Just 18 days left

Just 18 days left

There are just eighteen days remaining of the Rio School District 2016-17 school year. The more than 5000 students who attend our eight schools are surely thinking about the year’s closure. They are surely thinking about their classroom cultures coming to an end. They are surely thinking about their relationships with their teachers and classmates. They are surely thinking about who they are, what they have done, and what they have experienced this year. Some are thinking about grades and test scores, others about summer while 5th graders and 8th graders are contemplating changing schools in the coming year. Our children are surely filled with thoughts about the past, present, and future.

Together, we aim to keep the learning processes going through each of the last few days. We aim to make special end of year events and celebrations authentic and sincere. We aim to finish strong and connect the school year to the summer and what will follow.

For me, this is the 31st school year I will have seen through as a public school educator. Each one has been an adventure and a great learning experience. My very first classroom of 4th graders at 93rd street school in south central Los Angeles would be in their 40s now. Many, perhaps, with 4th graders or older of their own. Some few have stayed connected through writing or other means over the years and social media has created a flourishing growth in this area. Still, each year, each classroom culture has its own unique beginning, middle and end. As is the case, every small “c” culture is a group of people coming together over time for a purpose. They develop a language and rules of what to do and what not to do. These small “c” cultures have a life of their own. Some that yield great nostalgia, others great sorrow, and most are rich with memorable stories, characters, and plot lines.

In my work as superintendent I take the time to engage with classes and students at multiple schools. Teaching with some regularity, still not quite the full development of a class culture that connects students to teacher and students to students in ways unlike other cultures. In our public schools, we take all comers. The classes are composed of whoever enrolls. Often times, the neighborhood kids or kids who have chosen a special type of open school. These classroom cultures are our chosen model for helping to develop and guide the next generation of American adults. They are deeply important cultures that help shape and form what types of people that our students will become. All this said, our aim is to complete this year and every year in a way that leave each child with fond memories of their school year and with hopeful anticipation for the school year to come.

A great appreciation is offered to every teacher and every staff member, every volunteer and parent that contributed to making positive and learning filled school year for the children of the Rio School District. We look forward to finishing strong and getting ready for summer programs and the 2017-18 school year to come.

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