June 1, 2016
As educators, we are necessarily focused on the formal learning process — developing school-time lessons and activities, gauging progress, and assessing understanding. We have rich summer school offerings thanks to our partnership with Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program and we are fortunate that community partners such as the YMCA and Family Engagement Institute provide additional academic and recreational opportunities as well.
Of course learning is not limited to classrooms and lesson plans. Wonderful opportunities for learning can happen during summer’s more relaxed days and evenings. Simply slowing down and getting out in nature gives children valuable opportunities to explore, observe, and learn about the world around them.
I encourage you to take advantage of these summer months, when longer days can allow more time for evening activities like family conversations, board games, and reading together. Such activities not only enhance skills like vocabulary and comprehension, but also build memories and strengthen family connections that are so critical to children’s social and emotional wellness.
Any type of summer learning can complement the wonderful progress your children have made in the classroom this year! We demand more of our students now than ever before, expecting growth in academic subjects like language arts and math, as well as in areas like critical thinking, collaborative problem solving, technology use, and more. We have high expectations for students’ learning success, and this year did not disappoint. I am so proud of their accomplishments.
I am also proud of our instructional team. Teachers have been working hard to help students reach their fullest potential. They create class lessons that are engaging and effective, and continually expand their skills and knowledge and add new and promising methodologies to their tested methods. Innovation is complementing tradition in our district, and our children are benefiting as a result.
Finally, I would like to thank the district families who have provided support by volunteering in the classroom, driving on field trips, or — most importantly — encouraging your children’s love of learning through caring and interested conversation at home.
I wish you a safe, peaceful, happy, and educational summer.
Benjamin H. Picard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Sunnyvale School District