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Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year

Dear Jackson School District Community,

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 School Year! Thanks to the hard work of our facilities team, I can honestly say that our schools have never looked better. I am so proud to open our doors to students and staff this week and to begin another year of excellence in the Jackson School District.

I am particularly excited about the theme of this year’s professional development, which is “Making Connections.’’ Through my experiences as an administrator and teacher -- and from my days as a student myself -- I know the value of those connections in our classrooms, our athletic fields, on our stages and in our homes. 

In the Jackson School District we are also focused on making connections between what students are learning and how that learning applies to their future lives. We want our students to understand the relationship between their own progress and how they can use that momentum to set goals and map out their futures. We also look for ways to ensure they appreciate how varied cultures, traditions and background can bring us closer together in our diverse, evolving, global society.

These themes of social emotional learning, setting goals using data, student engagement and diversity will be woven through all of our efforts this year as we continue to create a rigorous and robust educational experience. This year we will be implementing curriculum updates in Social Studies K-12 and Guidance K-12 and we will begin our review of ELA K-12. Our other initiatives include:

  • Expanding student engagement practices district-wide with the help of our Title II Teacher Leaders;
  • Expanding problem-based curriculum and staff training that focuses on real-world applications;
  • Implementing a new middle school schedule and making recommendations on our high school schedule;
  • Expanding in-class resources to fourth grade;
  • Continuing our efforts to increase awareness of student mental health;
  • Implementing student social emotional learning approaches K-12; and 
  • Expanding our AP/Dual Credit initiative.

Meanwhile in the realm of facilities, we are excited with the progress being made on our new satellite transportation facility, which will help ease the burden for our hard-working transportation staff. Our security vestibule project is complete and we will continue to prioritize projects to maintain a comfortable and engaging educational environment.

All these efforts are impossible without the staff of the Jackson School District. I cannot possibly express the admiration I have for the people who work every day to make sure our students have the very best experience here. From our teachers to our office staff, to the people behind the scenes who ensure our students are safe and secure, and all those who work to run this district day to day - we could not do it without you.

The respect I have for our Jackson School District family and the connection I feel with our students are the main reasons why a decision I made this summer was so difficult. At the August board meeting, I asked the Board of Education to accept my notice of retirement. As of now, my plan is to retire as of July 1, 2020.

The board is just beginning to discuss the superintendent search process and more information will be discussed with the community when a plan is formulated. I am, of course, grateful to be retiring after 34 years in education with a happy heart and on the best of terms with our board and staff. I am eager, though, for the focus for this year to not be on me, but on the ways we can all work together to create the best year for our students.

On behalf of myself, the Board of Education, Nicole Pormilli, Dan Baginski and Michelle Richardson, we wish you all the best for another amazing year!

Sincerely,

Dr. Stephen Genco

Superintendent of Schools