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Superintendent’s Message: December 2016

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December 2016

Dear Friends,

Although to me it seems the school year just got underway, here we are quickly heading into the holiday season. Halloween flew past us, and we launched headlong into a polarizing election that had the power to divide our nation from coast to coast.

Fortunately, within the four walls of our schools, we suffer no such calamity, in part because our foundational ideology is clear district-wide: we value and embrace diversity. All children are welcome here.

Like our Bay Area population, our students represent differing faiths, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, able-ness, and socioeconomic levels. Educating a diverse community is challenging work, but our students’ differences are what make them who they are, and understanding them is foundational to our ability to serve.

Our educators rise to meet these challenges every day, providing an emotionally safe classroom environment and relishing the opportunity to teach and learn from each student. Students are challenged and supported, and participate in recreation and enrichment programs, and have ready access to an array of counseling and support services if needed.

We know that education is our society’s great equalizer; it is our responsibility and our honor to provide quality educational services that meet the needs of all of our students. By valuing their individuality, encouraging their critical thinking, and providing them the tools and skills they need to effectively communicate their views, we not only help them achieve learning success today, we are preparing them to put their vast creativity and intelligence to work, and lead our nation and our world to a brighter, more hopeful, future.

I wish you the best of winter holidays,

Benjamin H. Picard, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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