Superintendent’s Message July 1, 2020

A message from the Superintendent

July 1, 2020

If you believe that every challenge presents new opportunities for growth, as I do, we all grew a great deal during the 19-20 school year. When our schools shut down, educators across the state were forced to rapidly decide what elements of school were essential. It was like that ice breaker challenge: if you were going to a deserted island and could only take one item, what would it be? Duanesburg’s answer to that question was clear: it would bring its strong relationships with students.

Over the last two months, I have had conversations with many of DCS’s staff members as I have worked to learn more about the district. In nearly all of these conversations, staff members have listed the ability to get to know individual students as one of the district’s strengths. “You’re not just a number here,” one staff member told me. Another said that DCS teachers “really care for all students and make them feel loved. And kids know it.” Small schools, big impact, indeed.

Strong relationships

Maintaining strong relationships with students and nurturing their social and emotional well-being will also be essential going forward, as we navigate reopening schools in the fall. This strong foundation will allow us to continue to pursue academic excellence, in spite of any obstacles placed in our way. In our efforts to reimagine what education at Duanesburg will look like, we will seek to address inequities in our system to make it stronger than ever before.

Over time, we may be able to look back on this time of crisis with some degree of gratitude for what it has taught us. Think of what students have achieved. By participating in remote learning, they have gained first-hand knowledge about why digital literacy is critical for success in just about every field today. By communicating with teachers and collaborating with peers across distance, they have learned why it is so necessary to have strong communication skills. Without school staff providing their usual guidance, they have also, by necessity, become more self-directed and independent.

I am truly looking forward to beginning at DCS for the 20-21 school year. Though I know that we still have questions about what school will look like in the fall, it will undoubtedly be a unique year, full of opportunities to grow.

Please participate in our survey and Virtual Forum

As superintendent, I plan to seek out input from students, parents, staff, and community members regularly to make sure that the district continues to move in the right direction. I invite you to join me on Wednesday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. for an online Virtual Forum so that I can introduce myself and begin to hear about your priorities.

Thank you in advance for your participation. I value your input.