The 2014-2015 school year is underway. The buildings have been prepped, our staff is rejuvenated, our students have arrived, and expectations have been raised. As the newly appointed superintendent, I am excited about the opportunity to work with our staff and students throughout the new school year.
On opening day with our staff, I began an open and honest conversation regarding the current status of the Wilkinsburg School District and its immediate and long-term future. We reviewed the exciting new developments for our staff and students. Each teacher received a new laptop and an instructional binder to begin the school year on the right foot. Our new binders will empower our staff to align their instructional practices with the Pennsylvania eligible content as it is reflected on the state assessments. The new laptops will enable them to gather student achievement data and access educational resources provided through the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. Aligning these efforts is the first step in our efforts to improve student achievement.
The Board of Education has also invested time into getting our house in order on the operational front. Revised policies and procedures, a new commitment to enforcing and implementing current policies, and establishing effective protocols have solidified the foundation to support an effective and efficient organization. Seeing the Wilkinsburg School District through a new lens is a priority, as well. The District is committed improving its efforts to communicate “good news” about our students, staff, and programs via our website and local media outlets.
In closing, I would be remiss if I do not address the reality of dwindling educational funding that impacts many school districts across the state, including the Wilkinsburg School District. While our School Board has taken steps to manage our educational needs with limited funding, the fact remains that short- and long-range planning is vital by our leaders to ensure a viable educational experience for our children. Moving forward, we are excited about improving how we deliver education within our District, and hope to pursue opportunities that serve the best interests of our students and community as a whole.
Daniel J. Matsook, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Wilkinsburg School District