schools that have narrowed the gender gap by engaging more female students in computer science coursework. College Board has honored Suffield High School because it has 50% or higher female representation in our AP computer science course than the previous year, and whose percentage of female examinees met or exceeded that of the school’s female population in 2019. Out of 20,000 institutions that offer AP courses, only 818 have achieved this important result. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education, the membership association is currently made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education (College Board, 2020).
I wish everyone a wonderful month of April.