By Kevin Godden, Superintendent, School District #34.In my June blog post, I proudly shared that summer school is not what it used to be. For the 2,000+ students who have attended our summer school programs this July, a welcome back message is perhaps sort of strange. The fact is, they never stopped attending school. Many of those students have just finished their final exams, and in a few short days they will walk through the doors of their schools to continue their studies.
The start of school each September is ingrained in our culture. Students and parents endeavour to squeeze the last few days out of summer, but begin to turn their minds to the school year as August winds down. Whether you will be in kindergarten for the first time, grade six at a new middle school, or in your graduating year, the year starts with both anticipation and uncertainty: attending a new school, learning with new teachers, and meeting new friends sometimes brings both excitement and trepidation. This is also true for many educators. They too look forward to meeting their new students, teaching new units of study, and working with new colleagues. They too get a little nervous about doing a great job for their students. That’s part of what makes the start of school special.
The 2013/14 year promises to be an exciting one in the life of our district. As we seek to further activate our Strategic Plan aimed at making every student in our care successful, you will see a number of new initiatives take flight. While there are a number of innovative programs in our district already, we have dedicated ourselves to further expanding the options for learners. Chief among these programs are launches of our early learning programs, an outdoor school expression of interest, a district innovation centre, and specialized intervention schedules at three high schools (Robert Bateman, Abby Senior, and Abbotsford Traditional). It’s a great time to be a student or an educator in our district! Stay tuned.
To all our students, parents, and staff, please accept my heartfelt welcome to what promises to be a tremendous school year. I hope we all make 2013/14 our best one yet.