August, 2013

Dear Parents and Community Residents,

It’s a difficult time to be a parent of a student. The curriculum is changing and staff and students alike are being asked to meet elevated expectations. Like everyone these days, schools are required to do more with less. Like you, we may not like all of the changes but are prepared to do everything we can to maintain the quality of education your child receives in the Saranac Lake Central School District.

You may be aware that the New York State Education Department has released the results of the grade 3-8 tests in math and ELA, and that across the region, including Saranac Lake, scores have declined significantly. State education department officials have asked that the results be viewed in the context of more challenging tests, and that one should not draw conclusions about the ability of students or teachers based on these results.

Like our teachers and staff, you and your child may look at these scores and wonder what they mean: “Am I a good student? Is my school doing all it can for my child?  Are we getting our money’s worth? Is this what going to school is going to mean from now on?”  

No matter the changes, our school community remains committed to providing quality education in a caring, child-centered and – to the extent possible – stress-free environment. Our district-wide response to this news is to pledge to work together to refocus our attention on our children by making our schools places where students achieve extraordinary things, and where meaningful, authentic whole-child learning occurs.  

As I write this letter, everyone at SLCS is preparing for the school year as we always have. Just as you are confident that school will be ready for you and your child on opening day September 5, be just as confident that our school community remains committed to quality education in a caring, child-centered environment.

Mrs. Diane Fox, Superintendent of Schools