Well, here we are again at the start of another school year. As I write this brief message on the first Monday afternoon in August, GUSD has completed its first day of school. I had the opportunity to visit each campus today and the enthusiasm was palpable. Students and parents alike were primed and ready for the “First Day”.
This past week our teachers and staff met for training and preparation for a new school year. This past week also brought about the opportunity for students and families to “Meet the Teacher” at each building. Despite the heavy downpour on Wednesday evening, those events were conducted in fine fashion by our excellent staff.
However, the highlight of before school preparation for me was the All Staff Breakfast and Assembly held at High Desert Middle School on Thursday morning, July 28th. Due to complications from COVID-19 this was our first district-wide staff meeting since 2019. I had genuinely missed seeing all 200 of our employees in one place at one time. This annual event is one of the few times we all meet together and I enjoy the energy and excitement it generates. As we met I had the opportunity to share a brief message with a theme for this coming year. I shared three “R’s” with the staff. Those three “R’s” were not the traditional “Readin’, Ritin’, & ‘Rithmatic” but three “R’s” appropriate for starting the 2022-2023 school-year. Here they are:
Reboot – I challenged our staff to look at this school-year as a fresh start. While the effects of COVID-19 still linger, most of our students are back to in-person learning. We at GUSD want to use the lessons learned from the pandemic to become more effective educators than ever before.
Reconnect – I encouraged our staff to reconnect with our students, their families, fellow staff members, and our community in a way that lives up to our vision of “Capturing Hearts, Empowering Minds”. We want to be a relationship building school district.
Refresh – I offered to our staff the idea that each one of us needs to take time to make sure we are being rejuvenated on a personal basis so that we can provide for the needs of our students. However, we can do that through relationships, hobbies, personal study, or just building time for relaxation into our busy lives, we all need to refresh if we are going to be able to serve each other.
I hope each of you can take positive reinforcement from these three “R’s” for ’22-’23. By putting these simple concepts into practice, we can all do a better job of living up to our previously mentioned district vision “Capturing Hearts, Empowering Minds”.