Another school year is coming to a close. Our high school students have taken their final exams, and elementary schools are finished with their field days and field trips. This time of year we enjoy reflection, but also anticipation as students are promoted to new grade levels, for some a new school, and for graduating seniors the next chapter in their lives.
This summer we are embracing, for all grade levels, an initiative called the Summer Reading and Math Practice to help students keep their skills sharp. Statistics show that two-thirds of the income-based achievement gap is attributed to summer learning loss. We’re asking that students and families commit to just 2-3 hours of learning a week from the packets we provide. Stop in at the Willimantic Public Library to pick up resources you can use for this program. You can learn about the expectations for your students here.
It has been a year of significant growth for students at Windham Public Schools. Windham Schools has much for which we should take pride. We have improved graduation rates to 87.1%, a dramatic improvement. We have doubled the number of students taking Algebra in 8th grade—a gateway to college-prep courses. Sweeney School, where some of you attended, was named a School of Distinction and performed in the top 10% statewide in growth on test scores. And system-wide we are seeing marked increases in proficiency in reading and math.
To all of our parent volunteers—thank you! Your time and engagement with our schools lets us stretch our resources and enhance learning. Plus your children love having you involved with their activities at school! To all the Parent-Teacher Organizations and School Governance Councils and Advisory Board members, I cannot express how valuable your presence, your extra fundraising, and your input is to our school Principals and to me.
We will be busy throughout the summer, providing special summer help for students who can use it, providing meals in the parks across the community, and planning how to make 2017-18 an even more productive and successful year. As always, my door is open if you want to make an appointment to discuss what’s on your mind. Just make an appointment by calling 860-465-2310.
Enjoy your summer vacation!
Dr. Patricia Garcia
Superintendent of School