Hello Linwood community. The weather has been wonderful, and I hope all of you have been able to relax and enjoy your time throughout the summer. Fall is coming, so please mark your calendars for our 2019-20 Opening Day for students Thursday, Sept. 5.

As a school district, we have a staff that continues our mission to provide the children of our community opportunities to thrive and succeed in the classroom, on the fields of competition, on the stage and beyond. Thank you for continuing to share your children with us as our excitement grows for the start of a new school year. Once again this year, we have plans to enhance our district programs and services while always improving the experience we provide the children in our buildings. Below I have highlighted some of our major initiatives and goals for the 2019-20 school year. I look forward to working alongside all of our staff, and in conjunction with our school community, as we move along this path of excellence together.

To begin the year, there are some new faces that have joined our family and some that will be joining us shortly. We send a huge Linwood welcome and welcome back to all new and returning staff.

Throughout the spring and summer, we have developed and designed our new Strategic Plan 2019-2024. This process gathered input from our stakeholders including staff, administration, BOE, community groups, and the community at large. The plan has identified seven strategic goals that are foundationally built upon the data and feedback from all groups. The plan is being dialed in for a planned August BOE approval. Our district staff is excited about the opportunities embedded within this new plan for the future!

Once again this summer, we continued our work on specific curriculums to further enhance and refine our instructional and support programs. Staff worked on a number of areas, including ELA, specifically on writing activities; Expanded Day Kindergarten; and Gifted and Talented programming at Seaview and Belhaven. We also had Belhaven staff attend a financial literacy workshop offered at the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center through Stockton University. Additionally, as we expand our support for whole child education and overall climate and culture, Seaview teachers began the process of implementing a Positive Behavior Intervention Support model in the elementary school, and our Belhaven Street Team members met this month to review our Renaissance activities for the upcoming year. Student and staff wellness remain our focus this year — a very important focus.

As the end of the summer nears, I cannot speak highly enough about the job that the custodial and maintenance staff have done. They are a special part of our team and deserve a mountain of thanks. The schools look stunning! Floors, classrooms, common areas and offices are sparkling. Large amounts of painting occurred in both buildings that gave a fresh new look to our schools — including some wonderful work on the main hall soffits at Seaview (with a special thanks to Seaview art teacher Kim Petrella for her work and design)! Our Seaview playground project is completed and ready for use. Classroom refurbishments, HVAC work, technology updates, furniture replacements and more were finished for the start of the year. Thanks to all involved!

In our efforts to continue the focus on student and staff safety, and through the generosity of our PTO, we will be implementing a Visitor Management System at both schools’ main entrances to assist in handling our visitors throughout the schools. We understand this may add a few moments during visitor check-in at the schools; however, we believe it is an important step in our security plan for the future.

As stated, school starts Sept. 5 for both Seaview Elementary School and Belhaven Middle School students. Thanks again to all our 12-month staff. It’s always a busy summer, and they always perform beautifully. September is right around the August corner, but we will be ready to go. Enjoy the remainder of the summer, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Sept. 5! #GoLinwood

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