The new school year continues to inch closer in Huntington. About 4,500 students are expected to flood into eight buildings on Wednesday, September 7 after a busy summer for the district.
Building and department leaders are back on the job and teachers are slowly filtering into schools and organizing their classrooms so everything is perfect when the bell rings to start the year.
James W. Polansky. (Darin Reed photo.)
“Clearly, 2016/17 will be a year of great ambition and promise,” wrote Superintendent James W. Polansky in a letter sent to the district’s faculty and support staff members last week. “I do not need to remind you of the significant role that you assume for the children and families of Huntington. As always, your students will need your wisdom and your care. Henry Ford once said, ‘Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.’ Huntington can boast of among the most enthusiastic and caring groups of staff members – a group that believes in the capacity for educational excellence and the potential possessed by each and every child. We know that we have work to do – work that requires commitment, focus, collaboration and innovation – but we also know that we and our students will succeed.”
The district’s annual convocation is set for Tuesday, September 6. Huntington School Board President Thomas DiGiacomo and Mr. Polansky will address employees. Building and department level faculty meetings will follow later in the day. Teachers will use remaining time to put the finishing touches on their classroom preparations.
As district officials continue their efforts to improve academic performance, administrators and teachers will be working harder than ever. Many faculty members used the summer to complete graduate level courses. Many others pursued curriculum projects while still more participated in one of the district’s summer classroom programs.
The 2016-17 Huntington School Board.
“The past school year was defined by the considerable accomplishments of Huntington students and staff,” Mr. Polansky said. “With the approaching implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, this year will continue to be shaped by change at the federal, state and local levels. While the winds of change have become commonplace, we will continue to use common sense as our guide and to reflect, build upon and modify our practices in a manner that places children in the best position to reach their educational potential during and beyond their years in the district.”
Buildings and grounds staff extensive cleaned every school building, scrubbing desks and walls and polishing floors. Numerous facility related projects were completed over the summer, including installation of LED lighting throughout the district.
The transportation office has been working with Huntington Coach Corp. to smooth out any wrinkles in bus routes prior to the opening of the new school year.
“While we continue to enhance the curricular and extracurricular opportunities we provide for our students, we will look to further prepare students to meet the challenges that await in an increasingly complex global and technologically-driven society,” Mr. Polansky said. “We cannot, however, overlook the critical nature of interpersonal communication and the impact that an adult role model can have on a child’s life and well-being.”
The district’s technicians have been busy installing various pieces of equipment for teacher and student use. Huntington will be incorporating the use of more technology than ever before into teaching and learning.
“As I look ahead to the coming school year, I am confident that we will blaze a trail filled with success and achievement as together we launch the best year yet for our schools,” Mr. Polansky said. “Huntington is an extraordinary place made up of exceptional people, and it remains a privilege for me to serve as your superintendent.”