My Favorite Month: September
For a long time now, September has been my favorite month. Educators get into teaching to make a difference – so nothing brings a brighter smile to my face than seeing students, families, and colleagues pouring back into school right after Labor Day. This is a special September for me: my 50th as a New York City educator. I keep coming back – if you recognize that you’re changing lives every day, it becomes hard to leave.
We’ve had a busy summer, all leading up to this month. I’ve met one-on-one with all our superintendents to share strategies to move each school forward. Principals and teachers have been hard at work too – thousands have attended professional development sessions, on topics ranging from school climate to STEM. Our teachers are in the classroom to make a difference. And if you want to make a difference, you have to be ready to go on Day 1.
The excitement about September isn’t just about being back in the classroom, and making a difference again. It’s about doing better than we did last year and the year before. Since Mayor de Blasio and I took office, we’ve worked tirelessly to make real improvements for our 1.1 million children – the students of New York City. And we’ve seen results across multiple measures, including our State test scores.
Now it’s time to build on that progress. This isn’t really a special September because it’s my 50th year. It’s really special because of the changes we’re making to better serve our children this year, and into the future.
First and foremost, it’s a special September because, for the first time, every 4-year-old in New York City will have access to free, full-day, high-quality pre-K. It’s a special September because of our new school support structure, which will give principals both the support and supervision they need to raise achievement. It’s a special September because the City is renewing its focus on attendance—which means engaging parents as partners—and includes the 130 Community Schools that meet the whole needs of our students.
I’m excited for these, and so many other changes as we head into the 2015-16 school year. There’s a long journey ahead of us, and we won’t be satisfied until all students are reading on grade level and on the path to college. But if I know New York City’s educators – and our brilliant students and hard-working families – they’re up for the challenge.
Welcome back, and have a great school year!#