Dear SPS Families:

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year!

SPS classrooms were full of life today as Dr. Curtis, new SPS Assistant Superintendent, and I visited each school. In each school we experienced happy students and teachers who were engaged in meaningful and fun first day activities, although it seemed as if all had been settled in for weeks! Students were getting to know each other and their teachers through activities such as writing about themselves, illustrating events they experienced in the summer, exploring math concepts, as well as learning expectations for "how to be" in their new grade level.

We started our day at Curtis Middle School and met students and teachers who were excited to be back at school or at middle school for the first time. The sixth graders I had seen last week at the Scavenger Hunt seemed very comfortable in their new environment! Students and teachers were experiencing, for the first time, the revised middle school schedule which meets on a five day (M-F) cycle. The administrators and teacher leaders at Curtis worked hard and did a fantastic job during last school year to devise this schedule that will benefit student learning and provide increased opportunities for teachers to meet with parents.

At Noyes, we had the opportunity to meet parents of Kindergarten students at the PTO sponsored "Boo-Hoo breakfast" and to see the students in their classrooms. I am happy to report that we did not see one tear among kindergarteners themselves, however, there were a few emotional moments when talking with parents about how they experience their child going off to Kindergarten for the first time. As a parent myself, this brought back memories for me of the emotion I felt when sending each of my own children to kindergarten.

During our visit to Loring, we watched as fifth graders and kindergarteners ate lunch together for the first time. It was wonderful to see the peaceful coexistence of fifth grade "buddies" sharing the cafeteria with kindergarteners and how teachers and administrators at Loring viewed a scheduling challenge as a wonderful opportunity.

At Haynes we witnessed classrooms of students practicing routines that reflected a respectful environment. Students learned how to enter and exit the cafeteria and move from place to place in the building and practiced classroom routines that show respect for each individual's needs and the learning process.

During our visit to Nixon we saw parents and students who participated in "visitation day" for the pre-school class, which is a new addition to Nixon. Here again, I am happy to report that we did not detect any tears and we are excited to visit the classroom in the near future when the class is in "full swing."

The smiles of our students, the enthusiasm of their teachers and the general positive atmosphere in all buildings bodes very well for an exceptional school year. I am pleased to serve as Superintendent of the Sudbury Public Schools, to work with dedicated and involved parents, and with our skillful, caring, and child-centered educators and staff members!

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.