Dear Families and Community Members:

As we approach the winter break, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season. I hope everyone has a chance to relax and spend time catching up with family and friends!

I also wanted to update you on the steps I’ve taken to learn from and discuss with our students, staff, and community the difficult times we went through at the start of December.

Last week, I reached out to the 25 students who either spoke at our December 5th Board meeting or had signed up to speak with me. From that outreach, I was able to meet with a group of six Roosevelt High School students to listen to their concerns, share my perspective, and collaborate on ways to communicate better in the future.

I was extremely impressed and proud of how these students conducted themselves and presented their questions and issues to me, and the group is now in the process of determining how students will be selected to join the Student Advisory Council, how often we will meet, and what topics they would like to discuss and work on the rest of this year. The group will also be part of the January 7th staff-development day at RHS, where they will assist our teachers all afternoon on educational and instructional visioning for our school district.

I have been working these last two weeks to have conversations with concerned parents and community members to discuss their ideas, concerns and solutions. I’ve returned many phone calls and email messages from the past two weeks and offered to meet with any parents who are interested in meeting with me. If I have missed anyone, please reach out again and I would be happy to discuss how we can best move forward, together, to create a stronger school district.

I invite all parents to our next Parent Advisory meeting. It will be held from 7-9 p.m. on January 23, 2019 at our administration building . This advisory group was created earlier this fall to strengthen parent voice in our district. This next meeting will continue our focus on our safety plans, strengthening our district and school communications, as well as answering some questions that our parents may have about other items and issues.

The past two weeks have been a difficult time for the community and for me personally. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the issues and concerns that have been raised. I want to assure you that all of our decisions in handling the incidents were made with an overriding concern for the safety and well-being of our students and our schools. My focus now is to continue to build stronger connections with our students, teachers, and our parents and community members. Establishing better communication is the most important step to keeping our schools moving forward and ensuring we handle tough issues in the future in a more productive way.

Thank you all for being part of and involved in our school community. I look forward to working with you to move our schools forward in 2019 and to continue to increase educational opportunities for every student.
Happy Holidays,

Leslie Arnold

“Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings happiness, may it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.”