Letter: As Summer Ends, Schools Are Ready for New Term

Another summer has seemingly flown by and the dawn of a new school year has arrived. It is with great enthusiasm that we begin classes at all district schools on Wednesday, September 4 and welcome students as they begin, continue, or near the end of their educational journeys with us.

Despite the fact that schools were not in session during July and August, there was no shortage of work being done. Students and staff will return to schools that may look a little different, as most buildings have undergone significant upgrades. Flower Hill, Jefferson and Southdown Primary Schools each have new roofs.

Woodhull Intermediate School has a brand new and expanded parking lot. Finley Middle School can boast of a new large group instruction facility, a ‘blue zone’ that will be situated as a comfortable common area, and a number of refurbished classrooms. Huntington High School is home to a brand new library. The majority of our schools have newly constructed security vestibules. The capacity of district servers has expanded and data protections broadened. The list goes on.

In the year to come, the district will continue its transition to new standards in core and special area subjects. During the summer, curricula were redesigned and new resources adopted in numerous disciplines across the grade levels.

Staff members have engaged in an array of professional development activities.
We are thrilled to welcome a group of new faculty and staff members who are eager to begin their careers in Huntington and who are excited to meet their students and colleagues. These individuals clearly understand the importance of building strong relationships and that the human connections within our community have come to define it.

As the lines between politics and education remain blurred at the state and federal levels, our mission in Huntington will not change. We will continue to provide our students with a strong academic foundation, but work equally as hard to develop well-rounded and responsible citizens who genuinely understand the innate value in helping others.

We are committed to partnering with all members of our school community to ensure the existence of safe, healthy and welcoming spaces throughout our district that affirm the identity of each and every student, leveraging the personal capital that each contributes. We will continue to strive toward culturing
environments within which all children can learn, all staff members can help students to realize and reach their potential, and all community members can enjoy what the district offers.

The great philosopher, Plato, claimed, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” In that spirit, I look forward to a great start to the school year and to carrying that momentum through June and beyond.

I remain eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve as your superintendent. It has been a true privilege for me to be a part of your lives.

James W. Polansky is superintendent of the Huntington Union Free School District

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