Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!
n behalf of everyone in Deer Park Schools, it is my pleasure to welcome you – thanks for taking a moment to view our website. I am honored to be in my fourth year as Superintendent in Deer Park and in my 11th year in the district. Deer Park is a wonderful place to be and I’m so thankful for our dedicated staff, our parents and our students, as well as our supportive community.
As I reflect on our work over the past few years it’s safe to say we’ve seen a significant influx of both new staff, as well as changes in the classroom to content standards and instructional materials. We are thrilled with the expertise, energy, and enthusiasm these our new staff members have brought to Deer Park! Change is rarely easy, but our staff continues to work hard to assimilate the new information and materials and they have helped ensure that we over the very best education we can for the students and families we serve. Here are few of the things we’re emphasizing…
- Collaborative Practices: Our ongoing focus on improvements in teaching, learning, and assessment have been fueled by our ongoing commitment to collaborative practices – teams of teachers work together every Wednesday morning to ensure that instructional experiences and materials are aligned to standards and assessed regularly. Continued refinement of instruction and improvement of supporting materials allows for meaningful, practical, and rigorous learning opportunities for our students.
- Closing Achievement Gaps: Our most important work is addressing and eliminating learning gaps among students based on race, language, economic status and disability. We are consistently working to ensure equity of opportunity, access, services, programs and resources so as to help every student reach their full potential. In fact, recent research is revealing a great deal about how changes in educational practices and policies can revamp classrooms and schools to close the achievement gaps and promote excellence in learning for all students. We’re investing significant amounts of time and resources in implementing academic interventions that allow struggling learners to access grade-level material; we work hard to offer evidence-based programs that show a track-record of success.
- Technology: We are committed to equipping our teachers and students with modern tools of learning. Teachers are using various technologies to create engaging instructional experiences for students and to preparing our students for life and learning in the digital age. Of course, this requires our schools to be equipped with appropriate 21st century tools. We’ve continued expansion of and enhanced our wired and wireless infrastructure, we’ve added hundreds of Chromebooks and iPad devices for student use, we’ve added more SMART Boards to classrooms and begun to explore the addition of interactive projection devices. Our Teaching and Learning Dept. has worked with curriculum publishers to offer digital access to our instructional materials and resources. Finally, using our Skyward School Management System, we were able to provide families with a paperless registration process, where families can not only view student information, but update any outdated information.
- Facilities/Safety and Security: As always, our facilities and maintenance crew has our buildings and grounds in phenomenal shape. Summer is an incredibly busy time for our maintenance crew as they look to tackle as many projects as possible before students return. In addition to the usual slate of summer projects, our facilities dept. was able to complete a new Training Center and Board Room – a vital project that added much needed space for hosting large district trainings and Board meetings with larger numbers of attendees.
- Success for All: Within every building and program in the district, the hope is to cultivate environments where students and adults can grow. This means making it a point to focus on items such as proactive behavior measures, student attendance and staff morale to help create the best climate possible.
As always, we thank you for your continued support of our district; I look forward to another wonderful school year and continued success for all of our students!
Very Best Regards,
Travis W. Hanson, Superintendent