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Welcome to a School Year of Transformational Change

Dr Marc Schaffer

Greetings, Thompson School District Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members,

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  In a few short days, we will welcome approximately 16,000 students back to school.  We also welcome back our 2,000-plus member district staff, most of whom have been hard at work in recent weeks eagerly preparing for our new school year.  These are exciting times for Thompson School District and I am optimistic that our students will have their most successful, productive and memorable school year yet.

The 2019-2020 school year will bring many transformational changes to our district, and I would like to highlight a few of them for you now.

On the curriculum front, we will be launching our Ready Gen English/Language Arts curriculum at the K-5 level, as well as the Big Ideas Middle School Math program in grades 6-8.  Our high schools will be exploring and piloting a new math program in grades 9-12 with a launch of this new curriculum in the 2020-2021 school year.  Our commitment to a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum for all of our students requires us to systematize and align our curricula across K-12. 

With the completion of Phase I construction, our Early Childhood Center at Stansberry opens this fall with five completed classrooms.  Our early childhood program is consistently recognized at the state and national levels for offering outstanding programming and services for our youngest learners.  In TSD, we recognize that academic and school success begins in early childhood.  With the expansion and enhancement of our early childhood programming, we will continue to make school readiness a top priority in TSD.  Following the conclusion of Phase 2 construction work next summer, our Early Childhood Center at Stansberry will be fully open and operational.   We are also very excited to launch full-day kindergarten programming throughout the district.

The social/emotional and mental health well-being of our students will continue to be a focus and priority for us as we head into the 2019-2020 school year.  We have added and are continuing to add school counselors, paraprofessionals and other personnel to directly support our students on our campuses.

In addition to work at the Early Childhood Center, summer bond efforts have focused on roofing projects at a number of our school buildings.  Security infrastructure, technology upgrades (including bandwidth expansion) and health/life/safety building improvements are also included in the expansive construction work that has taken place over the summer.  Later this school year, we will break ground on our new PK-8 campus on the eastern side of our district, as well as launch the construction of our Career and Technical Education Center on our Van Buren site. 

Perhaps the most significant event in TSD is the unveiling of our new Strategic Plan – Strive 2025.  Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing with our community our focused direction and priorities as a district.  Strive 2025 encompasses the areas of student achievement, an inclusive and supportive culture, strong human talent and fiscal responsibility. Together, these areas will ensure that our district is one of continued excellence and distinction. 

As I hope you can see, we are working hard to ensure that Thompson School District will be a destination district where the student experience is at the center of what we do.  As always, we will continue to build upon and seek out community and business partnerships to help support the work we are achieving. These are exciting times for this district and we will continue to build upon our successes while continuing to earn the trust and support of our community.  For updates throughout the school year, please consider following me on Twitter @tsdDrMarc.

Thank you for your support,
Dr. Marc Schaffer
Superintendent
Thompson School District