We are glad to be in session again! MPS staff is eager to continue the mission of student achievement, responsible action and fiscal accountability. In a way, this is a Happy New Year message, because we are beginning a new year together.
Please take time to make new school year resolutions with your children. Think about what you can do as a family to set up an atmosphere for learning at home, and an expectation of achievement. I have a few suggestions:
- Determine a schedule for bedtime and wake up, and stick to it.
- Set a curfew time.
- By the end of the first week, know the names of your child’s principal, teacher and best friends.
- Update all emergency contact forms.
- Set rules for use of TV, video games, and computers for non-school projects.
- Mark school events on the family calendar, and plan for them.
- Schedule and attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Know your school’s dress code or uniform policy.
- Each morning, check that your child is dressed appropriately and has the supplies needed for a successful day at school.
- Be certain your child is up-to-date on immunizations.
We will continue the focus on reading this school year, and will introduce our Comprehensive Math and Science plan. We anticipate a Facilities Master Plan to be completed this fall, and it will tell us a lot about the steps to take to right-size the district and assure that students are in spaces that work best for them.
We were able to restore the SAGE program (to reduce class sizes) in 10 schools, allowing us to bring back over 40 teachers from layoff. We looked hard and found funding from unfilled positions in Central Services, which allowed us to leverage additional state/federal dollars. That was tough to do in such a challenging budget year, but we want you to know that we did this because we heard your concerns about potential class sizes.
Throughout the district, MPS will use PBIS this year. PBIS is a system for establishing a calm,
respectful school environment. We used it in dozens of schools last year and it helped us cut down on suspensions and classroom incidents. PBIS stands for Positive Behaviors, Interventions and Supports. Ask your child on how PBIS is changing everything from conduct in the cafeteria to passings between classes.
Thank you for your continued partnership. Let’s go forward into this new year together!
Superintendent of Schools