Haukeness: Schools preparing now for return of students

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 11:31 PM

The sight of school supplies set out in stores around town always makes me smile. While I enjoy summer, I am always excited and anxious for school to start again.

Our students are the heartbeat of our schools and the reason we’re here, and I am excited to visit schools on the first day and welcome everyone back.

I also know that this is a big time of year for families and students. Many of you will be taking pictures of your child on the first day of school again this year, marking yet another milestone in their development and growth. I know that when you drop your child off at school or put them on the bus, you are entrusting teachers, bus drivers, principals and everyone in the district with a great responsibility. You are entrusting us with your child’s safety, their learning, and ultimately their hopes and dreams.

We are all deeply honored to have that trust and to be able to support all of our students in another year of their learning and growth.

Each of our teachers is excitedly preparing his or her classroom, imagining the children that will soon be arriving, and planning lessons to ensure that each child learns the key skills they need to in reading, math, science and social studies.

But even more importantly, teachers are working to create a classroom and school where each child will feel included and excited about coming to school and learning. Each of our principals is preparing for the beginning of school and planning how to create a safe and welcoming school for all students and how they will support each teacher in bringing the best lessons to students to continue to engage each child and ensure that individual learning needs are met. Every one of our other staff, from bus drivers to cafeteria workers, is also committed to ensuring your child has a great year. But we need your help. We know that families are important partners in our efforts to provide the best education for all our students.

As we start a new school year, we are committed to ensuring all our students feel welcome and safe and have the opportunity to learn in an engaging classroom that helps them develop excitement about their own learning. Your child’s teacher and school will be communicating with you on a regular basis about your child’s academic progress and about how you can help support your child at home.

Some important ways to support your children include reading to them at home, taking them to the library, helping them with their homework, visiting or volunteering in their classes, coming to parent-teacher conferences, and communicating regularly with their teachers to see how they are doing with their learning.

Together, we can make this a great year for your child and for all our students.

Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at