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Summer Letter to the Community

posted Sep 6, 2011, 9:05 AM by Dianne Georgantas

August 11, 2011

 Dear Longmeadow Community:

Summer  greetings!   This is always my favorite season of the year as the work schedule lessens and there is more time to spend with friends and family.  The slower pace also allows the administrative team to meet more, reflect on our work and plan for the next year.  Having taught for 15 years, I
know that our teachers use this time effectively as well:  seeking professional development by taking courses, writing curriculum to expand learning opportunities and using time to reflect.  the school year's pace is fast and packed, so this time to reflect is appreciated by all.

On a personal note, my summer involved a magical trip to Tuscany where 14 friends rented a dream villa surrounded by olive gardens, fruit trees and panoramic views.  We visited 13 cities over two weeks; walking through ancient cities that are still in full use left me in awe.  Finally, my weekends were filled with family activities as my siblings and nieces and nephews gathered at the Cape.  From our annual Fourth of July parade to nights playing Bananograms, I enjoyed every moment.  My nieces and nephew are growing so quickly that I relish the limited time that I spend with them.  Again, this is why summer is my favorite season!

The administrative team gathered to chart our course for the new academic year.  we studied Professional Learning Communities, reviewed MCAS data, finished schedules and planned for the early release days.

The focus of our professional development this year is on Professional Learning Communities.  We are most grateful to our community for allowing the release days so that our teachers may collaborate on ways to increase learning by assessing students' work and developing more instructional strategies that lead to higher achievement for all students.

As I begin my second year as your superintendent, I would like to share some observations.  First, this is an extraordinary community that supports our schools in every way possible.  Second, we have a strong administrative team and talented staff who genuinely love the students.  As I visit schools and observe the culture of each building, it is amazing to feel the warmth and see the wonderful instruction occurring in classrooms.  There is a love of learning that is contagious and reverberates through each school; it is also carried over to curriculum, department and team meetings.  When people ask how I like my new job, I answer "I love it!"' as I shared all of the facts mentioned above.  it is an honor and privilege to serve as superintendent in this community as we share our commitment to providing the best education possible for all of our students.

One of my goals for the coming year is to increase communication with our community in order to celebrate our successes and share our work.  We will be hosting a monthly cable show, The Superintendent’s Roundtable, where guests will discuss various topics.  Our first show aired last June as elementary staff joined me to discuss literacy and the summer reading program for the Longmeadow elementary community where we all read the same book- Hotel for Dogs by Lois Duncan.   The website and newspaper will also be used to increase communication with the community, so please let me know if there are topics of particular interest.

As the final days of summer wind down, I hope that you find time to enjoy the warm weather and a break to spend time with the family.  The school year will be upon us shortly as students arrive back to school on September 1 (kindergarten on September 7).  A great year is anticipated for all, and I look forward to our hallways once again filled with staff, students and parents.

Sincerely,

Marie Doyle

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