Welcome Back Letter From Huntington Schools Superintendent James Polansky
Dear Huntington Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members:
The summer will soon come to a close and the 2012-2013 school year will quickly be upon us. Once again, I’d like to thank you for your support during 2011-2012. The strides made by our students and within our school community did not occur randomly. It is a direct result of the collective efforts put forth by members of every vested faction.
Last year, our district’s achievements were beyond praiseworthy. We worked together to build and support a 2012-2013 budget that will keep our programs and services intact, despite the impact of a broad range of costly state mandates and non-discretionary financial obligations. We constructed multi-year capital improvement and technology upgrade plans to ensure that our facilities are appropriately functioning and that we are able to prepare our students for success in a constantly changing digital environment, as well as enhance our ability to communicate with district constituents both rapidly and accurately.
Huntington High School produced its first finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search since 1950. Student performance in the Siemens Foundation Competition in Math, Science & Technology was equally as impressive, with high school researchers earning regional finalist and semi-finalist honors. In addition, district students attained high marks and recognition in national history, math Olympiad, mock trial, and numerous essay-writing competitions. Our music students and ensembles continue to impress judges in all levels of competition. Our student-athletes and teams amassed numerous town, county, and state awards and honors. Our Advanced Placement program has expanded considerably in terms of the number of students who choose to challenge themselves, examination performance, and the resulting volume of Advanced Placement scholars. Our graduating seniors have moved on to some of the finest post-secondary institutions in the nation, many with scholarships in hand.
Nonetheless, the challenges remain. We live in a time when financial limitations are the norm and education is under constant scrutiny. The tax cap era has commenced, so we must continue to plan and manage our budgets responsibly and with efficiencies in mind. Additionally, we have significant work to do in terms of facility use planning and maintenance. School accountability is undergoing a transformation statewide, with a more significant and appropriate focus on college and career readiness. The new Common Core Standards, a new Annual Professional Performance Review Plan for teachers and administrators, and newly implemented district policies associated with Response to Intervention practices, the Dignity for All Students Act, and concussion management are but a few of the primary undertakings that will require our attention during the coming year. We will remain dedicated to helping each and every student reach his or her individual academic and social potential.
Once again, I am grateful for your steadfast commitment to our schools and for helping us preserve a long-standing tradition of educational excellence in Huntington. I look forward to our continued progress as a district and to maintaining a particularly strong school-home connection. On behalf of the Board of Education and administration, I wish you a productive and rewarding 2012-2013 school year!
James W. Polansky
Superintendent of Schools