Welcome back to the beginning of what is sure to be an amazing and accomplished school year. We are prepared and eager to begin the important work of education — helping to fulfill the potential for learning in each of our students. With high expectations, we continue our commitment to providing our students with the educational opportunities they need to succeed.
Many new staff members, both teachers and administrators, will join our Freeport Public Schools’ family this year. They join our current staff in providing excellent instruction as highly qualified, committed educators. Other administrators have changed positions. Mr. Joseph Mille is the principal of Freeport High School and Mrs. Mary Garguilo is the principal of Bayview Avenue School. Both have a proven track record of commitment to excellence and are excited and eager to begin in their new roles. Dr. Helen Kanellopoulos is our new director of pupil personnel services. She will be a wonderful asset for our students and families and is a great addition to our administration. I am pleased to welcome our new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Dr. Mary Anne DeVivio. She brings with her vast knowledge and experience and has already been hard at work this summer preparing for the new school year.
Our facilities have been meticulously prepared and are ready for our students. The summer has been a busy time for completing capital projects and facility upgrades. Some of the work completed includes updated classrooms and science labs, new bathrooms, and electrical and lighting projects. The field and track at Dodd Middle School has been a big project that will provide enhancement for the Dodd students.
We are in the second phase of our technology infusion. The buildings are set with additional Chromebooks and iPads in the classrooms or on carts and students at Freeport High School will receive their Chromebooks. We are excited about the enhanced learning opportunities this will provide. We are still moving full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, Mathematics) ahead. Our teachers and students can look ahead to some very innovative and unique experiences linking science and technology this year. Much preparation and planning, including the use of the inquiry design model, was accomplished last year to prepare students and curriculum for the social studies standards implementation this year. We are in the beginning stages of implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in keeping with the state deadlines. Teachers have been trained and the planning for units reflecting these standards has begun.
Each year, we advocate for our students to ensure they receive the support they need instructionally and through funding to meet federal and state mandates. This advocacy will be more crucial this year with possible policy shifts moving funding away from public education. We will keep our community informed about important issues and encourage you to join us in advocating for our children throughout the school year.
As always, meeting the varied needs of our students is of the utmost importance. We are moving enthusiastically ahead and look forward to the return of our children. Our students are stars academically, in the arts and on the field and our expectations are set high. Together, we will have a year filled with amazing and wonderful opportunities.