From the Superintendent


Dear Colleagues:

I set a personal record last week: 21 schools in four days! And more to come this week. As you may have read in one of my many tweets along the way, being with our amazing students is absolutely my “happy place.” I really hope you will take the time to visit our top news headlines to view some of the fun photos we took of the first and second days of school, or join me on Twitter to follow me on my visits!

I can’t say thank you often enough to everyone who made this the smoothest school start in my memory. In my travels this week, I heard stories of:

  • Hard-working custodians who came in on their own time, even over the weekends and on evenings, to get the schools ready -- and I have no doubt there were many teachers and other staff who did the same.
  • Dedicated transportation staff working into the evenings right through Labor Day to make sure bus problems were minimized -- and they were.
  • Well-connected family engagement staff who helped organize groups of dads who wanted to walk their children to school together on the first day for the Million Father March.

All this hard work will help ensure that this week, when we welcome our youngest learners (Pre-K and K), their families can rest assured that we’re ready to start their precious children down the road to learning. 

I’m especially excited to report that new early learning funding from the legislature means that we’ll be expanding our Pre-K program to enroll an additional 286 students in 7 full-day and 2 half-day classrooms! We’re slowly but surely working to meet the growing demand SPPS has for our highly successful Pre-K program. As you know, studies show that early learning today means higher academic achievement tomorrow. 

As we get to know our wonderful four- and five-year olds, let’s keep our expectations high for every student this year -- and let’s make sure our actions back up those beliefs. “It doesn’t matter what you say you believe,” Robert Fulghum tells us in his book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. “It only matters what you do.” 

Thank you and have fun! You are changing the future of our city and of our country.


Silva Signature


Valeria S. Silva