August 1, 2019
Greetings to the Region 16 Community,
I hope you had a great summer and feel refreshed. I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm to be welcoming you back to a new school year. As we approach this upcoming school year, there is much to be excited about in Regional School District 16. Summer is always a busy time for us with building improvements, new staff hires, summer school, curriculum writing, and planning for professional learning.
This year, our major projects included new sidewalks at Woodland, a new parking lot at Long River, upgraded renovations to the grounds at Laurel Ledge and the initial planning for six new tennis courts at Woodland. This work will continue into the school year and will help provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff. Of course, our custodians have performed thorough cleaning of each of our schools to ensure that our buildings are looking their best when students walk in on the first day.
This August we celebrate the 50th year Prospect and Beacon Falls merged to form Regional School District 16. We will pay tribute on Friday, August 23rd, at Long River from 10:00am-1:00pm. We invite the staff, students, and entire Regional School District 16 to a short ceremony, food trucks, and activities for children.
During the 2019-2020 school year, we will maintain a focus on the highest level of academic achievement for all our students. We have found success and steady growth in our State and National Assessment. However, we will continue to be progressive and address the needs of our students, the wants of our community; eliminate what isn’t working and build upon what has been successful in our schools!
We will also welcome two significant changes to our curriculum and the fabric of our schools. The first is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which aims to develop resiliency, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships, and empathy. Research continues to show that social and emotional learning not only creates a healthy context for learning but that these skills actually enhance academic rigor. Second, we are eager to open the STEM pathways at Woodland. It is an opportunity to have our students gain exposure in school towards a career or further educational opportunities. We will continue to provide tiered supports for students that allow us to differentiate our practice to meet the needs of all students. We continue to be committed to putting our greatest resources into the classrooms. We have expanded our support services with new Instructional Aides, Behavioral Technicians, additional Social Workers, and nurses’ aides.
I realize that our first responsibility is to the students-our decisions are made in the best interest of children and they come first. I have the responsibility of leading this district and supporting the performance of our students. I continue this task with great appreciation for the teachers and the principals who support them, recognizing that they are the key resource to students developing emotionally, socially, and academically.
Again, this year we are prepared to provide continuous and ongoing embedded professional learning and establish clear teaching and learning expectations that are cohesive and coherent district-wide. We will not lose our vision and focus on personalizing learning opportunities for students to increase engagement and rigor. We strive to foster independence with our children and produce students who think critically and have a growth mindset. The BOE and I have reaffirmed our commitment to differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, performing Learning Walks, funding resources and academic specialists to support the reduction in achievement gaps, and a comprehensive curriculum in our schools.
My personal goals for this upcoming year are to implement a social emotional learning program in Region 16 to support the whole child-to increase professional learning opportunities for staff that are meaningful and support a growth mindset that can be applied to classroom instruction to demonstrate a vision that promotes individual responsibility through collective expectations to create alignment and a culture which allows for gradual but meaningful change. I will continue to have an “open door policy” and make all my decisions in the best interest of students.
We are all responsible for the success of our students!
"The pen is mightier than the sword" Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Michael P. Yamin
Superintendent of Schools
Work: (203) 758-6671
Fax: (203) 758-5797