Dear Newmarket parents/ caregivers, teachers, students and community members,
As a long-time educator, I always comment about how quickly time flies over the second half of the school year. Once we return from February break spring is quickly upon us, then April break pops up, and then we hit the home stretch of the school year. Faster than any of us can imagine we will be watching our seniors walk across the stage on June 9th and wishing everyone a good summer as the 22-23 school year comes to an end. Buckle up as the end of the school year comes rapidly into focus.
On January 30th, the Newmarket School District hosted a community event at NJSHS. See the link below to the PowerPoint presentation. This event was the beginning of a community conversation about the Newmarket “Vision of a Graduate”. A community-based definition of the VoG is a central component to the NEASC accreditation process. We are in the early stages of this process, but it was great to have such a wide cross-section of community members in attendance. There were parents of high school students, elementary students, alumni, grandparents of current students and many Newmarket educators. It was great to see the dialogue take place. Many commented that this was the first time an opportunity like this was presented in Newmarket.
Our plan is to do a similar event later this spring to present a draft of the Newmarket Vision of a Graduate and obtain more input from the community. We will also be surveying the community, students and district staff. The NJSHS educators who are working on this effort hope to have a finished draft to present to the school board and community in the fall.
At this point, we have taken the input we have received thus far and added ideas into categories that will eventually lead to the identification of transferable skills that all graduates of Newmarket should have mastered. Below is a chart showing our preliminary categories. The upcoming surveys mentioned above will give people the opportunity to offer feedback on these ideas. In the end we want a commonly agreed upon VoG that can help drive all future discussions of school improvement.
Categories & Characteristics
Habits of Mind/ Character - Persistence, Resilience, Accountable, Positive Attitude, Motivated, Empathetic, Compassionate, Open-minded, Kindness, Growth Mindset, Organized
Creative Problem Solver/ Innovative Thinker- Executive Functioning, Creative thinker, Novel Problem Solver
Effective Communicator- Oral and Written Communicator, Conflict Resolution/ Collaborator, Interpersonal Effectiveness
Life-long Learner/ Future Ready- Growth Mindset, Sense of Curiosity, Financial Literacy, Ability to use Resources to Solve Problems
Civic Minded (Global Citizen)- Civic Engagement, Cultural Awareness, Being Part of a Community
Mindfulness/ Social Emotional Health/ Wellbeing- Balanced Life, Coping Skills, Growth Mindset
When the final draft is presented in the fall, it will include a vision statement, transferable skills that our graduates should have, and daily observable practices we should all see manifest in our schools that support student growth toward achieving the Newmarket Vision of a Graduate. The January 30th event was just the first step in the dialogue. Please keep your eyes and ears open for further opportunities to engage on this important topic.
Be well everybody,
Newmarket Superintendent of Schools