Written by Barbara Berkowitz, president. GNPS Board of Education Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00
Once again, it is time to focus on the opening of our schools. As I find myself bemoaning the rapidly approaching end to fleeting summer days, I realize that the older I get, the quicker time seems to be flying by. As I so often do, I think of my mother’s philosophy to look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. Therefore I will not focus on the reality of the “end” of summer, but rather on the “beginning” of a new school year, and all the possibilities that it holds for our students and staff.
Only in the field of education do you have the opportunity to begin anew each year: new students in class, new friends to make, new subjects to master and new teachers who stand before you. For some, it’s a chance to hit that re-start button each September. And while many people think that those of us who work in schools are “off” for the summer months, the reality is that so many staff members have been working busily to get everything ready for that first day when we welcome our students back to school, which this year will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Going into this new school year we are faced with a plethora of challenges ahead: public education is under attack, and there are those “up above” who should know better, and who should care more, who have deliberately set out to try to make us look bad and as though we are failing our children, which is absolutely not the case!
When was the last time you can recall when any of these public figures or the media asked to come and visit our schools to see what actually goes on inside the classroom and then report on the myriad of positive activities that occur on a daily basis? (I guess it makes more sensational headlines to focus on glasses half empty than those half full!)
But as we demonstrated this past year, together we will weather any storm (literally and figuratively) and we are busy working on ways to deal with this latest firestorm. Rest assured that our administrators have been working this summer to see what services we need to provide to those individual students or buildings that need additional assistance.
So while we are dealing with these realities we need to also focus on all the positives we offer, and one need only visit our schools on the very first day of school to see how our children are immediately immersed in learning!
On Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. we will open our first board meeting of the 2013-14 school year in the South High School auditorium with a discussion of our district’s latest test results. Dr. Dolan and staff will break down and explain the numbers and take questions. I hope you will join us for this meeting, as well as future Board meetings as noted on the school calendar and in our local newspapers. We are all partners in the education of our children.
And now, as I leave you to relish the last few days of summer I will ask you to focus on the glass half full as you remember the excitement and nervous anticipation that accompanies the new beginnings of every school year. I wish you all: students, parents and staff a wonderful 2013-14 school year!