Superintendent’s Blog — 9/25/2018

As I am writing this, I can’t help but smile as I listen to students at SMS in a buzz talking about the project that they are doing, it is such a wonderful contrast to the silent emptiness of summer.  I know from personal experience that adjusting to a new school year is all encompassing, there are lunches to pack, supplies to purchase, and schedules to become accustomed to, so please accept a very sincere thank you for the support you have provided to your children and the staff in our schools through our opening days.  Your support ensured that the District had a FANTASTIC opening. While no opening is without some challenges, students and teachers were happy to get back to school and ready to get back to learning, teaching, and growing.  Now that school has been underway for just about a month routines have been developed and we can see that students have begun to return to the rhythm of school days.  I hope you have had the opportunity to attend your students’ open houses and have seen what has been accomplished in the first weeks of school.

The last two days have certainly let us know that the warm days of summer are behind us and for me that means before long I will be watching the forecast diligently.  Before the first chance of snow, I always like to ensure that our phone alert system is working, so I will be conducting a preliminary alert broadcast this Thursday, September 27th beginning at 6 PM.  If you do not receive a phone call from me with a recorded message between 6PM and 7PM please email me directly at and I will be sure that the correct person receives your email.

You may remember, perhaps too vividly, last year saw an unprecedented amount of large-scale school violence.  While the media has stopped having that conversation, at ConVal we have not. Following the events, we looked carefully at our practices and procedures and I also began meeting with local law enforcement to hear their thoughts and listen to their recommendations.  Many thanks to our local police chiefs who gave up their time to discuss with me our plans in the case of violence.  As a result of those discussions, the District has committed time and resources to make our schools safer by training all District staff in a safety protocol referred to as – ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Escape).  During the course of this year staff will receive training and we will begin making changes to our protocols with the help of local police and other community supports.  As these changes begin to be put in place I will keep you informed.

As I mentioned the last time I wrote, I am working to communicate in a variety of different ways this year.  We have increased our social media presence through Facebook, (“We Are ConVal”) and Twitter (@WeAreConVal) and this Thursday, September 27th, from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM,  I will host the first Superintendent Brown Bag Lunch at the SAU offices at 106 Hancock Road, Peterborough.  Please consider bringing your lunch and joining me for conversation about the District, there is no set agenda or presentation, just a time for you to ask questions or share thoughts.

Have a wonderful week!