Superintendent letter with a few key updates

Supt. letter with updates on Strategic Plan, Calendar and COVID
Posted on 06/04/2021

Dear Families,

After the long weekend, it was great to return to a short week full of concerts and fun school activities. Seeing the students back together making music and celebrating milestone events like Thursday’s 8th-grade dance, prom and ball fills my heart with joy. Thank you for sticking with it, working together and trusting the process.

Below are a few critical updates from across the district. All are important, but I want to draw attention to our strategic planning process. Now that it is underway, we see the profound impact it will have. The feedback is clear about our many strengths and peak performance, but what I like most is the clarity forming around our areas for growth and how it brings us even closer together. Thank you to everyone who contributed input and to the more than 30 members of our planning committee. Once complete, our plan will anchor our objectives and provide focus as we strive for clarity and coherence.

STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION #2

Our Strategic Planning Council met again on Wednesday, June 2nd. It collaborated with the University of Rochester Strategic Planning Team to continue its work to develop the district’s next Strategic Plan. The Planning Council members consist of a broad representation of stakeholders, including the Superintendent, District Administration, Board of Education members, teachers, support staff members, students and parents.

Planning Council members continued to review and analyze program, perception and survey data by identifying strengths and weaknesses. They worked together to review and analyze implementation of various district initiatives, curriculum and instruction documents, results of focus group interviews with district stakeholders and the community survey (completed by 600-plus people) results. Planning Council members read the reports, identified strengths and weaknesses and shared findings. They also began to identify themes that surfaced throughout the first two days. These will be considered when identifying strategic plan topics and action items. The WICSD Planning Council will meet again June 9th and June 16th to continue to develop the district’s next Strategic Plan. Members will use the information they have gathered to begin the actual plan development, including the writing of action plan steps. Additional updates will be provided as the process continues.

2021-22 SCHOOL CALENDAR UPDATED

The 2021-22 school calendar (CLICK HERE) is complex given the federal and state holidays and our local contractual obligations, which created a conflict with our planned first day of school for students. Reflecting on this and working with our regional partners, WITA and Board of Education, we chose to move our October Superintendent’s Conference Day to Tuesday, Sept. 7th. By doing so, we provide relief for families observing Rosh Hashanah and give additional time for staff to plan and develop before welcoming students back for what we expect will be full in-person instruction. A win-win.

You will also note in our 2021-22 calendar update that we now recognize Oct. 11th as Columbus Day and Indigenous People's Day. As we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for our students and staff, officially recognizing Indigenous People's Day reflects on the rich diversity of our school and community. This change also aligns with our newly established practice of appropriately acknowledging the heritage of the land our schools rest upon.

CRISTAL NAMED NEW K-12 DIRECTOR OF HUMANITIES

Ms. Kimberly Cristal was appointed the West Irondequoit CSD’s new K-12 Director of Humanities at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. She will begin in her new role on July 1st, 2021. This is a newly created position based, in part, on the restructuring of our curriculum and instruction leadership. Since August of 2017, Ms. Cristal has served as the district’s K-12 Social Studies Supervisor and last February she took on the role of Interim K-6 Director of Instruction. Read more AT THIS LINK.

COVID-19 CASE UPDATE

Since our last communication a week ago on May 28, the Monroe County Dept. of Public Health has reported two new cases in our District, one student each at Irondequoit High School and Colebrook elementary. Per federal privacy laws, we can’t disclose any more details or personally identifiable information. If you have questions, call the MCDPHHotline at 753-5555.

In partnership,

Signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed. D

Superintendent of Schools