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Sandwich

Rick Schmitt: Ready to start a promising new school year

Rick Schmitt, superintendent, Sandwich School District 430
Rick Schmitt, superintendent, Sandwich School District 430

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! As the summer months begin to fade, a new and promising school year is fast approaching. The Board of Education, administration and staff welcome back all returning students and parents and send special greetings to all new families joining Sandwich CUSD 430.

The combined communities feeding into our learning environment are great, and, of course, only as great as their commitment to their youth. As we begin another school year, we look forward to you being part of our Sandwich CUSD 430 learning community and welcome your involvement.

I encourage every student, parent and staff member to embrace the opportunity to make this a great school year; on Aug. 18, we will be greeting more than 2,070 students. This time of year is always met with an eager anticipation of what’s to come, and I am thrilled to open our doors to students on the 18th.

Over summer break, returning teachers spent time preparing so that this new school year would start right. They took part in workshops, trainings and classes in order to perfect their skills and learn new teaching strategies. All teaching assistants are in place, and they will continue to provide a tremendous amount of assistance to our students. Secretaries and central office staff have been handling numerous inquiries and phone calls as virtually everything they do will impact students in some way. Our technology department updated and repaired equipment and programs for each school. Schools were cleaned, and our buildings and grounds were maintained. Our custodial and maintenance staff spent the summer scrubbing, painting, waxing floors and repairing broken or damaged items in order to get our schools ready for students. Our buses are ready to roll out, and our drivers are prepared to transport our students to and from school in a safe manner.

District administrators, principals and board members spent much of their time making sure the district is focused on doing what is right for students. The coordination of more than 2,070 students, more than 250 staff members, and six school attendance centers does not happen by accident – and it won’t happen at all if we aren’t working together at keeping our students’ best interest a top priority.

In the end, schools are more than indicators, test results and standards. The Board of Education, administration and staff are genuinely concerned about your student’s overall success. I want to encourage you to continue to take an active part in your student’s education. Our partnership is critical to the success of your student, and I urge you to attend school functions, communicate with your student’s teachers, and continue to talk to your student on a daily basis. Together, we can encourage all students to rise to their greatest potentials.

Although we are proud of our successes, we are always looking to improve in every aspect. Prior to and throughout this school year, our school improvement plans will continue to evolve as we continue to implement the AdvancED model for school improvement. The AdvancED process is student and data driven and allows for the district to guide students to show growth both academically and socially.

AdvancED provides nationally recognized accreditation, the purpose of which is continuous school improvement focused on increasing student performance. To earn accreditation, schools must meet AdvancED’s high standards, be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school and implement a continuous process of school improvement. Accreditation is granted on a five-year term; CUSD 430 is in year two of the cycle. Accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation staffed by highly qualified educators.

Please be sure to visit the district’s website at www.sandwich430.org. I hope you enjoy researching the types of information located on our webpage such as eBulletin and building-level newsletters, and will consider ways you can help our schools and students achieve even greater success. Thank you for your support and commitment to quality public education. It is truly an honor and privilege to work and live within a learning community that values education.

Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, may we continue to work together for the betterment of our students, our schools and our communities. Best wishes for a successful school year.

• Rick Schmitt is the superintendent of Sandwich School District 430.

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