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Wed, Oct. 16

Superintendent's report: Summer school offers robust criteria

Welcome to another summer in beautiful Prescott Arizona! While this is a wonderful time for teachers and students to get away, or to have a nice staycation in our beautiful town, the Prescott Schools stay plenty busy with summer school and planning for the year to come.

Summer School offers a robust curriculum that is customized for remediation and intervention, as well as extending enrichment for our students. In our continual effort to personalize education to every child, this program and all of the support for it has from our community has evolved perfectly for the needs of every child, every day. The focus on a growth mindset is what is making education better and better in Prescott Unified School District (PUSD). The educators involved in our summer school program are a true picture of professional education innovation, and our kiddos are in for a great treat this summer.

Programs are offered at all grade levels throughout PUSD. Breakfast and Lunch for ALL children in the community is offered at Abia Judd School. Busses are running as well.

Like many of our programs in PUSD, community involvement is what makes summer school an outstanding product. For many years now, Prescott Frontier Rotary has provided significant funding to make this happen. Many of you will be a part of Grapes for Grades on June 24 at Watters Garden Center. This event has allowed the summer programs to not only thrive, but to offer more and more to our Prescott students. Thank you Frontier Rotary!

You may have noticed a new playground  Lincoln School for the “little ones”. This is the second phase of a three-phase plan to provide pre-kindergarten classes at our neighborhood elementary schools. Phase one occurred last year at Taylor Hicks Elementary with great success (two classrooms!) Next year, phase three will take place at Abia Judd Elementary. I cannot say enough about the importance of early childhood education. If you want some great reading this summer, tap into some of the overwhelming research on how early education is setting our kiddos on the right path for their future.

Meanwhile, many of our administrators and teachers have been very busy in the ever-evolving cycle of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Several groups of teachers have already met to take their subject matter to the next level. Last week, 45 teachers and administrators met to review data and goals from the past school year. Based on results, they began the process to create new goals for the future. This is the fifth year of this process. We have found that it works well to “debrief” all of this information at the beginning of the summer, while it is fresh.

Our administrators met last week in an annual retreat to review our district strategic plan. Our friends at Embry Riddle offered us a beautiful meeting space that allowed us some time off of our own campus to prepare for the year ahead. It is a wonderful time of year to enjoy our Prescott summer, take a breath, and look to the future. Hope to see you on the square one summer evening!

Joe Howard is Superintendent of Prescott Unified School District.

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