Message from the Superintendent
September 1, 2017
Welcome to the 2017-18 school year. We are excited to be welcoming students and families back to our schools. School staff were busy throughout the summer preparing for the new year. You will find fresh paint, sparkling floors, and computer equipment cleaned and ready for use throughout our schools. Teachers and administrators spent many hours this summer in professional learning experiences developed to support changing instructional practices in our classrooms.
Last spring we presented a vision of the learner created last year by a committee of teachers, administrators, and parents. Known as the Portrait of the Graduate, this document defines the skills that accompany rigorous content standards that we expect all Mansfield students to develop. As the year progresses, we will add more detail to this document to specifically define expectations at various grade levels. Our Portrait of the Graduate can be found at: http://www.mansfieldct.gov/filestorage/1904/6234/portrait_of_the_graduate.pdf.
Our focus is to put students in the center of their learning by engaging them in learning tasks that include discovery and inquiry. We seek to offer more choice to students and encourage them to ask questions that will direct their learning. Our teachers are using instructional practices that allow us to develop a deeper understanding of each child’s strengths and learning needs and individualize instruction to promote continuous growth. We look forward to sharing more about this work with you as the year progresses.
We also look forward to continuing to create a plan for our facilities. The first phase of this work, a facility planning study, was undertaken in the 2016-17 school year. This study helped us evaluate the match between our desired teaching and learning practices and the facilities that support these practices. Thanks to the involvement of hundreds of Mansfield residents, we have a good understanding of the facilities needed to meet our mission and the expectations of the community. The feedback offered during open community sessions last winter and spring and the responses received from the informative surveys as well as a wide collection of data gathered have been summarized in a final report that will be shared this fall. From there, the Board of Education will begin developing plans for the future.
We invite you to stay informed and involved throughout the school year. Be sure to review the many communications that are sent home via our electronic communication systems, participate in events in your local school, listen to or attend Board of Education meetings, and be sure to talk with your child daily about what he or she did in school that day.
We look forward to an exciting year.
Kelly M. Lyman