Superintendent's Message - Fall 2020
Dear New Haven Families, Staff, and Community,
As we start the school year in this unprecedented manner, it saddens me to walk through our school sites and not see our students, staff, and parents. I can’t wait for the time when we will be able to conduct classes on campus again. Until then, we are fully invested in making the distance learning experience the best it can be for everyone. This doesn’t mean it will be perfect - it won’t be: we are making decisions quickly, implementing new programs without enough time or training, and challenging our educational infrastructure in ways that were unimaginable just several months ago. Because of these factors, there will be mistakes, unanticipated problems, and struggles for all of our district stakeholders.
Along with these problems also come opportunities. As we are making decisions, we are keeping the long term, post-COVID future in mind. For example, we selected Canvas as the learning management system for our middle and high school students because we believe that this program will benefit our staff and students well into the future. The same is true for our Personalized Learning Academy. We see this as a program that will continue to be a viable educational alternative for our students for years to come.
While we deal with the pandemic, we are also moving firmly ahead with our plans to keep the NHUSD as one of the best districts in the Bay Area. This work is anchored in the Strategic Action Plan that the NHUSD Board of Education adopted in December 2019. The five goals in this plan are:
1. College, Career, and Life Readiness Through Teaching and Learning
All students will graduate prepared for college, career, and life where every student can choose how to become productive, responsible and successful global citizens.
2. Equity, Access, and Achievement
All students will thrive academically and emotionally in a rich, diverse environment that is rooted in equity and supports wellness and socio-emotional learning.
3. Effective Employee Relations and a Collaborative District Culture
All staff are collaborative, valued, and engaged partners in providing our students with
equitable and positive experiences and outcomes.
4. Community Outreach, Engagement, and Advocacy
Families and community members are engaged and informed partners in our students’ educational experiences and outcomes.
5. Effective Resource Management and Operational Sustainability
Resources, facilities, and technology are used equitably and sustainably to provide
optimal learning environments for all students.
These goals were created from input gathered from students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members. I believe that they are even more relevant and important now as we navigate through the current pandemic. By continuing to focus our work around these goals, we will be able to emerge from this crisis well positioned to move our district forward.
John Thompson, Ed.D.