Originally posted 29 Aug 2012
By Superintendent Calmes -
A sense of renewal and fresh starts accompany the start of the new school year. Students are excited to meet their teachers, make new friends and reconnect with classmates. It is an exciting time for students, parents, faculty and staff as we set the stage for great outcomes for the year ahead. I have been involved in public education as a student, teacher or administrator for over fifty years and I still experience the excitement, hope and optimism that a new school year brings. The start of the 2012-2013 school year on August 28 is only days away. Important information for students and parents is posted at the school website: www.lunenburgschools.net.
Throughout the summer, the administration, faculty and staff have been hard at work preparing for the 2012-13 school year. The consolidation obviously added to the usual busy summer schedule of preparing the schools for a new school year and all of our personnel involved in that effort are to be commended. Teachers and parent volunteers packed classrooms as school ended in June and facilities personnel moved over 25 classrooms. After the move the facilities personnel cleaned and waxed all classrooms and common areas in all the schools. Annual safety inspections with the Building Inspector and Lunenburg Fire Department took place this week. Technology personnel replaced servers, upgraded labs, and outfitted media carts. Office personnel completed end-of-year reports, updated the student information system, and ordered supplies and materials. Throughout the summer teachers have unpacked and set up classrooms. The buildings are ready for our students.
Summertime in the schools isn’t just about the facilities; teaching and learning continue year round. There were several summer programs in session during July and August. Professional development for faculty and staff also took place. The administrators, along with colleagues from other area districts, spent time learning about the new educator evaluation system. Likewise, many of our faculty spent time this summer collaborating to share best practices in the use of instructional technology. Lunenburg teachers also joined their colleagues from neighboring districts to learn about neurologically-based skills for students that foster mental control and self-regulation. Teachers across the district continued to revise the curriculum PK-12 to align with the state curriculum frameworks and the national common core of learning. This curriculum renewal strengthens learning opportunities in order to improve student performance. Administrators and faculty also spent time throughout the summer months interviewing and selecting four new faculty members.
My first priority as the instructional leader in the Lunenburg Public Schools is to ensure a safe, orderly school environment that promotes high academic achievement and the social-emotional-physical well-being of every student in the District. In 2002 the School Committee adopted a mission and vision for the schools that focused on achievement, equity and school climate. Measurable progress has been made in the level of rigor our curriculum provides, and academic achievement has improved overall. Our schools have consistently reached and even exceeded school climate goals. We have yet to attain the desired level of success with lower achieving students to meet the equity goal, but the work in tiered instruction and personalized learning is moving us steadily forward. I remain committed to seeing that our district reaches the goal of high levels of achievement and performance for all students.
Education is a community partnership, and an atmosphere of mutual respect is essential. I will continue to work with the parents, school personnel, town officials and the community in a collaborative manner to develop effective strategies to meet students’ educational needs. I appreciate all of you who make the Lunenburg Public Schools an outstanding educational organization. I look forward to working with you in the upcoming year to provide a creative, nurturing and engaging learning environment for all students.