Dear Families and Friends of the Hampton Bays Public Schools,
As 2012 is now in full swing, I am reflecting on how far we have come and the path that lies ahead for the Hampton Bays School District. An ancient Chinese proverb (some believe it to be an ancient curse) reads, “May you live in interesting times.” To say this is true would be an understatement.
Our economy continues to struggle, our students are entering a world of unprecedented competition and expectation, and the need for a school system that is efficient, accountable, and responsive has never been greater. Indeed, these times are interesting – full of challenge and opportunity.
As our economy slowly improves, Hampton Bays remains committed to finding cost savings and efficiencies in our delivery of services. We have recently begun exploring how to share costs with the public library in order to save taxpayer dollars. We seek hundreds of thousands of dollars in competitive state and federal grants each year to offset local costs. Our participation in the federal Race to the Top program has brought $53,000 to support strong professional development for teachers and literacy resources for the classroom. Our Board of Education, for the second year in a row, has authorized a Budget Advisory Committee, a group of 30 at-large and community organization representatives to help guide the preparation of the 2012-13 budget proposal. The Board of Education is committed to the creation of a budget that reflects our community’s reality and is ever mindful of the NYS 2% tax cap. Our Budget Advisory Committee will meet through April in public meetings held at the Hampton Bays Middle School; dates can be found on our school calendar.
More than ever, each graduating class is entering a world of challenge and uncertainty. College and career readiness for all is our commitment. Research shows that seven of the ten fastest-growing job sectors in America will require the equivalent of two years of college math and writing. Never before has the mandate for workforce skills been so high. From Pre-K through 12th grade, we are committed to ensuring the student experience is rigorous, rich, and relevant. This spring, we will release the results of a pilot program we embarked upon last year to locally address the national concern of college freshmen needing remediation in college. The data will show a substantial increase in the number of HB college freshmen NOT needing remedial services in their freshman year from 2010 to 2011. The urgency for student success is felt in every classroom, Pre-K to 12, and in every club, sport, and extra-curricular activity.
Finally, the Hampton Bays Public Schools are focused on the sustainability of an enduring institution. We continue to develop systems and protocols of accountability to ensure effective teachers in every classroom, skilled leaders in every program, and healthy, efficient buildings on all our campuses. We are one of the first districts in New York State to have collaboratively negotiated a rigorous teacher evaluation system that is grounded in student achievement, and we continue to make modest improvements to our facilities at a minimal expense to taxpayers.
The Hampton Bays Public Schools remain an anchor of our hamlet community. To be successful, we rely on the commitment of students, staff, parents, and the greater community. The Board of Education and I are grateful for the trust you have placed in us to meet these 21st Century challenges for the betterment of Hampton Bays.
With all good wishes for a healthy and happy 2012,
Superintendent of Schools