Just wanted to post this message from our new superintendent -- which is also posted on the ARPS website. As a School Committee member, but more importantly as a parent with three kids who will be in the Amherst schools starting next month, I'm very pleased with this statement and believe it sets precisely the right goal (making our schools world-class), and sets clear priorities and strategies (including making fiscally prudent decisions, using best practices research, and comparing/contrasting our district with other similar districts). I share Dr. Rodriguez's enthusiasm for the year ahead, and working forward to working with him at this exciting time of great potential for our schools.
Dear Amherst, Pelham and Regional Faculty, Staff and Community Members:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Amherst, Leverett, Pelham and Shutesbury for the warm welcome given to me and my family. Your hospitality and warmth shall always be remembered. I am truly honored to serve such involved, engaged, and passionate communities that believe education to be one of the pillars of our society. Additionally, I have been impressed with the commitment and professionalism exhibited by this school system's faculty and staff and look forward to working with such dedicated professionals.
The current economic conditions we are facing have adversely affected the four corners of our nation. The Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools are no exception. We have had to make painful cuts, while always keeping in mind the child sitting at his/her desk and the teacher in front of the class. In the midst of these budget cuts, we owe it to our students to improve our educational system while seeking opportunities for improved efficiencies and exploring ways to consolidate economies of scale.
As we forge ahead, determined to make Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools a world class PreK-12 educational school system, we need to model "best practices," compare/contrast our work and outcomes with similar school districts, strengthen linkages with local constituent groups and stakeholders, raise standards and expectations for all students, and always strive for continuous improvement.
I strongly urge you to be full partners as we collectively pursue this vision. The future is not for the timid and the solutions cannot be tepid. As a school district, we need to think big while taking small, but decisive, steps towards a vision where all children can and will learn and meet high expectations and standards.
I look forward to sharing this sojourn with you.
Alberto Rodriguez, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools
My Goal in Blogging
I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.