August 9, 2019
Dear SPUSD Community,
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I hope your summer break was restful and full of chances to explore new activities. We are excited to hear about your adventures and to build upon that energy as students return to their classrooms on Thursday, August 15th. As we embark on a new school year, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with our District’s core values, thoughtfully established by the Board of Education as a reflection of our community. In particular, I would like to highlight two values over the coming year - respect and inclusiveness.
New opportunities for continuous learning within our District are plentiful. At all levels, we consistently focus on improving ways for our students to become active participants in the global community. Even the youngest learners will experience hands-on activities related to the arts, engineering, biomedical and computer science, and business/finance, exposing them to college and career pathways of the future. As technology is an integral part of our everyday lives, we are helping students develop a conscientious approach through our digital citizenship program, experienced in different ways depending on the age of the student.
Additionally, kindergarten through eighth grade science teachers will explore and evaluate new Next Generation Science materials. At the high school level, the “World of Difference Institute” will be implemented for teachers and students to build a deeper understanding of the value and benefits of diversity and intergroup relations. These are just a few of the new and different ways we will help enable greater achievement for all students.
In the past year, we worked hard to put the finishing touches on the high school’s new STEM building. Now, a few other significant spaces will be changing – the old gymnasium at the middle school will be renovated and repurposed into a black box theater, an art lab, and a STEM lab. This project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year. Also, the high school’s athletics facilities will be updated creating a higher quality and safer environment for student-athletes and a more welcoming and enjoyable space for parents and community.
As the year begins, you may see some familiar faces along with new faces throughout the District - let's welcome our colleagues and offer to assist as everyone comes back to school and to our varied programs. I am always impressed by how hard our staff and faculty work in the summer. Teachers participate in summer training, staff works on projects such as updating technology, cleaning and maintaining the campuses, logistics, and communications; administrators forge ahead with meetings, short- and long-term planning and preparation for strategic decisions to be implemented during the school year. We are all better because of the hard work completed by our amazing SPUSD employees.
If you have not done so in previous years, please consider participating in SPEF, PTA, SPMS/SPHS Booster Clubs, and other school/classroom volunteer opportunities. This support allows our District to continue to be a destination for families, both now and for future generations.
Cheers to All,
Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.