Superintendent's Update - September 11, 2022

September 11, 2022

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

Thank you to everyone for all of your efforts to make the first weeks of school successful ones.  Feedback from across the district has continued to indicate that we have had a very positive and productive opening of the school year.  I appreciate all of the intentional ways in which our educators are promoting a sense of belonging for all in our school and classroom communities.  We are very excited to begin hosting our in-person Curriculum Nights in each school over the next few weeks; please see our school principals' newsletters for details.  Our principals and educators are looking forward to sharing important information with parents and caretakers about what your children will be learning in the coming year.

Like me, I'm sure you have been seen many reminders that today is the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. While for many of us 9/11 was one of those shocking, unforgettable experiences that are imprinted on a generation’s collective memory, to all of our students it happened years before they were born, and even for many of our younger staff members it happened before they were of an age to remember it.  I tried to capture my recollections of that awful day and the importance of teaching its lessons to the next generation in a short blog post I made a few years ago, found here, which I invite you to read.  On behalf of the school district, I offer sincere condolences to all of our school community members who suffered loss 21 years ago. 

Please also note the following:

1) Strategic planning beginning this fall: As you may know, our school district is in the last phase of our current five-year strategic plan, and our students and staff have met many ambitious goals despite the interruption of the pandemic. Beginning this fall, our district will begin the work of creating an updated set of strategic priorities to guide our district’s focus for the next five years. Your voices will be critically important in this process, so please be on the lookout for multiple opportunities in the months ahead to provide your thoughts through surveys and public forums.  Keep an eye out for more information at Curriculum Nights and in future emails, 

2) First School Committee meeting of the new school year this Wednesday evening: All of the School Committee meeting dates, agendas, and minutes can be found here, and I provide a reminder when a meeting is taking place that evening.  The School Committee will hold its first meeting of this school year this Wednesday evening, September 14, at 7:00pm.  The Committee will meet in person at the Richard D. Carney Municipal Office Building (i.e., Town Hall), and the meeting will be broadcast live on SELCO Channels 29 & 329 and streamed live on the Shrewsbury Media Connection website.  

The agenda for this Wednesday's meeting will include:

• A special opening with the Shrewsbury High School Chamber Choir performing our National Anthem.

• Reports on the opening of the school year and summer maintenance of school facilities

• Information and a discussion regarding Shrewsbury students' access to vocational-technical education

• The annual report on bullying statistics

• A vote on a successor contract for the Shrewsbury Education Association Unit B employee group

• An analysis of the Patriots' opening week loss to Miami*

For those who aren't able to watch a School Committee meeting live, the meeting video will be archived in the School Committee section of our website here, and meeting documents will be posted here.

I look forward to sharing information about our district's successes and challenges over the coming school year.  Thanks for your continued efforts to help our community's young people to thrive.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

*Not easy to watch for us Pats fans after we've been spoiled over the past two decades... 

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