For all you do every day, "Thank You"
American writer William Arthur Ward once said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” So as another school year comes to an end, I want to express my sincere thanks to each and every one of you. Thank you to our teachers, clerical and maintenance staff, support staff and administrators who come to work every day to serve our students and guide them on their educational path to success. Please know that your dedication to our students does not go unnoticed.
This year has been a whirlwind. We started off the year with a new initiative – school uniforms. Our desire was to create a business climate in our schools indicating that we are serious about learning and safety. It was a monumental shift that saw success from the start. To say that everyone rose to the occasion is an understatement. On the first day of school we witnessed 98% compliance and the non-compliance issues have been minimal. Of course there have been some challenges along the way, but minor adjustments are being incorporated for next year that should alleviate some of the concerns. You all played a role in the success of this initiative. It was truly a collective effort of our students, parents, guardians, administrators, teachers, staff, vendors and community partners that resulted in the sea of khaki, black, white, blue, maroon, grey and yellow.
We also saw the adoption of revised District Goals by our dedicated School Board of Directors. Aligned with the Pathways to Success framework and the Common Core Standards, these goals set the stage to meet the needs of the whole child as our students proceed along their own personal path toward success. Our Board of Directors are passionate about their role in guiding our District. These volunteers work tirelessly and spend countless hours in meetings, visiting schools and attending school events; and they do it all because they believe in the mission of the Allentown School District. I am truly grateful for their dedication to our students.
We have made it through another year that has been filled with successes and challenges. We have seen the implementation of state-wide district “grading” with the new School Performance Profile instituted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Always challenged to meet standardized test scores, this new system revealed that nearly every ASD school is making great strides in PVAAS (Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System) by moving our students at least one grade-level and, in many cases, more than a grade-level. You should all take great pride in the difference you’re making in our students’ lives as they move in the right direction.
Every day there is something that inspires me in our District. Whether it’s hearing about a group of students who have quietly volunteered in the community; or a teacher who has truly gone above and beyond to help a student succeed; or a recent graduate who comes back to share a glimpse of their success – I could go on and on and on with inspiring stories.
Know that what you do every day matters. It makes a difference and is appreciated. Now, take time to celebrate your year and enjoy your summer. You have all earned it.
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