It is with great pleasure that I begin my employment as Superintendent of the New Hanover Township School District until June 30, 2012. I have been in the district, part-time since July 15TH and was most pleased to meet the staff and students in early September. Our first days have been filled with such optimism and willingness to learn. Let's see if we can build upon it.
Much has been done during the summer to prepare us for the 2012-13 school year. As you probably already know, the parking lot has been totally renovated. The new lot will not only provide more parking but also allow better traffic flow with a safer arrival and departure for our students. Inside, the building has received a thorough cleaning with some light painting here and there. Most importantly, we have revised the entire Math and Language Arts Curricula from kindergarten to eighth grade. Our curriculum follows Grant Wiggin’s Understandingby Design model and is aligned with the national Common Core Curriculum Standards. In its development, we have also incorporated readiness skills for 6th,7th, and 8th graders to help ensure a successful transition of our students into Bordentown High School. Additionally we should see a positive impact on our state testing as a result of the revised curriculum. Next, we plan to tackle the Science and Social Studies Curriculum,with “specials” under consideration in the out years.
The school day has been expanded by twenty minutes, and many teacher assignments have been changed. While we have essentially the same staff, the grade level they teach may be different then last year. Sometimes change is good, because it allows us a fresh approach.
Our student population continues to grow, and we now have an enrollment of 190 students. Kindergarten enrollment has grown to the point to where we now have two classes. Enrollment in our pre-K program continues to remain high.
We brought our new principal, Scott Larkin,on board at the end of August. Mr. Larkin was selected by a screening committee represented by parents, staff and the New Hanover Board of Education. He was approved by a unanimous vote. I am sure you will like his style, appreciate his enthusiasm and find comfort in his unwavering concern for all students. You can meet both of us at Back to School night on Tuesday, September 18th.
My sincerest goal is to leave New Hanover better than I found it, with a stronger curriculum and classrooms full of enthusiastic learners involved in engaging student-centered lessons. I hope to foster a strong partnership among parents, students and staff. Together we will support our students as they grow academically, physically, socially and emotionally. I think we all know they will each be a different person in June than they are in September. What an exciting time! I know it is going to be a great year for all of us.
My door is always open to you, so please stop by and share your ideas on how we can make the New Hanover Township School District even stronger. Since I am in district only part-time, I may not be available on the day you drop by, but please make an appointment. I will always make time for you.