2016-17 Back to School Parent Letter

July 29, 2016,

Greetings Parent(s)/Guardians and Scholars:

I hope you and your scholar are having a productive and relaxing summer filled with adventure.  In five weeks your scholar will be walking through the doors of Wilder Middle School as a new or returning scholar for the 2016-2017 school year.  From the first to the last day of the school year all faculty and staff will provide your scholars with an excellent educational experience.

During the 2015-2016 school year, we made tremendous progress towards our goal of attaining full accreditation.  Preliminary Spring 2016 SOL data shows that growth was recorded in four out of five of our content areas.  We continue to remain accredited in social studies, and we are 4.9 points away from meeting our accreditation target in the area of science.  Math, reading and writing also showed marginal growth this past school year.  As we will discuss when you return we have made tremendous growth over the past two years in three out of five of our content areas (see link for specific preliminary data).  These higher levels of performance and improved culture are an indication of our renewed commitment to student achievement and a reflection of the hard work of all staff members to reach each child.

During our “Back to School Night,” I will share more in depth performance and culture data from the 2015-2016 school year.  In my third year as principal at Wilder Middle School, I’m looking forward to moving our bus closer to our goal of meeting full accreditation.  I am eagerly anticipating of meeting and working alongside all of my new scholars and parents to continue the work.

Our motto this school year will remain the same: “One Team. One Family. One Vision. One Promise”.  It is a clarion call for unity and it will guide our faculty, staff, and scholars as we create a more positive school environment where all of our scholars can achieve at the highest level.  Our motto also speaks to the fact that the only way we will meet our goal (being fully accredited)  this school year (being fully accredited) is when all stakeholders, have a common language, and the same level of dedication and resolute grit in every situation, while embracing the positive changes that are being implemented.  It is also our promise that, every staff member will be committed to providing an excellent educational experience and the highest level of customer service to all scholars and parents on a daily basis.  It is our vow that each staff member will work relentlessly to ensure that all of our scholars possess the scholarly habits and skills necessary to be successful in high school, college, and beyond.  It is also the vow of each member of our school’s leadership team to provide the appropriate level of encouragement, support, and feedback to each staff member during the school year.  Finally, every staff member, parent, and scholar will commit to being positive and solutions-oriented on a daily basis even in difficult situations.

Our theme for 2016-2017 is “Be the Change.”  This school year, we will utilize the prolific proverb from the preeminent civil rights leader and scholar, Mahatma Gandhi, as our motto.  These three words are very powerful because it sends home the message that you have the power and ability to initiate personal change and growth if you choose to accept the challenge.  Each scholar has the power to impact positive change among their peers, as well as, the world around them.  Scholars can “be the change” by improving their grades, MAP and SOL performance levels.  Scholars can “be the change” by improving their behavior at school and at home.  Scholars can “be the change” by volunteering to do something great in their community.  This school year, every scholar, staff member and parent will continue to “be the change” that will make Wilder Middle School the greatest success story in Henrico County.