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Holiday Greetings from Jill Kafka

December is the perfect month to pause and appreciate all we have set out to accomplish during our academic year and all that is still to come.  This year is no different.

Our biggest news continues to reflect the work around our academic plans, implementation and progress so far.  Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee and her academic team have been working diligently with principals and teachers alike rolling out the new English Language Arts and math curriculum across all six network schools.  As one of our principals noted, “This is probably the most intensely we have all worked as a school.  The expectations are high but we are up for the challenge.”  

In this first year with all new curricular resources and focused professional development support for our teachers, the goal is to make material academic gains across the entire network.  I will be sure to keep you posted on our progress.

With the hiring of an After-school Director at each school, the Partnership has launched a more robust program that supports families and students through high quality homework help and also provides children with fun and engaging opportunities to explore new interests and ideas.    

The Partnership helped the schools hire additional after-school staff to lead small group activities and provided directors and staff with after-school specific professional development to continue to improve the program.  Now across the network, more than a third of students are playing sports, learning chess, acting, painting, dancing, and completing design and engineering challenges during after-school.  

As you may know, for the majority of our families if extra-curricular options aren’t offered at school their children simply do without.  With this program we hope to deliver the broad exposure so critical to our students’ comprehensive education.  In the new year, we will survey families and students to inform our continued build-out of the program.

At each of our schools, students are practicing songs, lines are being recited and finishing touches are being put on the much-anticipated holiday performances.  I invite you to come see our students shine, our teachers beam with pride and our families gather together in celebration.  Our doors are always open to you and your family during the holidays and every day.

Enjoy this Christmas season knowing how vital your support of our work, students, families, teachers and principals is to each of us at the Partnership.  Thank you.