Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

February 11, 2012 Weekly Musings

Posted on: February 14, 2012

Photo: koratmember

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in our DESE audit this week.  The interviews included administrators, School Committee members, teachers, parents, and students.  The activities included reviewing policies, documents, and procedures as well as visiting a total of 75 classrooms in all six buildings.  My Executive Secretary, Nicole Markel did an excellent job coordinating the many meetings in this very ambitious schedule.  As our DESE team offered a brief summary of their findings on Thursday afternoon, I appreciated the positive feedback and the challenges we have yet to face.  Following a year of many audits and reviews, we are getting very comfortable being studied and have gained an honest look at the effectiveness of our work through our own reflection and the outside review.

Being under the microscope is healthy; critical friends help us grow; and a commitment to change with openness to new horizons will take us far in our continued desire to be a more effective and respected school district.

I’m proud of our work.  I’m also proud of our restlessness with our status quo. I’m proud of the way we advocate for children and the many who are less likely to advocate for themselves.  I’m proud we are passionate about educating the whole child.  I’m proud that we expect the very best from ourselves and our community; and that we do this in a time of budget setting, financial decisions, and the formation of a new District Improvement Plan.

After all, the general public school student is from a family who trusts us and depends on us to make decisions in the best interest of their child’s learning. The students who arrive each morning have the confidence that we have created a school with high quality teachers who thoughtfully design effective lessons.  The families depend on the decision makers to be creative in supporting experiences for their children so they can be engaged in something new and exciting, so they will find learning to be fun, so they will grow socially and intellectually, and so they will value their experience in public school so much, that they will continue to be appreciative and supportive of our work into their adulthood and when the next generation comes to us ready to learn.

These are the thoughts I keep in mind at times like these while planning and budgeting for the future.


Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.

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