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2018-2019 Superintendent, Dr. Peter Burrows Monthly Communique


Superintendent's Communique
June 2019
With two weeks left in the 18-19 academic year, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the work we've done, the miles we've walked, and the change we've led in what I know has been a full, packed year of discovery and exploration.

We finish out this year having learned deeply about who we are as we continue towards authorization in the Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and Diploma Program (DP). The level of conversation that we carried as a district was significant. Our commitment to real inquiry was reflected in the capacity of our community of educators to engage in highly articulate analysis of how we can best shift from what we know to what may be possible. I had many conversations throughout the year where teachers shared with me their analyses of where they were in the transition to International Baccalaureate and how challenging and rewarding it was to reconceive of approaches to the classroom. We learned greatly this year, and I want to thank each one of you for your commitment and determination.

In just a few short months, MUHS will be offering the IB Diploma Program to our incoming juniors, which is a huge milestone. Within the next year, both the PYP and MYP will follow. Authorization is a powerful accomplishment, and sets us up for continued learning that we can build on as we establish a functional process of reflection and evaluation. Rather than chasing new programs every year as the field of education is wont to do, we will continue to refine and learn together to improve our practice with educators at the center of our work.

Our partnership with Middlebury College grew this year and continues to flourish, with new IB-focused coursework next year for ACSD teachers and further expansions of a relationship that has improved opportunities for our students and educators.

We also needed to lean on each other this year as we support our students and our community. Our work with trauma-informed practice was a powerful foundation to build from, and it is clear that we need to continue to expand and focus our system of services in the coming year to leverage our resources to the greatest effect. Our ACSD Community Partnership Council spent this past year on initiatives to support whole child wellness throughout our district, and helped to spearhead a relationship with Porter Hospital that will result in the opening of a school-based health center at MUHS and other supports throughout the district. We continue our work with the Systems of Services Design Team into next year as we look to align our practices and staffing models to address the needs of all of our students. 

There were countless highlights to numerous to detail here, although the one thing that I saw that was consistent throughout each permutation of the school year was the heart and caring of all of you that helped to lift up our students, many whom need us greatly. Thank you for being there for our students and our community.

May your summers be filled with much time with family, and significant reflection on how important your work is to all of the students in ACSD. Be well!