A Call to Action

Posted by Site Master on 9/13/2019

September 2019 

Dr. Sue with Student reading

“A Call to Action”

As I write this month’s blog, I think about all the excitement for another school year observed throughout the district this past week.  From the ribbon-cutting celebrations at Templeton, Byrom, Mary Woodward, and Durham elementary schools, to the amazing energy of staff welcoming returning students and families across the district. Throughout the district I saw our TTSD community and the many students who had parents, grandparents and caring adults in their lives make their student’s first day an awesome one.  I also observed many students who did not have that caring adult but were welcomed with an even greater level of excitement and warmth by caring staff. The late educator Rita Pierson noted, “Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best they can possibly be.” That is the power of public education! Society daily spills over into our classrooms every day because public education is an integral part of society.  When we respond from a place of care for each student, regardless of their life circumstances, we affirm the life-changing power of public education!  

Once again, we have a historic opportunity to be a statewide exemplar of collective community, coming together to determine how we will invest TTSD’s portion of the $2 billion state investment to address two critical educational issues: meeting students’ mental and behavioral health needs; increasing academic achievement and reducing academic gaps for all, especially students of color; emerging bilingual students; students navigating poverty, homelessness and foster care. 

Your voice is vitally important to guiding our district’s plan.  Please respond to the district survey HERE of your willingness to participate in fall and early winter planning sessions. Our conversations will begin by reflecting on the three district priorities:  1) Developing community and culturally responsive teaching and leadership skills that result in equitable outcomes for each student and in staff that feel supported and affirmed for their work; 2) Developing strong social-emotional learning networks of care for both students and staff; and 3) Developing district human capital as a catalyst for student learning by recruiting, supporting and retaining a diversified work. With you help, we will decide how to allocate funding into the four Student Success Act categories:  class size reduction; social-emotional learning; expansion of whole child initiatives; extension of the school day and/or school year. The timeline to develop the Student Investment Plan is short and the work intense, but the investment of these funds is a game-changer for our students and families, staff and ultimately our community.  

One of my favorite quotes is by Marian Wright Edelman, President of Children’s Defense Fund.  “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.“ It is an exciting time it is for our district, community, and state as collectively as we bring to life Ms. Wright Edelman’s words through the Student Success Act community engagement process. Thank you for your participation and continued care for our students, families, staff, and community at large.

Sincerely,
Dr. Sue