This time of year prompts us to pause, gather with our family and friends, open our hearts and homes, and give thanks. To nurture gratitude for the tangible and intangible aspects in our lives actually has research-based benefits! Recent studies link a fostering of gratitude to increased physical health, positive mental outlook and greater resilience.
I can easily count my blessings: I am grateful for the opportunity each day to work alongside a highly talented group of professionals where everyone commits to doing what is best for children, every day. They bring thoughtfulness and deep care to their work, collaborating with others and stretching their own skillset to grow in new and exciting ways. I’ve seen countless examples of teachers and staff, “leading together”, stepping into roles of leadership or initiating new ideas that move our mission forward. They inspire me to be a better educator, a better leader and a better person.
I am grateful to our parents and patrons for the many ways you volunteer, contribute and support the success of our students, staff and school communities. You help nurture a culture of warmth, inclusivity, and kindness in our schools. I am grateful for our energetic PTAs, booster clubs, MAP volunteers and Education Foundation board members; for volunteers who give their time and spirit to expand the educational opportunities for all children in our district. I am grateful for our School Board members who lead with integrity, generosity of time, and a spirit of optimism and belief in our students and staff.
I wish all of you a joy-filled Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends and neighbors. Embrace the sights, sounds, traditions, foods, and moments with those you love.
Last week the Justice Department made a decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Once again, students and families in our community have cause for concern and worry about what the future will bring.
While there will be months of debate and consideration by Congress regarding the future outcome of the program, in the meantime our district stands firm in our commitment that each child feel safe, respected, and welcome in their school. Last year, our School Board and I affirmed this commitment to safe and inclusive school environments through a written message to the entire West Linn-Wilsonville community. In that message we stated, "There is no place in our schools for threats or overt acts of bigotry, bullying, racism, or any language that denigrates others based on their gender, religion, origin, race, sexual orientation, or ability. This behavior does not represent the best of who we are, or our community."
At the recent September 11th Board Meeting, our School Board approved a resolution
in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Education, reaffirming West Linn-Wilsonville as a school district with safe and welcoming schools for all students regardless of national origin, immigration status, or documentation status.
We will continue to offer resources to families who may have additional questions or concerns regarding DACA. It is important for our community to know that our district does not ask for, collect, or keep on record immigration information or immigration status of our students or parents.
Thank you for your partnership in creating positive learning environments in our community. I am proud to work in a district that benefits from such enormous parent, staff, and community generosity of spirit, as well as tremendous care for the safe and equitable education of all children.
Our first day of school together began with sunshine-peeking through the haze, but warm and inviting nonetheless-and thousands of smiling faces! It has been incredibly satisfying to walk into schools today and see our children and their teachers deep into the joyful remembering of who we are as a caring community and setting the expectations for the important learning to come.
Our two new school buildings were also ready for children today, eager to step foot into new learning spaces and leave their inaugural print! Thank you to the hundreds of crew members, staff and teachers for your contributions in launching a successful first day of the 2017-2018 school year! Thank you parents for all you have done to help your children be ready for today!
Our district has a compelling mission, "How do we create learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people…for the world?" This mission question challenges and inspires us to commit our best efforts every day to our students-preparing them academically and socially with a global mindset so that they graduate high school confident, competent, compassionate and prepared for the world ahead.
This year our teachers, staff and administrators are approaching our mission with a focus on "leading together". Research demonstrates that while individual expertise can accomplish great feats, collective belief and endeavors have a powerful impact. This "collective efficacy" - belief and action - has the strongest statistical outcome for learning. We commit to being an organization with clear alignment, purpose and collective leadership towards those priorities and efforts that truly make a difference for each child, every child.
I look forward to this school year and to sharing examples with you over the course of the year as to how we are "leading together."
Welcome back to school and three cheers for a great first day together! Kathy
Saludos Comunidad Escolar de West Linn – Wilsonville
¡Nuestro primer día de escuela juntos comenzó con la luz del sol mirando a través de la bruma, pero cálida y acogedora, no obstante-y miles de caras sonrientes! Ha sido increíblemente satisfactorio caminar en las escuelas hoy y ver a nuestros niños y sus maestros profundamente en el recuerdo gozoso de quiénes somos como una comunidad de cuidado y establecer las expectativas para el aprendizaje importante para venir.
¡Nuestros dos nuevos edificios escolares también estaban listos para los niños hoy, ansiosos de entrar en nuevos espacios de aprendizaje y dejar su impresión inaugural! ¡Gracias a los cientos de miembros de la equipo, personal y maestros por sus contribuciones en el lanzamiento de un exitoso primer día del año escolar 2017-2018! ¡Gracias a los padres por todo lo que han hecho para ayudar a sus hijos a estar tan listos para hoy!
Nuestro distrito tiene una misión convincente: "¿Cómo creamos comunidades de aprendizaje para los más grandes pensadores y personas más reflexivas ... para el mundo?" Esta pregunta de la misión nos desafía y nos inspira a comprometer nuestros mejores esfuerzos todos los días a nuestros estudiantes, Socialmente con una mentalidad global para que se gradúen de la escuela secundaria confianza, competente, compasivo y preparado para el mundo por delante.
Este año, nuestros maestros, personal y administradores se están acercando a nuestra misión con un enfoque en "liderar juntos". La investigación demuestra que, si bien la experiencia individual puede lograr grandes hazañas, la creencia colectiva y los esfuerzos tienen un impacto poderoso. Esta "eficacia colectiva" -la creencia y la acción- tiene el resultado estadístico más fuerte para el aprendizaje. Nos comprometemos a ser una organización con clara alineamiento, propósito y liderazgo colectivo hacia aquellas prioridades y esfuerzos que verdaderamente marcan la diferencia para cada niño.
Espero con interés este año escolar y compartir ejemplos con ustedes a lo largo del año en cuanto a cómo estamos "liderando juntos".
¡Bienvenidos a la escuela y tres aplausos para un gran primer día juntos! Kathy