Message from the Superintendent March 2015

SPOTLIGHT on EXCELLENCE   March 2015

 

Message from the Superintendent March 2015

 
Dear Hartford Public Schools Friends and Family,

I want to start by sharing a story of teamwork with you—a story of collaboration, demonstrated right here, inside our Hartford Public Schools family. As many of you know, due to some building issues, our Clark students, staff and families have experienced some tough unforeseen challenges over the past few months. We worked hard to make thoughtful decisions with the health and well-being of our students, families, teachers and staff at the absolute forefront of our minds. Those decisions required a concerted effort. I want to acknowledge that our Clark staff, families and partners have shown great commitment for which we are appreciative. Sometimes conditions are not ideal, but– as in any family– when we face challenges, we band together to solve our problems with a united mind and a united heart. In this specific example, we are doing this with the invaluable aid of our three host schools providing temporary, new homes for our Clark students, teachers, partners, and staff. Dear JMA, Wish and Simpson-Waverly, thank you for the spaces you are creating for our Clark family, and for working hard on ensuring that students, staff and families feel a sense of belonging and ownership in their current school communities. It truly takes a village; and I am thankful for mine. We now know that the temporary relocation of Clark will ensue until at least another year, so we are working to provide adequate spaces, logistics and transportation for our students, staff, and teachers.

The 2015-16 budget planning process is upon us. It is a crucial time for us to review progress on our annual strategic goals and re-set our sails to navigate wisely the crucial funding priorities for the following year. Another year with “flat-budgeting” and decreasing revenues in Hartford brings challenges and tough realities that we certainly have to address. On Tuesday, April 7th at 5:30pm at Rawson School, 260 Holcomb Street the Board of Education holds its Budget Workshop and you are welcome to attend. On April 21st at 5:30pm at M.D. Fox School at 470 Maple Avenue I will present a detailed budget to the Hartford Board of Education. This is a public meeting and I encourage you to attend.

 
This month, we prepare to celebrate the successes of our teachers. Most of our schools have already nominated their choice for the Annual Teacher of the Year Awards ceremony which takes place on May 21st. On April 23rd we will find out who the three finalists are! Our teachers are some of our most valuable resources, as their practices make a fundamental impact on students’ lives each and every day. I look forward to recognizing our Teacher of the Year, while also elevating and acknowledging the accomplishments of all of our teachers who do good work and exhibit commitment and passion in our schools daily.
 
March is also National Social Workers Month and this month we recognize our social workers and the invaluable work they do in our schools and in our community. Last but not least, March is nationally recognized as Women’s History Month. As a woman in leadership, I ask that you join me in reflection about the significant roles and contributions that women have made to our world, and more specifically, to our work in the field of education. I am inspired by the words of a CT pioneer, well-known leader, activist and author, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe who said, “The past, the present and the future are really one: they are today.”
 
The time is now to, to learn from the past, and to fight to ensure excellence for all of our students, so that each and every one of them has a chance to thrive in their present and future.
 
With the extreme cold and the mountains of snow, it has been a tough winter; we have weathered it together, and we are stronger. March brings us to spring’s doorstep.  Just across the threshold, warmer weather and longer, sunny days. Spring reminds us that we can prevail through all kinds of bad weather with hard work, united minds, and our common goals of equity and excellence.
 
Your Superintendent,
 
Beth Schiavino-Narvaez
 

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