It is an immense privilege for the School Committee to sit before you this evening as we commit ourselves to serving you and the children of the Melrose Public Schools in 2018 and beyond. We are incredibly grateful to prior School Committee members, Aldermen, department heads, staff members, citizen volunteers, and particularly Mayor Robert Dolan, who have paved the way for the beautiful city and outstanding school district we share, and we welcome those who now join together to keep the momentum going and build on the excellent work that has gone before.
We are living in a time of unprecedented change, and the pace of that change is both exciting and daunting. A stark reality for educational communities is evolving teaching and learning to prepare students for a world about which we may now know little. As Supt. Taymore noted in her opening remarks to Parent University this past November, if you went to school in the ‘70-‘80’s, information doubled every 10 years. In the ‘80’s through the‘90’s, it was every 8 years. For our children, information doubles every 12 months and soon, every 12 hours. She asked: “what do you teach? What is important for students to know? How much can a person remember?”
This past year, the Committee, with community input, agreed on a new Vision for our district: Every student will be an engaged, challenged, enriched, and self-directed learner. To that end, and with the highest standards in mind, we are committed to employing the unique skills and abilities the seven of us bring to the table, and working tirelessly together as decisions are not made alone. We are committed to listening and learning, from parents, community members, staff, students, and experts in education; and then employing input from all to make those decisions, some of which will be popular and some not, but hopefully all with the confidence that we are well-informed. We are committed to staying true to our core values and beliefs, embedded in our new Mission Statement: The Melrose Public Schools will provide and sustain a thriving and dynamic teaching and learning environment, preparing every student to excel in their authentic life and global citizenship, as supported by an engaged community.
You have elected us to represent your community, families and your most precious charges, your children. We take that responsibility as seriously as we take raising our own families, because in truth, your children are our children too. So we ask you to join the School Committee and our administration to build on the many achievements of our school district, and we ask for your support and like-mindedness in being purposeful in our actions, honest in our communications, and compassionate in our thoughts and in our deeds. When we do this, and we will, together, every single Melrose Public School student will shine. Thank you.