It’s Back to School Time!

Submitted by Superintendent Wayne Weber

I hope everyone is enjoying our beautiful August weather and the remaining days of summer. We are eager to welcome all of our students on Tuesday, September 4, for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.

Summer is always a busy time for our staff with critical building improvements facilitated by our incredible team of maintenance and custodial staff. Each summer, our custodians perform a deep cleaning of each of our schools to ensure that our buildings are looking their best when students walk in on the first day. When you see our school custodians, please take a moment to thank them for their tremendous efforts.

This summer, our major maintenance project was continuing the energy efficiency upgrade work to all four campuses which began last summer. Some of that work can be seen, like the new windows at Rosendale Primary and the new chiller unit at Laconia High School, while other improvements will be felt throughout the year with greatly improved air exchange and temperature control capabilities in all buildings.

Work like that mentioned above has been happening in schools each summer since before I was a student. Not much has changed over the years when it comes to cleaning, painting, and waxing. What has changed dramatically over the past decade is the need to address school safety and student mental health.

This is where our efforts and needs continue to evolve. We are continuing work to improve the security infrastructure in our buildings. A great portion of this work will be paid for with the funding we received from the School Safety Grant program and will continue throughout the school year. These efforts will help improve upon an already safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff.

We will also focus on social and emotional learning (SEL), which aims to develop resiliency, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, and empathy. Research continues to show that social and emotional learning not only creates a healthy context for learning to take place, but that these skills actually enhance academic rigor. Along with SEL, our staff will receive additional training in Adverse Childhood Experiences and Trauma Sensitive Schools. We will also continue our work to improve our tiered supports for students that allow us to differentiate our approach to meet the diverse academic and emotional needs of our students.

These are topics we are dealing with in education at a far greater level than ever before. Today’s children are exposed to and consume information a far greater pace than ever before. They lead far more complex lives, have more opportunities, experience more stress, and have more diverse needs than children in my generation. Because of reasons like these, we need to continue to evolve our approach to working with our young people. It reminds me of the adage, “No one said it would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it.”

On behalf of the incredible team of educators and support staff who serve the children of the Rosendale-Brandon School District, thank you for putting your faith in us to provide your children with a world-class education. We look forward to working with you throughout the year to ensure the success of all of our students.