From the superintendent

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Dear Colleagues:

A great woman I had the pleasure of meeting, Marian Wright Edelman, once said that the question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.

At this week’s Board of Education meeting, our board will be voting on Saint Paul Public Schools’ next significant investment in ensuring a premier education for all our children – Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0.

2.0 doesn’t come with lots of hoopla and excitement. It’s not a new initiative. It’s just a steady plan for accelerating the good work we’ve begun over the past three years to reach our goals of Achievement, Alignment, and Sustainability.

Let me share with you why I feel passionately about the importance of 2.0’s five focus areas:

  1. Racial Equity Transformation
    Don’t for a minute think this is about valuing any one race over another, or about “dumbing down” the achievement of our white students in order to reduce the achievement gap. This is about ensuring that every child of every color and culture feels valued by the people and practices of Saint Paul Public Schools.
     
  2. Personalized Learning
    I must say it again: one size does not fit all.  Personalized Learning uses technology to differentiate instruction to the various needs, interests, and skills of our students. Contrary to concerns about “robo-teaching,” Personalized Learning provides educators with new tools to reach a new generation of students.
     
  3. Ready for College and Career
    From the state demographer to the governor to the White House, we hear that tomorrow’s jobs will require post-secondary training and/or education. The only path toward that is achievement in middle and high school today. We must continue our work to strengthen our middle schools, so that students are ready for success in high school and beyond.
     
  4. Excellent PK-12 Programs With Connected Pathways
    Our families now know they have great schools close to home. Students in each of those schools now need access to all the curricular and support resources that will make them successful.
     
  5. Systems That Support a Premier Education
    We are a school system, not a system of schools. Providing 64 schools with the services and support they need is no small task. Payroll, human resources, nutrition services, and facilities are critical to our success – but must be as effective and cost-efficient as possible. 

I am so grateful to have the honor of serving as your superintendent long enough to see this plan through. Great change takes time, and with Strong Schools, Strong Communities 2.0, we are making great change.

Thank you for your support in this work.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature


 

Valeria S. Silva