By James W. Polansky
Yet another summer comes to a close and the excitement for a new school year fills the air. As an educator, there is nothing more special than the moment when those school doors open so that we may welcome thousands of eager and smiling students!
The summer of 2018 was a particularly busy one in Huntington. There was an abundance of capital work completed across the district. Fourth grade classrooms were moved out of our primary schools and added at both the Jack Abrams STEM and Woodhull Schools. Washington Primary has a new roof and Jefferson has a new security vestibule, with all primary schools to acquire both in the year to come.
School entryways and bathrooms, in addition to being modernized, were renovated to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Makerspaces will be added to each elementary school library; the Innovation Lab at Jack Abrams STEM continues to expand – all places where inquiry is the norm. A multitude of smaller projects in each of the district’s eight buildings were completed as well. You will not be disappointed with the outcomes!
The district will continue its transition to new standards and curricula in all core disciplines, K-12. New curricula were finalized and resources adopted for elementary science, middle-level math, mental health, social-emotional learning, and first-time high school electives (i.e., Virtual Enterprise, Literary Fantasy and Science Fiction). New and upgraded hardware and software have been installed, maintaining the cutting-edge nature of Huntington’s instructional and learning approaches.
With all that has been accomplished in a short two-month summer period, however, it is important for us to recognize that what characterizes this district, what makes it special, is people. Last June, we bid farewell to several retirees who contributed so much to the district over the years. While no individual personality can be replaced, much time and energy was spent this summer recruiting and hiring many new and talented faculty and staff members who will develop strong relationships with students, parents, colleagues and community members; make their unique contributions to the Huntington family; and add to the district’s longstanding tradition of educational excellence. In the coming year, we will continue to take much pride in student accomplishments, in the ever-growing home-school partnership, and in the support provided by community members.
While the lines between politics and education continue to blur at the state and federal levels, our Huntington mission will remain uncompromised. We will work together to do all within our collective power to help our students grow academically and develop into well-rounded, community-minded citizens. Our class of 2018 graduates (as well as those from prior graduating classes) serve as direct evidence of our success in both regards!
Huntington remains an extraordinary place. It continues to be a genuine privilege to serve
as your superintendent. Allow me to extend my welcome back wishes and an emphatic welcome to members of the Huntington High School Class of 2031. A great 2018-2019 school year lies ahead for all!