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November 2017

November 2017

Superintendent Dr. Marty Semmel

With all of the negativity and anxiety swirling around about the budget right now, I think it is appropriate to highlight the positive, especially when it comes to the great work our students are doing to support issues locally and nationally. From the national perspective, students and staff across the entire district have been collecting donations for disaster relief. From selling wrist bands at the high school to organizing spirit days at the middle school, our students are seeing first-hand how they can make a difference in the lives of people they have never met. Our LEO club at the high school is working with “Harvest Pack” in December to package dehydrated meals that will be destined for hurricane victims and for our local food pantries. Last year, 23,000 meals were packaged in one morning and the team is hoping double that effort this year by working with student groups from surrounding towns. Our schools help with a number of local charities as well. The town’s annual coat drive is in full swing and our schools have been strong supporters ensuring that everyone in town has a warm coat for the coming winter. The high school LEO club will also be holding a homecoming dance where the proceeds will be donated to support the costs of our local K-9 officer, Magnum. Throughout the rest of the year our students, staff, and parents will raise thousands of dollars to support local and national needs. This effort is significant in helping people in need and at the same time it helps everyone involved recognize and appreciate what it means to volunteer your time, money, and talents for a worthy cause. This year has certainly come with its financial anxieties but I am proud of the community service that our students, staff, and parents provide to make the community and our nation better. If you would like to get involved in the community in some way, we have some amazing groups in town that are always looking for more help.

I also want to remind our readers how they can stay up-to-date on what is happening in the Plymouth Public Schools. A strong school system is fundamental to a strong and thriving town and therefore I encourage all members of our community to get to know our schools better. Our parents receive weekly emails from school principals keeping them abreast of important information. All parents also receive a monthly update from me where I do my best to keep parents informed about what is going on from the big picture perspective of the district. If you are not a parent, there are still a number of ways to stay on top of what is going on in the schools. Our website holds a great deal of information from recent presentations, budget information, parent resources, job opportunities, and an up-to-date calendar. You can find our website by heading to http://www.plymouth.k12.ct.us/. Our more than 1,000 followers on our Facebook page can see pictures and updates of what is happening in our classrooms, our schools and in the district at-large. We also heard that some members of the community could not access the Plymouth 16 television channel, where we broadcast our monthly BOE meetings, so we now stream these meetings live on our Facebook page. I ask that you check out and like our Facebook page by heading to https://www.facebook.com/plymouthctschools/. Our meeting schedule is published and you should always feel welcome to attend our meetings in person. 

Finally, with winter coming it’s important that we review our process for snow calls. When winter weather threatens, I will work with our Business Manager, Facilities Director and the Supervisor for the Department of Public Works to make the best call possible. We also connect with the Plymouth Police Department as needed. We use the information we are receiving from the weather forecasters, as well as what we are seeing at the ground level to make the safest decision we can for our students, parents, staff and the community at large. We need to consider the areas in town that are most difficult to navigate during these weather events in those large yellow buses. You may not always like our snow-call decisions but understand that we make them with the best interest of the community in mind. 
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