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Superintendent - Dr. Patrick C. Kinlaw



Patrick Kinlaw

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VIDEO: The right to achieve.
The support to succeed.

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful and safe Winter Break. I know how refreshing it can be to take some much needed time off at the end of a busy year. For me, it helps generate excitement about what’s yet to come.


As a school division, we’ve adopted a new theme. You may have seen it: “The right to achieve. The support to succeed.” It means that we, as a school division, believe that every student -no matter his or his personal background or challenges- has the right to achieve at the highest possible level. The theme is supported by four key areas of focus: Student Safety, Academic Progress, Closing Gaps, and Relationships.


This past fall, the School Board and school division staff embarked on a month-long series of town hall meetings to develop feedback on our Code of Community Conduct proposal. This proposal seeks to implement new strategies for promoting a safe and secure environment that clearly articulates the expectations not only of students, but also of staff and the community at large. The proposal also attempts to provide greater flexibility for administrators when addressing discipline matters in our schools. One of the best pieces of feedback came from students who asked that we find a way to make the proposal smaller and easier to understand so that more of them would be inclined to provide feedback. We’re working on that. In the meantime, it’s not too late to offer your thoughts. Click here to take a look.


Of course, we’re suddenly back to the season of snow days! In 2013-14 we closed school 11 times due to snow, and we had an additional four delays due to winter weather, so expectations are high that we’ll do that again, at least if you’re a student. (If you’re a parent, you probably have a different opinion!)


The decision to close or delay school is one that we don’t make lightly. Ultimately, it comes down to safety. If we don’t think elementary students can walk safely to school, or if we think it will be too dangerous for teenage drivers to be on the road, then we’re probably going to cancel or delay. Usually that’s a decision we’ll make after conferring with our general government partners and our neighboring school divisions. Click here to take a closer look at our closing/delay procedures.


On that note, it’s great to be back. Here’s to a tremendous 2015, and I look forward to seeing you in our schools!

Pat Kinlaw

January 2015


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