One of my favorite times is the start of the new school year at Friendship.
It’s a little bit of homecoming and a little bit family reunion. Whatever back to school means to you, it is great to see all of our exceptional scholars and amazing educators back in our classrooms.
The hallways are filled with laughter, stories of summer adventures, and posting pictures with best friends.
Parents, educators, and staff are greeting one another with smiles - ushering out the summer and ready to start a new year filled with hope and possibility.
As I do every year, I made sure to visit each of our campuses on the very first day of school - to welcome back our community and to see firsthand that our schools are safe and welcoming spaces for our children.
Not only were our buildings ready - with floors scrubbed, walls painted, and air conditioning keeping everyone cool - our teachers hit the ground running. I saw high-quality instruction in every school on the very first day, and it made my heart sing! It is going to be a special year.
Of course, we know that hard work is the foundation of a bright future. As we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that the pandemic has had on student learning, our network leaders, school leaders, and educators are working together to develop a plan to support our scholars and accelerate their growth.
We are focused on refining our work by leveraging the following priorities that we’ve heard from our teachers and scholars:
- Fidelity to our core programs in reading and math, with time in scheduled blocks protected.
- Support for students who are significantly behind or above grade level with one-on-one tutoring and small groups.
- Reading training for all teachers across content areas and grades.
- Continuing to focus on "intellectual prep" and ensuring time each week for teachers to come together for prep sessions.
More hands-on, project-based and out-of-school-building learning which allow for authentic application of concepts and help deepen student understanding.
This year, you will see our world-class education take flight with more immersive, hands-on learning experiences, field trips, science, art and music both in-person and, for those families who choose virtual, online too.
For 25 years, Friendship has served our community. Our roots run deep and I couldn’t be happier to know that all of you are part of the Friendship family and that we are doing this important work together. I can’t wait to see you as we make this the best year ever!