|Patricia Garcia, Ph.D.
Educating our students is a shared responsibility, a responsibility of the entire community. Therefore, we recently hosted our second State of the Schools Presentation for community members, staff, parents and local thought leaders in education and elected officials. Our presentation was hosted at C.H. Barrows STEM Academy and at Windham Middle School on November 21.
As we reflect on our collective progress and challenges, we are proud of the initiatives, programs and the tremendous effort of our students, staff, teachers, and administrators. Therefore, we are proud to share our accomplishments, our work and plans for the future of Windham Public Schools.
We are becoming relentless in our vision for the future and are not daunted by the fact that we still have a long way to go. We are a district of courage. We embraced the new Common Core Standard, the new state accountability system, and we are preparing more students for college and career. However, despite our best effort, the data tells us that they are still students who we much reach. Therefore, we still have work that needs to be done and we will not stop until we achieved the mission and vision of our district.
Challenges including poverty, high mobility, and second language learning are a reality in the Windham Public Schools. However, I believe the district is in the perfect position to eliminate the impact of these demographics on student achievement. As I said before, we are a district of courage.
Student diversity is our asset. Our challenge is how we develop and implement systems to support teaching and learning, systems to support the academic development of our students, the social and emotional growth of our students, systems to support or struggling students and at the same time, systems to accelerate our advanced students.
In my State of the Schools address I outlined our five goals within our R.A.I.S.E. Windham plan. I also outlined specific strategies we are pursuing to achieve those goals, supported by examples of improvements. Our staff and students shared in their own words how our changes are benefitting students.
I encourage you to read through our publication, “A Report to the Community,” or view the video of our presentation so you can hear the State of Our Schools update yourself.
Despite the efforts and the progress, we still have a long way to go. The data shows that we are still not reaching all students. But we are determined to reach every student, every day, in every classroom. I am in fourth year now as Superintendent. Time seems to have passed quickly, but I am encouraged and optimistic about the future of Windham Public Schools.
Thank you for believing in our students and for allowing us this opportunity to share with you the Windham Public Schools journey.
I hope that you all enjoy a restful holiday season and a bountiful new year.
Dr. Patricia Garcia
Superintendent of Schools