August 24, 2017
Dear Hood River County School District Students and Families,
Welcome to a new school year! It really is our privilege to partner with you in the intellectual, social and healthy development of your children. Education is indeed a partnership: together can we make certain that your children get the most out of the excellent educational experiences planned for the upcoming school year and that they are prepared for the world awaiting them after high school graduation. Thank you for putting your trust in the Hood River County School District and allowing us to be your partner in your child’s academic journey.
Since the adoption of our strategic plan in 2014, we have been highly focused on achieving one powerful, overarching goal: Every student graduates with the knowledge and courage to learn, serve, and pursue their dreams. We are making steady progress towards this lofty goal and the full implementation of the high-leverage, research-based strategies outlined in the enclosed “20/20 Vision.” Please take some time to read through this comprehensive plan and visit our webpage at https://www.hoodriver.k12.or.us/Domain/5 to review our progress. I know you’ll be excited about our commitment to continuous improvement, the opportunities for your involvement, and our focus on your child’s success.
September 5th (a.k.a., the first day of school) is fast approaching and your children will soon be stepping onto our school campuses. Thanks to the generous support of our Hood River County community, you will see substantial facility improvements at both of the middle schools as a result of the first wave of bond-supported construction projects:
- At Wy’east, the school parking lot and entryway were completely overhauled; considerable HVAC, plumbing, safety and accessibility issues were addressed; and the construction of an exciting, high-tech Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) addition is underway and on schedule to open around spring break.
- Preservation and improvement of historic Hood River Middle School included safety and technology infrastructure upgrades; new carpet, interior paint and bathroom finishes; and complete replacements of the HVAC and domestic water systems.
Excitingly, we’ve been working hard this summer in preparation for our one-to-one (1:1) classroom technology initiative. Your children will graduate into a connected, technological, and competitive world and contend for jobs requiring an extraordinary level of digital fluency and flexibility. Equity and opportunity in digital access, delivering a flexible and personalized curriculum, and engaging our students in collaborative, meaningful work are vital educational components in preparing our youth for the highly connected world of tomorrow. This fall, we will be piloting a system in which each middle school student is assigned an iPad (with protective case/keyboard) that they’ll bring to all their classes throughout the day. Your children’s teachers will be learning how to best help them use this powerful learning and productivity tool across their school day. We aim to learn a great deal in this first year as we prepare to roll out similar technologies across the other grade-levels in subsequent years.
Clearly these are exciting times to be a young learner in our school district. Once again, I urge you to be as involved as possible in the many beginning-of-the-year activities at your school that are designed to engage you - the primary educator of your child - as a partner in the formal learning process. Please check the calendar of events posted on your school’s website for ways to get involved.
The new school year always brings a renewed sense of possibility. I’m honored to be amongst the first educators in the Hood River County School District to welcome your family back to school. We’re looking forward to another great year with you and your children.