A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week, which marks the second week of our third quarter, has certainly been eventful. Despite the challenges associated with dealing with multiple pandemics, our students, families, staff, and community have tapped into a reservoir of resilience and humanity in order to lean forward together.
This week, our state and nation have been impacted by disturbing news of senseless violence and threats of violence, which has exacerbated the social-emotional impact of dealing with a global health pandemic. Despite these events, we are witnessing the fierce determination of our students, families, staff, and community to lean forward. Our students are leading efforts to combat violence by uplifting their voices to affect change. Our families are making daily sacrifices to ensure our students are supported as they pursue excellence in their academic and co-curricular endeavors. Our staff are working collaboratively to develop new ways to support in-person learning in the midst of ongoing staffing shortages. Our community is leveraging resources of commitment and compassion to bolster our students and staff during these unprecedented times.
Last week, during our instructional walkthroughs at Leopold Elementary, we witnessed many examples of staff leaning forward to support our students. In this spirit, Chief of Elementary Schools, Ennis Harvey, embodied our best efforts to uplift human decency by taking the time to reach out to a student struggling with a ukulele assignment during a music class. Mr. Harvey’s willingness to take extra time with this student enhanced the social-emotional environment in the class, which is often a precondition for academic engagement. Many of our staff make similar contributions each day and exemplify the qualities which make MMSD special.
During our Regular school board meeting on Monday, discussions around academic acceleration, and social-emotional support provided evidence of our district’s commitment to the goals and core values in our Strategic Framework. In fact, the spirited and informed dialogue connected to issues of educational equity illustrated clear efforts to interrogate and refine our policies and practices to benefit our entire community.
Thank you for this leadership as well as your ongoing support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress next week. Please take a look at the photo below of Mr. Harvey and a Leopold scholar!
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.