Montezuma Schools Community:
I am excited to welcome everyone back for the start of the 2021 - 2022 school year and hope you had an enjoyable summer. At the start of every school year there is optimism about what lies ahead. It is difficult to put into words just how much we all are looking forward to this year as we prepare and hope for a year of success, normalcy, and productivity with our students.
I am so appreciative of the Montezuma community of support, respect and determination across our educational landscape over the last year. We have collaborated more, forged new partnerships and worked together to find new ways to support the overall wellbeing of our students and sustain academic progress. With supports in place to help all students flourish academically, socially and emotionally, the new year truly brings new opportunities to grow together.
I would like to send a special welcome to the students and families who are new to the district and to students who are returning to in-person learning after some accommodations last school year. Our entire student body and staff is excited for you to join us here at school. The first day of school for all students is Monday, August 23.
There are many things for us to be excited about as we start this school year. Our maintenance and custodial staff have worked hard all summer preparing the classrooms, buildings, and district grounds. We have been working on technology updates as all students K-12 now have 1:1 access to iPad devices to start this school year. We have completed several “projects” and upgrades this summer including a nurses office renovation, new kitchen stove, an auditorium wheelchair lift, and new school buses. Note that new school buses are equipped with safety belts. State law requires that safety belts are worn at all times by all passengers on new buses. Our drivers will work with students on this during the first days of school.
Over the past year since joining the staff here at Montezuma I have taken a “be the best” mentality to help our students, and their families feel safe and supported throughout the COVID pandemic. I want to acknowledge that this mentality already existed here at Montezuma. On day one, and countless times throughout the school year it was confirmed to me that the Montezuma community does whatever it takes to make Montezuma the best it can be. Just like last year, the school staff and administration will all strive to make learning experiences the best in 2021-2022.
This Wednesday night the school board will take action on our updated district Return to Learn Plan. This plan includes updates to our school policy regarding face coverings, and daily cleaning procedures. As you all know, federal, state and local guidelines and procedures are being continually reviewed and changed; sometimes they even contradict one another. To start the school year I am recommending to the school board that students and staff are allowed to make face covering decisions that they feel is right for themselves and their families during the school day, and on school transportation. If your family feels that wearing a mask is proper, we encourage you to do so. If you choose to not wear face coverings we ask that you respect those that choose to do so. We want all students and staff to feel comfortable, safe, and ready to learn.
I know that this update does not answer all of your questions, and it may even prompt additional ones. Please check out the district website; along with social media accounts in the upcoming days for more updates regarding the district plans for school this fall. I look forward to continuing collaborative efforts with our Board of Education, staff, students, and the entire Montezuma community as we strive to sustain our current initiatives, while establishing a clear vision of our future.
I hope that everyone has had a fun, happy, and healthy summer.