• Supt Dashboard Heading  

    March, 2019

    Dear Somers Community Members,

    We are a little more than halfway through the 2018-19 school year. Teachers and staff have been
    hard at work engaging the minds of our nearly 3,000 students. The following are a few examples of
    the work supporting the district vision of educating the Whole Child. Please visit
    www.somersschools.org or Facebook for more detailed stories.

    21st Century Knowledge & Skills
    The Somers Middle School faculty and staff continue to prepare to become an International
    Baccalaureate Middle Years school. By the end of this year, the school will have created an IB unit
    for each content area in grades 6 and 7 to pilot in the 2019-20 school year. At the elementary
    level, both Primrose and Somers Intermediate Schools have increased their lessons in the social and
    emotional counseling curriculum for all students. Children in each class now have eight lessons
    from the Responsive Classroom program, delivered by their teachers. Somers High School is having
    success with an embedded honors pilot program in the ninth-grade humanities course. A team of
    teachers and students presented to the Board of Education, and plans are being developed to
    implement embedded honors in 9th grade English and Social Studies for the 2020- 21 school year for
    all students. This structure provides every student the opportunity to choose higher-level
    coursework and earn honors credit. This is an example of creating an inclusive learning environment
    for all children.

    Social, Emotional and Physical Wellness
    As a result of the work last year from the community-based Safety and Security Task Force, there
    was a great deal of improvement to our schools focused on keeping our children and employees safe.
    Some examples include the presence of a Westchester Police Officer at each school for the entire
    length of the school-day, before and after school security guards to monitor building access after
    regular school hours, and increased communication with the use of walkie- talkies to all outside
    school monitors. Most recently, the Primrose and middle school security vestibules have been
    completed to better monitor entry into the schools. Next, the Board of Education will review the
    larger security items to improve safety and security. These items include improvements like
    all-school panic lockdown systems, safety film over windows, and closed-circuit television cameras,
    to mention a few. The completion of these large projects would be partially covered (approximately
    20%) by existing reserves. The remaining costs would need to be funded through a bond.


    Global Citizenship

    Somers Central School District is committed to a learning environment where faculty, staff,
    parents, and students build knowledge and abilities that embrace the identified district value of
    learning from and collaborating with individuals from diverse backgrounds in a spirit of mutual
    respect, self-reflection, flexible thinking and open dialogue in personal, work and community
    contexts. As a district, we strive to provide equitable access to education for all children, where
    everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

    Recently, the Superintendent Educational Equity Advisory Team (SEEAT), comprised of parents,
    faculty, and high school students, recommended an “equity exploration” to be completed across all
    schools.

    The intent of this exploration is to obtain an impartial look at how well our schools are providing
    the best educational opportunities for ALL.

    Based on this input and other shared learning from the “equity exploration”, SEEAT will provide
    input for creating a culturally responsive and respectful learning environment by focusing on the
    following areas:

    • Curriculum and learning activities that reflect the range of diversity in our district.

    • Celebrations that honor our diverse district community.

    • Professional learning that enhances the knowledge and skills of our faculty and staff to better
    meet the needs of our diverse learning community.

    I look forward to sharing with the community the progress of this very important work.

    I greatly appreciate your active participation in the lives of our students and I look forward to
    future opportunities to partner with the community, as we continue to move our district Forward in
    Excellence.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Raymond H. Blanch Superintendent of Schools

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