Welcome Back Letter from the Superintendent
Dear Scholars, Families, Faculty, and Staff,
It is my hope that you have had a phenomenal summer. One filled with rest, exploration, and reflection. Our school and central office teams have poured countless hours into preparing a special year for you and your family. As we look back on this past year, we certainly became more unified as a district and we look to continue that trend this year. We have so much to celebrate, but there is still much more work to do.
Last year, twelve more graduates earned their high school diploma and their associate’s degree from our NFA P-TECH program. Our Certified Nursing Assistant Program was named a Model Program in New York State, which means that other districts throughout the state will look to our program at NFA as one to replicate for their curriculum. Additionally, New Windsor School was identified as a Recognition School by New York State.
Last year, we also launched our 1:1 Chromebook initiative that allowed all scholars in grades 3-10 to learn collaboratively with their peers and advance their skills in the evolving world of technology in which we live. Finally, our state math scores improved in grades 3-8. These are just a few of NECSD’s proud accomplishments.
Next week, thousands of students will arrive for the first day of school and they may notice a few changes. Over the summer, a lot of work has taken place to upgrade energy performance throughout the district. These upgrades will result in better efficiencies and nearly $30 million in savings over several years. Additionally, our educational planning teams have been working diligently to design spaces that will be included in our Capital Bond Projects, which were approved by a super majority vote of our community members last May. We are thankful for the community support that allows us to devote $257 million to upgrade our facilities and create world-class learning facilities for our scholars through these projects.
Beginning this school year, we will launch the Sprint 1Million program, a grant-funded initiative that will enable students to have access to internet at home, via a mobile hotspot. This program will enable students to research and continue learning outside of our school buildings.
Additionally, our new ScholarChip Security and Attendance system provides a simple and fluid attendance tracking for students and teachers. This program will enhance student ownership and safety for our middle and high school scholars. We have also upgraded our Parent Portal, a system that gives parents access to view attendance, progress reports, and report cards for their students. (Please contact your child’s school building to create an account). We will also launch an Evening School program that will allow high school scholars a flexible schedule to add additional coursework to enrich their learning opportunities and make-up work. Finally, keep a look out for our Beyond Academy Field Series that will highlight the outstanding accomplishments of our alumni.
The mantra for the 2019-2020 school year is “Shoulder Up.” This year’s mantra can represent a few ways we can all stand tall, work together, and be proud of ourselves and our district. We will know when someone is “shouldering up” when they challenge themselves to be better, try harder, or take on something new. We will know that someone is “shouldering up” when they support a classmate or talk to an adult when they see something that isn’t right. We will know that someone is “shouldering up” when they make good decisions for themselves and reflect Goldback pride throughout the year. These are just a few examples of how we can “Shoulder Up,” I can’t wait to see how our students, teachers, administrators, and families demonstrate this year’s mantra throughout our schools and our district.
Lastly, each school has their own traditions and unique characteristics that make them special. As a district, we also have celebrations to recognize the district as a whole. This year, we are opening our school year with an inaugural “Ring the Bell” Ceremony. To help generate excitement for the first day of school the district will start a new tradition of ringing the bell to start each school year. During the ceremony, the district will also honor community members and organizations who make a lasting, positive impact on lives of our children.
We look forward to a year filled with successes and excitement for all of our scholars and their families. Together, we can inspire our scholars to become leaders beyond Academy Field. In unity and through the work of all, we will achieve inclusive excellence.
Through the work of all,
Roberto Padilla, Ed.D.
Newburgh Enlarged City School District