Collaboration and a new school year

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The start of the new school year is an exciting time where we settle into a new rhythm, or return to an old one. It offers chances to build fresh relationships and seek new, meaningful learning opportunities.

This year our rhythm will be slightly different, with an early release on most Wednesdays, so that teachers have more time to collaborate.

Creating these “Professional Learning Communities” for our teachers represents one of the top priorities in our strategic plan. The collaboration time will be extremely positive and valuable, as it will create more time for our teachers to work together to support student learning and make important instructional choices.

The change will begin on Sept. 11 — and only occur on weeks that are full five-day school weeks. All students in grades K-12 will be released at 2:35 p.m. on the dates we have early release.

Looking to the year ahead, I want to reiterate our commitment to upholding the values of creating a safe, caring, and inclusive school culture. It’s a challenging world out there, and we need to care for one another, always working in the best interest of our students.

We support a diverse and unified community based on mutual respect. All of our schools are welcoming places to learn, share ideas, and demonstrate compassion, open-mindedness, acceptance, and kindness for one another.

I also want to emphasize that by having a growth mindset, we can always grow and improve in whatever challenge we may face. When we are fixed in the way we look at the world, we cannot improve.

I’m excited to work with the Whitefish community to keep getting better at what we do. Our kids are amazing! It’s fun to work hard to create the best possible circumstances that we can for our kids, looking to challenge our students to always think creatively. We want to help create good thinkers!

I hope to see many of you at the “Back to School Bash” on Sept. 4, on the Middle School front lawn from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. It’s a fun celebration and a great way to welcome our students back to a new year of learning, development, and activity.

Our schools are a key building block of our community and the foundation of a good democracy. The Whitefish community’s support for our schools takes energy, passion, and commitment — and our community members exemplify this every day. Thank you for your collaboration as we continue to build, learn and engage in this amazing community.

Heather Davis Schmidt is the Superintendent of the Whitefish School District.

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