October 13, 2020
Community Update from the Superintendent
The current pandemic has impacted our lives, social interactions, and sense of time. When schools reopened just over a month ago, trepidation and unfamiliarity cast a shadow of uncertainty. In the past few weeks however, I have noticed through my daily interactions that a new sense of assurance and comfort has taken root among students and faculty alike.
I make a point to circulate through one of the schools each day to check in with our dedicated maintenance/ cleaners, office support staff members, classroom teachers, and especially the students. Each conversation I have, no matter how casual, has provided real insight. Predictably, it was our students who were first to adapt to the hybrid model of school. I thank them for leading the way and for your encouragement at home that gave them the confidence to do so.
While we continue to make minor adjustments to school operations and continuously improve instructional delivery, our schools have functioned smoothly. Your constructive feedback encouraged our teams to do better each day. It remains my commitment to navigate every challenge openly, knowing that each obstacle offers its own opportunity to enhance our practice.
Sports and club activities were recently added to the menu of school programs. Considerable planning and coordination have allowed us to build upon safety considerations in the hybrid school model. All school-based opportunities are made possible by a broader community commitment to public health. More detailed District correspondence on Athletics has been sent under separate cover.
Rye Brook Mayor Rosenberg recently communicated that COVID-19 infections have been on the increase, associating the uptick with college-aged students away at school. As the weather continues to cool and people spend more time indoors, it becomes even more important that people practice social distancing and follow other precautionary measures, such as mask wearing. The continued safety of our schools correlates directly to the overall health of the greater community.
As Superintendent of Schools, I am wholly committed to the physical and social-emotional health of our students. I am equally steadfast in the uninterrupted pursuit of instructional quality as a means of engaging every student in rigorous intellectual inquiry and academic accomplishment. Through each interaction, communication, and decision I seek to embody my core beliefs and commitments.
The most significant contribution an educational leader can make is in school culture. I believe that a positive school culture is inclusive and collaborative, adaptive and creative, and inspiring and responsive. It is essential to develop the capacity of others. To lay the foundation, I have been investing time in building positive relationships, both within the district and with external partners. My goal is to align the efforts of members from diverse constituent groups in common purpose.
As challenging as 2020 has been in terms of public health, fiscal stress, and social-political dynamics, it remains true that each test offers potential for us all to create something better – healthier communities, sustainable economies, and more responsive and innovative schools. Every crisis provides opportunity to examine and reflect on our shared values, invent new ways of communicating across boundaries, and encourage honest appraisal of our goals.
It remains my sincere hope that we emerge from 2020 asking deeper questions as educators while engaging in richer discussions about the nature of learning and promise of our schools. I know that together we will cultivate an appreciation of our colorful differences and inspire an awareness of our interconnectedness through the challenges we align our words and actions to solve as a community.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Dr. Patrick Brimstein
Superintendent of Schools