I hope you have all had a healthy and restful summer. In what will seem like an instant, we will be back in the routine of school. Our partnership in your children’s achievement is more critical than ever. We have the best chance of providing your children with as many choices as possible if we work together.
Our focus in the district will continue to be on quality instruction, communication, and technology. We are attempting to improve in each of these areas this coming year. I hope you will experience these improvements. As always, your comments and feedback are welcome.
This fall we will have a new, system-wide elementary schedule. The intent of the schedule is to provide more uninterrupted time in reading and mathematics. We have attempted to implement these changes without reducing our other core areas. Specifically, our commitment to music, art, and physical education remains strong.
Federal grant money has provided the funding for two additional special education teachers at the middle school. These positions will provide a special education teacher on every team. Our hope is that these additional positions will allow us to provide for student needs as a regular part of the core schedule.
Burlington High School continues to use technology to provide more programming choices for students. BHS departments have been working with Bay Path College and Mass Bay Community College to expand opportunities for high school students to earn college credits without leaving the building. There continues to be a push for teaching 21st Century Skills to prepare our students to be successful in a world that we cannot predict.
Technology and communication tend to be linked. We will be implementing a new student information management system. The new web-based system will have a parent portal that will eventually provide access to all sorts of student information – attendance, discipline reports, grades, assignments, lunch balances. We selected the student management system currently in use in Bedford and Lexington. We will also work together to provide professional development more cost effectively across the three districts.
In addition, we are creating a “cloud” computing environment for employees and students. The “cloud” will allow us to all upgrade to the same version of software products quickly and cost-effectively. We will be migrating to more open-source environment for many of our office applications. Your children will have access to the “cloud” from home. Eventually, with some planned infrastructure changes we hope students will be able to bring their own wireless technology from home to use in school.
I continue to be impressed with the level of parental and community support in Burlington. Please continue to be involved. As you will hear me repeat, modeling is the best involvement. If you want your children to value learning, then you need to continue to learn with them.
My words from last year still hold true.
Education is the key to the future success of your children no matter what color of collar they end up wearing as adults. Higher paying, sustainable, secure employment will involve problem solving and complex communication in a world without boundaries. Clearly, our task together as partners in your children’s education is more complex than ever before.
Thank you for your continued support of Burlington Public Schools. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you, the school committee, the community, and the principals, teachers, and staff who work tirelessly on behalf of your children. Please contact me if I can be of assistance at the central office or through my blog at www.burlington.mec.edu.
P.S. We are already receiving a tremendous amount of information regarding this year’s upcoming flu season. We will be posting information as soon as we get.