Good afternoon in the Valley,
WELCOME BACK NOOKSACK VALLEY!
Here we go! The start of the 2017-18 school year is upon us and we’re excited to welcome back the children and families that we serve and partner with. I’m sure your children have had opportunities to enjoy the summer sun, pursue interests and passions, work, and have fun. I know that Aiden and Lukas (twin grandsons) are looking forward to third grade at Everson Elementary, as I’m sure your children are gearing up as well.
The summer has been a bit busy on our end. Both the high school and middle school construction projects have been in hyper drive. Both projects continue to be keeping pace with original schedules and timeframes, but not without a great deal of effort. Also, we have added a significant number of new and outstanding staff members. We’re looking forward to having them join our team.
You will be excited to hear about the various School Improvement efforts taking place across the district, and how they align around our four district wide work areas-Teach and Lead Well, Collaborative Culture of Continuous Learning and Growth, Authentic Engagement, and Differentiation. “NV PRIDE” has emerged as a district wide theme for the year. You will have an opportunity to hear more about this, and participate in the effort, as the school year starts. In the meantime, ask your principal about “NV PRIDE”.
These past few years we have been thinking about the “opportunity gaps” that our children and families face as they navigate this world. We want to do everything in our power to ensure that ALL children in our community have an equitable opportunity to thrive and succeed. Of course, first and foremost for our school system, this means being the best we can be, every day, in our schools and classrooms. In addition to our ongoing work to improve the instructional core, a number of other initiatives took shape. Some of those include the elimination of “pay to play” and other fees, basic school supplies being provided by the district, college on our high school campus, and so on. This work will continue and expand.
As we start this 2017-18 school year together, I want to continue to challenge us all to be “Treasure Hunters”- Caring adults who search beneath the surface to find all the talents, skills, characteristics, and intelligence that may be buried in our children and youth and can easily be overlooked. A treasure hunter also has high expectations for all children. This is someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself, who believes and expects you can achieve things you may not believe you are capable of achieving.
Let’s be treasure hunters with our own families, but let’s not stop there. I want to challenge us all to be treasure hunters and “opportunity gap closers” for ALL children in Nooksack Valley. Can you imagine the impact we can have on our children and community, if we all utilized our gifts to love and care for all children and families the way we desire our own children and family to be loved and cared for?
With Excitement! GO PIONEERS!
Note: the poem below, inspired me as we start the 17-18 school year;
I love the way a new day feels
Those moments when
Are slept into a docile file for later.
When rest gives birth to new eyes
That see a life with energy and hope
And a chance to try again.
Jim R. Rogers
Art project more than just fun connection to summer
NVHS graduate brings new perspective to board
Middle school teacher offers sixth graders a variety of skills
With portables still getting set up, classes went mobile
Jorge Hernandez spends summer with the youngest in the district