Welcome Back Message from our Superintendent
Hello parents, students, staff, and Othello community members. Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year. It’s great to have our kids back in their classrooms again. I hope you enjoyed your summer break and that you had time to rest, recharge, and to connect with the people and things in your life that bring you happiness.
As I start my second full year as superintendent, we’re setting some bold goals and benchmarks for student achievement. We expect that every kinder student will be ready for first grade. We expect that every 3rd grader will read on grade level. We expect that all of our English Language Learners will exit language services within 5-years. We expect that all of our students will pass Algebra by the end of 9th grade. Finally, all of our 9th grade students will end the school year on track for graduation. Your children deserve our best effort, and we’re going to give it.
We are officially de-implementing several initiatives this year. Our district is officially no longer pursuing an eventual transition to K-8 schools. After receiving feedback from our community and staff after the February bond election, we are also no longer pursuing the idea of re-incorporating 6th grade into McFarland Middle School. Parents made it clear, as did our staff, that they value the long-term relationships that are built with students within our school families. Strong relationships are one of our core values and this makes perfect sense for our community. We will continue to hear feedback and work with our community facilities group to make informed decisions about how we address our growing facilities needs. Your partnership will be crucial in those discussions.
We’re making commitments to our staff as well, that will help us lead with intentional focus on helping all of our students reach their full potential. We’re focusing on our Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to make that time more meaningful to our teachers. This is such an important focus that we’re making every single Monday, except Thanksgiving week a PLC late start day this year. We’re making resource investments for English Language Learners (ELL) to help ELL students transition quicker and more successfully. And we’re working to make the ways we give and and receive feedback to and from our staff more effective.
This is an exciting year for Othello and if you visit any of our schools you can feel the difference versus the past several years. I hope you take advantage of the many upcoming opportunities to take part in activities in our schools, to cheer our students on, and to enjoy the sense of community that we all enjoy here in Othello.