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Superintendent, Dr. Peter Burrow's Monthly Communique




Superintendent's Communique
November 2019


In visits and conversations throughout the district over the past month, I have been heartened to witness how deeply ACSD educators are intellectually and pedagogically assessing and reassessing our learning systems. Designing within the IB framework has brought us to reexamine much more than our approach to teaching and learning. It has brought into focus our system of services, our assessment systems, our statewide move to proficiency-based reporting, and our alignment across the district that is unprecedented. Undergirding all of this is our desire for a cohesive, comprehensive teaching and learning system that allows us to support each and every student in finding success.

I know how hard each one of our employees is working to build this system in classrooms, offices, buildings, across teams, and throughout the district. I think it's important for all of us to recognize that our work to close the opportunity gap and create a learning system that works is a long process. It is a process that is both intellectual and emotional, and often times more of a circular arc as opposed to a straight line.

We are a committed, professional, and ardent team of educators, and wanting to get each system right, right now, is our natural inclination. At the same time, we do need to allow time for things to develop, for learning to occur, and for us to be present in our work by being mindful of wellness. As a learning organization, this is something we should keep coming back to.

Thank you for making this first quarter so strong, and for your commitment to the change process, which requires considerable brain power and energy. The impacts are clear, which I am fortunate to experience every day in my role as superintendent and in the learning experiences of my own children.
Budget Development
The budget season is soon upon us as we prepare to present a first draft to the Board on December 18. In initial meetings with principals, the Finance Committee, and the Board this fall, we have explored some of the statewide and local funding realities to determine how we can be best prepared when we receive our equalized pupil number from the Agency of Education (AOE) on December 15. It is this number, which is a two-year weighted average of the students in our district, that ultimately determines our costs.

We have some unknowns coming into this budget season: the statewide health care negotiations are ongoing, and we are wrestling with a drop in enrollment from last year to this year of 35 students. The Board set forth a vision in October to approach the budget process with the intention of stabilizing and supporting current levels of investment. I will share more as we get further through the process and more information comes from the AOE.