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Letter to Community from Schalmont Superintendent on 2017-18 school year

9/5/17

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It’s hard to believe that it is almost time to start another school year! The 2017-18 academic year gets underway Thursday, Sept. 7 for grades 1-12 and Friday, Sept. 8 for our kindergarten students.

Between now and then, our staff is busy preparing for another great year! This summer has been a busy time of summer school, professional development, and facilities upgrades.

Since last June, our world and nation has seen both exciting events and others that make us all fearful in our ever changing culture, society and economy. Education is no different and our schools are at a phase where real change-making strategies will be required to move into a new model of teaching and learning for today’s student.

Our focus for this school year continues to be around getting “ever better” in our efforts to prepare all our students to be a successful graduate for the 21st century. As we reach the fifth year of the district’s five-year strategic plan, Schalmont Advance 2018, I will be asking for stakeholders including parents, community, and business members to join with educators in reviewing our plan and forge a new plan moving forward. Watch our district website for updates and communication on how you can become involved.

We continue to moving forward in the implementation of our technology plan and this year aim to increase technology and STEM related integration both in and out of the classroom. Incoming 9th graders have been picking up their Chromebooks this week making it so now three out of four grades in the high school have access to the internet for school through their own devices they can take home.

We are excited to delve deeper into our Schoology implementation. At the high school, parents and students can look forward to real-time information related to student class performance for the full year beginning in September. Our SMART bond funding was finally released and so now we have the Chromebook carts in the elementary and middle schools that we planned for going into the school year.

Our fiscal future is one that finds us viewing a similar gap in funding in the coming year(s) as we did this year. Our intent is to start the conversation early and once again, we ask that you take an interest and become involved in this process. Among the many ways you can do that this year will include taking part in an online survey and joining budget committees. I encourage all parents to take an active role in their child’s education not only as we start back to school, but throughout the school year.

As your home fills with the excitement of heading back to school, I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher and introduce yourself, join the PTO, and sign up for SNN, and Schoology so you can stay up-to-date with your child’s progress throughout the year. Be on the lookout for the roll out of our upcoming Schalmont app for your phone or tablet this fall.

If at any point during the school year, you have any concerns, my door — as well as the principals’ — is always open. Feel free to give us a call, send us an email or set up a meeting if you wish to discuss anything.

Through our collective teamwork, I know we can continue to accomplish great things because together… We Are Schalmont! I’m looking forward to a productive and rewarding school year for all!

Sincerely,

Dr. Carol A. Pallas, Superintendent