From the Superintendent

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Dear Colleagues:
 
I’ve had such a wonderful time this week visiting many of you during meetings and workshops held across our school district in preparation for this day! Even in the stifling heat, I was awash with good wishes and positive attitudes from everyone I talked to.

I loved watching science teachers excitedly dig into the new National Geographic apps. I was encouraged at the growth in the number of four-year-old experts who have joined our team. And my heart was touched at the stories of commitment I heard, such as the teacher who showed me photos of her second annual summer trip to the Dominican Republic to teach girls how to play softball. Words that have come to mind throughout the week are: Dedication. Passion. Professionalism. Endurance. Care. Commitment.
 
I am blessed as a superintendent to have a staff like this, and our students are blessed to have people with these traits leading their classrooms.
 
Of course, we all know that dedication is not enough. It must be paired with the practices and beliefs that will truly move the needle on academic achievement in Saint Paul. While we have made improvements, they continue to be incremental and I know that we all are aiming for more than that.
 
I continue to believe that paying attention to how racial equity affects student learning is the key to raising achievement for all students. As the year progresses, more and more of you will have the opportunity to find out what your role is in ensuring equitable learning by participating in Beyond Diversity workshops. I encourage you to take this work very seriously.

On a lighter note, I also encourage you to this year step into the world of social media by getting a Twitter account and telling me One Thing You Love about SPPS!  I’m especially interested in your perspective on Strong Schools, Strong Communities. What is working? Let me know. I assure you that I read all my tweets and think this is a wonderful way to continue to refill what I like to call my “idea bucket.” You can find me at Twitter.com/SPPS_SuptSilva.
 
We’re all in this together – and we’re all in this for our students. Thank you and have a wonderful 2013/2014 school year.

Sincerely,

Silva Signature

 


Valeria S. Silva