Welcome Back to 2019-2020!
Allison Brown, Superintendent of Schools
There are few more fufilling moments for a superintendent than to greet our entire staff upon their return for the new school year, as I did last week, and, even more exciting, to see our students arrive for the first day of school on Tuesday this week. It is a wonderful time in the schools and the enthusiasm is contagious.
The summer, as always, was filled with activity. We hired more than 50 new staff members -- teachers, teacher assistants, custodians, clerical staff, bus drivers and food service workers -- mostly to fill vacancies resulting from retirements and staff on leave. Our custodial and maintenance staff performed their usual miracles to get our buildings ready for opening day.
The summer is of course the best time to undertake large capital projects that are more difficult to schedule while school is in session. Renovations to the boy's lockerrooms at the high school that were started earlier in the summer will be completed in the next few weeks. The girls' lockerrooms are slated for an upgrade in the summer of 2020, as are the science labs in the high school. We plan to break ground on new playgrounds at Heights and Harbor Hill in the early spring of 2020.
Another outstanding development was the return of the Horse Tamer to the front of Roslyn High School last week. The statue has great historical value and is familiar to several generations of Roslyn students and residents . It was originally created for the Mackay Estate in Roslyn, and sat in the high school circle for decades until it was removed for safe-keeping a few years ago. The return of the statue is the long-awaited culmination of a multi-year, public-private effort to raise funds for its restoration. We will hold a ceremony to mark the occasion this fall.
Finally, I want to remind parents that we continue to be hard at work making the schools safer and more secure. I don't like to introduce a challenging subject during such a joyous and positive week, but it's important for everyone to know that your children's safety is constantly on our minds. We are continually updating our technology, reviewing our protocols and training our staff in order to ensure that we are vigilant at all times. We have full-time security staff, who are retired law enforcement officers, patrolling our buildings inside and out. You have my word that we will never be distracted from this essential responsibility.
I am so very pleased to welcome all of you back for 2019-2020, and wish all of our families a very productive and successful school year.
September 3, 2019