October Superintendent's Letter
Dear Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Parents and Guardians,
The operation of a school district requires us always to look ahead, beyond the current school day, current school year and, yes, even the current superintendent. Last month, the Governing Board began the process to find my successor when I depart Scottsdale Unified for the last time next June. Executive recruiting firm McPherson & Jacobson will resume the superintendent search process with SUSD stakeholders next week when it hosts two community meetings. Both meetings will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 23:
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Meeting Rooms A & B, Mohave District Annex, 8500 E. Jackrabbit Rd., Scottsdale
- 6 – 8 p.m., Community Room, Saguaro High School, 6250 N. 82nd St., Scottsdale
I encourage you to contribute your thoughts at these public meetings to assist the Governing Board in finding the right person to lead SUSD into the future.
Earlier on Oct. 23, starting at 8 a.m., I will be at Arcadia High School to host the second “Coffee with Kriekard.” I look forward to hearing from the Arcadia Learning Community (Hopi, Tavan, Echo Canyon, Ingleside and Arcadia), but also from anyone who would like to attend.
It is my opportunity to listen, as well as to provide updates on important District initiatives, such as the newly announced expansion of the Gifted program at Hopi and Kiva Elementary schools next school year and the status of school bond projects. Future Coffees are set for Coronado High School on Dec. 18, Desert Mountain High School on Feb. 26 and Chaparral High School on April 22. I hope to see you at one of them! To download a flyer on all of the Coffees, visit susd.org/Superintendent.
It was at about this time last year that we conducted SUSD’s district-wide, online survey to measure how our parent, student, staff and community stakeholders believed we were doing. The results of that 2018 “Climate Survey” informed us of, among other matters, the need to do more to secure our students’ social-emotional health, which, as you know, we took to heart and have been working on diligently ever since.
Next week, we will send out the 2019 edition of the SUSD Climate Survey. The survey opens Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 12. Parents, students, teachers and SUSD employees will be invited via email to take the survey. Members of the public will be able to access our survey, as well, at susd.org, then clicking on the link we will issue multiple times on all of our 60+ social media channels (accessible in one, handy page at susd.org/Connect), and at this easy-to-remember link: http://bit.ly/SUSDClimate2019.
With November just a few short weeks away, I already see the calendar filling up with important SUSD events. On Nov. 2, we will host the first of three Teen Town Hall meetings this school year to hear from SUSD high school students about issues such as diversity, inclusion, school safety and equitable educational opportunities at our five high schools. A panel of community leaders that includes the Arizona Department of Education’s associate superintendent of equity, diversity and inclusion, SUSD high school principals and staff will convene at 2 p.m. in the Arcadia High School Auditorium that Saturday to listen, field questions and provide answers. We welcome the opportunity to have this conversation and to learn from our students.
The week of Nov. 11-15 finds our elementary and K-8 schools opening their doors to the families of next school year’s kindergarteners. If you have a 4 or 5 year old, or know someone who does, this is your opportunity to visit our outstanding early education programs to find the right school for your littlest learner. Children can meet their future teacher and principal to make that first day of school next August even more exciting! For a complete listing of schools, a map to find the closest school and much more information, visit susd.org/Schools.
In accordance with state law, SUSD welcomes students from outside our boundaries to attend our award-winning schools through the open enrollment process, which, for the 2020-2021 school year, begins on Nov. 1. Open enrollment is also an option for our in-district families wishing to change their student’s school of attendance. For more information on the open enrollment process and important dates, visit susd.org/Enroll and select “Open Enrollment.”
Open enrollment is also the only way to enroll students in one of our three “schools of choice”: Cheyenne Traditional School (K-8), Echo Canyon School (K-8) and Pueblo Elementary School (K-5). These schools do not have boundaries like our neighborhood schools; rather, their exciting and unique programming is open to any and all families.
- Cheyenne Traditional School, susd.org/Cheyenne, is a traditional school focused on a “back to basics” model featuring Spalding Language Arts and Saxon Mathematics.
- Pueblo Elementary, susd.org/Pueblo, is where the District’s path to Spanish biliteracy begins, with its dual language immersion program.
- Echo Canyon, susd.org/EchoCanyon, is a K-8 school nestled in the Arcadia neighborhood that features the Southwest’s only comprehensive sustainability curriculum designed with education leaders at Arizona State University.
To find out more about becoming part of SUSD through open enrollment, please visit susd.org/openenrollment. Regular enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year for resident families begins Dec. 2.
Lastly, by now you should have received the Fall/Winter Showcase magazine in your ‘old school’ mailbox! The latest edition highlights how a 2014 Chaparral High School graduate is making her way in the world, a report on SUSD’s finances and a feature on our new Challenge Coin program of recognizing outstanding contributions to the district by SUSD students, employees, alumni and community partners. You will also find a handy directory of all SUSD schools, as well as a current school year calendar. We hope you find it an informative and enjoyable read!
Dr. John Kriekard