Tuesday and Wednesday, I toured all of our schools to observe our opening activities. It was a very smooth, effective beginning in our classrooms and offices, which clearly reflected our veteran teaching faculty and school administrators. Students were engaged in learning, or remembering, the systems and procedures of the school day while beginning their new grade level curriculum.
This week, I completed my visits to private schools by meeting the leaders and touring the Montessori School, New Directions, and Lander Grinspoon. We have quality schools in Northampton. Parents have sound academic choices. It would be understandable to simply feel a sense of competition with private school and charter school alternatives solely based on the funding structure; however, when I am in these schools meeting the faculty and observing the classrooms, I feel very differently. Quality educators do quality work regardless of the setting they are in. I observed teachers who care about the success of each child and met parents who trust the schools. I celebrate the diversity of opportunities parents have to choose from in our community and welcome these students into our schools whether they choose to join us in preschool, first grade, sixth grade, or high school. Most of the children in our community eventually join our system and it is in our best interest to support quality education for everyone throughout their school age years.
Thursday afternoon, I met with the Superintendent Evaluation Subcommittee to receive the summary of my first year evaluation. Of course, this is now a public record and will be officially read into the record during the School Committee meeting on September 13th. I want to thank the members of the School Committee for their attention to this new and comprehensive process. I appreciate the time, energy, and thoughtfulness that went into this evaluation. Finally, I especially want to thank Stephanie Pick who led this new process and included an electronic survey that gathered and valued the opinions of all administrators, faculty, and staff. Then, she compiled the results and wrote the final six-page document.
Friday afternoon, I will be attending the Connecticut Valley Superintendent’s Round Table meeting.
Next Monday, our new District Data Coordinator, Cindy Kelley, will join us in the central office. You may remember last year this position was held by an off-site consultant. We are really looking forward to have a full time person on-site in this position to support our work on using data to support instruction and monitor our curriculum.
Fall is a great time to get to the high school to watch some competitive sports. Our teams are off to a great start and games are on most afternoons and early evenings throughout the season.
Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.