A message from Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Dear Board Members,
This week marks the start of our fall semester. During this week, our district staff have been leaning forward together in anticipation of the joy, laughter, anxiety, and excitement their students will experience in a brand new school year. As educators who want to positively impact the lives of students, families and colleagues, they are working diligently to uplift the pillars of excellence, equity, humanity, and intentionality.
Excellence has been embraced by our students, staff, and families in their diligent preparation of supplies, classrooms, lesson activities, and other routines associated with the return to school. Pursuing excellence was the focus of many of the private reflections of the members of our MMSD family this summer as they pondered the possibilities and promise of this new school year.
Equity remains at the forefront of our decision making this new year as we embrace our core values and continue listening to the collective voices of our students, staff, families, and community. As we refine our policies and practices, we must consider how they impact the disparities typically faced by students and families from historically excluded groups.
Humanity remains a critical pillar in our effort to lean forward together, as evidenced by Tuesday’s discussion with our medical advisory panel about refining our outdoor masking policy for our 4K-8 schools. The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to challenge us to engage in rigorous thinking about how to strengthen our mitigation strategies. Our efforts are made better by truly having the highest regard for human decency in all our vigorous discussions as we work to keep students, staff, and families safe this year.
Finally, intentionality has been embraced by our entire school community in their planning for this school year. Every detail, from the selection of students’ backpacks to professional development for early literacy and beyond, has been carefully considered by students, staff, and families. Our continued efforts to consider the most minute details of each decision will elevate our efforts to accelerate learning and attend to our students’ social-emotional needs.
Thanks for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to providing you with more updates on our district’s progress and planning next week.
Carlton D. Jenkins, Ph.D.