Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Creekland MS sixth-grader Journey Cowart
(More #CCSD1stDay photos are online here)
The following message is from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower:
If we could have ordered up a perfect morning for the first day of school, I’m not sure it would have been prettier than today.
Not only did the beautiful weather exceed expectations, so did our entire #CCSDfam.
Everywhere I traveled today, and in all the photos you shared with us online, I saw joy on the faces of students and our staff. And quite a few parents looked pretty joyful, too – just saying.
One of my favorite photos is of Katie Meier, a first-grader at Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy. It’s clear that after she and her sister smiled for the first pic, mom then said they could have some fun. And she did - the excitement and determination in her face as she pointed to the sky like a Super Bowl winner sums up how I hope every one of our students feels about school. (And love that pug in the window.)
Another favorite from this morning came from Tippens Education Center, which opens its doors each day to students who must overcome more challenges than their peers on their path to success. The staff members welcomed these extraordinary kids in an equally amazing way. Paraprofessional Jennifer D’Ambrisi and teacher Kelly Robertson donned a couple of those inflatable T. Rex suits and teacher April Popham dressed up like a princess on a unicorn… and the kids ate it up.
We know there were less-than-perfect moments: the extra-long, first-day car-rider line, the buses that ran early or late as they fine-tuned their routes to transport nearly 30,000 bus riders. We’re grateful for your patience in these moments.
I recently was asked “what’s new” for this school year. We’re not opening any new schools, asking you to learn a new app, or telling our educators to reinvent teaching.
What we’re doing that’s “new” is more important than all of that to us. We’re asking everyone in our community to join us in refocusing on what matters most for our kids: knowing that we care about them and want them to be successful.
In education, it’s called Social and Emotional Learning. For me, it’s just what’s right. Sadly, it’s been lost somewhat in the focus on more mandated high-stakes testing and the pressure for kids to choose their college and life path at a younger age -- and never make a mistake on that path.
In the coming year, you’ll see more signs of this refocus, from activities in your child’s school to teachers sharing best practices with each other on our new CCSDCares social media pages. We posted a video yesterday to welcome our students back with inspiring messages from all of our Principals and their leadership teams. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out here.
We know every day won’t be picture-perfect, and we know smiles sometimes hide struggles. Together, we can make school better for every child every day. Please join us in our mission: our schools always need caring volunteers and dedicated business partners. You will never regret caring more for our community’s children.
#CCSD1stday #CCSDfam #CCSDcares
Clark Creek ES STEM Academy first-grader Katie and fourth-grader Aubrey Meier.
Tippens Education Center staff, from left to right, paraprofessional Jennifer D’Ambrisi and teachers Kelly Robertson and April Popham.