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September 2019

Plymouth Public Schools

2019-2020 Goals

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       The 2019-2020 School Year is off to a great start!  We were so excited to welcome our students back to school on Wednesday and and get them started on a great year.  In this article, I will share with you some of the positive changes that we have made for the school year.  If you ever have a specific question about the district that you would like to discuss, please send me a note at semmelm@plymouth.k12.ct.us

       Safety, curriculum, and instruction have always been at the heart of what we do in the school system.  However, we continue to monitor each of these major responsibilities and identify areas for improvement.  In regards to school safety, we continue to examine both the physical and emotional safety of our students, staff and community.  Our district safety team in conjunction with our School Resource Officer identified additional layers of physical safety that we addressed this summer.  We also remain vigilant regarding emotional health.  We know our families play the most critical role in developing self-aware and empathetic children.  As a school district, we support our families in this effort by reinforcing the importance of making good choices every day and recognizing that there are consequences that come with poor choices.  As a community, we can all support our students by modeling appropriate conflict resolution and by simply being kind to our neighbor. 

        Our curriculum, or what we teach, has been receiving our attention for the past five years.  We have been excited to add three additional Advanced Placement classes at Terryville High School over the past three years.  In 2019-2020, our high school students will have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement Computer Science.  In the past less than 20% of our students challenged themselves to take an AP course in high school.  However, the class of 2019 saw 50% of its class take at least one AP course prior to graduation.  Beyond the added AP courses, we are also adding a Fire Science class at THS.  We are excited about this opportunity, especially given that we have such a great Volunteer Fire Department serving our community. 

       It has been well researched and somewhat obvious that our teachers have the single greatest effect on student achievement.  When our children work with caring, expert instructors, they flourish.  Therefore, we constantly strive to improve our instruction each day.  We work with children who come to us with different needs and different talents.  As a staff, we work hard to ensure that every child receives what they need from our educational system to thrive.  We partner with our families to reinforce the importance of attendance, a quiet study place at home, and a positive attitude that understands that learning can be challenging and frustrating at times but always rewarding in the end.  Our District and School Improvement plans can be found on our website and those plans highlight some of the specific instructional strategies that our teachers will be engaged with throughout the year.  If you are a parent, never hesitate to reach out to one of our teachers to ask for clarification or support.  Our teachers are here to help.

       Finally, the Board of Education has commissioned a study of both the demographics of our student population now and 10 years into the future.  The study also reviewed how to best use our current facilities.  These presentations can be found on our website.  There will be a public forum held at THS on September 25 starting at 7:00 PM to hear the thoughts of the community about the findings from these studies.  I hope you will review the information and attend the forum.

I wish everyone a truly healthy and happy start to the new school year!

 


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