Like the schools themselves, the offices of the administration of School District 72 are closed up for a couple of weeks while those in charge of public education in our area take a break.
Superintendent of Schools and CEO of SD72, Tom Longridge, and board vice chair, Ted Foster, both say they are pleased with how the first half of the school year has gone, and they look forward to getting back to work in January to continue to move forward, improving the educational opportunities for the children of our district.
Longridge says the highlight for him so far this year was how smoothly the transition went for the students of Oyster River and Discovery Passage Elementary schools as they amalgamated with Ocean Grove and Ripple Rock, respectively.
The success of the transitions, Longridge says, “has been a testament of both the closing and receiving schools’ staff, parents and students.
“Surveys conducted by both transition committees reported positive feedback and that students were overall well-supported in terms of their academic, social and emotional needs,” he says.
He added that they will, of course, “continue to monitor these school communities and provide supports as necessary.”
Foster says one highlight for him in the first half of the year was the opportunity to sit down with Minister of Education Mike Bernier when he came to town in November to announce the seismic upgrade funding for Cortes Elementary Junior Secondary, along with the board’s endorsement and help in launching the community’s first Children’s Charter.
Going forward, Foster says, “trustees are now looking forward to many thoughtful and productive conversations with parents and the community as we consider the next steps of our 10-year Facility Plan.
“This next phase of the plan includes considering a change to our elementary school catchment areas to try to more equitably distribute our elementary student population and the possible disposal of surplus properties.”
Longridge says what he’s most excited about heading into January is the district’s continued focus on the implementation of redesigned curriculum.
“Work will also continue on moving forward the objectives of the district’s 10-year Facility Plan with an eye on how they correlate with the learning objectives of the district’s Strategic Plan,” Longridge says.
And speaking of the Strategic Plan, Foster says that’s another thing the school board is looking to starting to tackle next year.
The current five-year plan comes to a close in 2018, which means they have to start discussions looking forward to the planning of the five years after that, which will take the school district through to 2021.