Superintendent’s Weekly Check-in, July 13

Superintendent Matthew HaasDear Colleagues:

A thought for next week: “Some people could look at a mud-puddle and see an ocean with ships.” — Zora Neale Hurston

Good morning to you all! I hope that you have had a fine week and that you are getting a chance to rejuvenate this summer!

As you can imagine, these summer months are a time of intense preparation from our support departments to get facilities and programs ready for the coming school year. Recently, a teacher asked me why we have a period of time each summer—this year it is from July 22 through August 4—when we do not allow outside organizations to use ACPS facilities. We call this the summer blackout period. By halting outside use in our 25 school sites, Building Services and Lead Staff and contractors can work safely and without interruption to prepare your work and learning environment for the opening of school.

Throughout most of the summer, ACPS continues to offer educational opportunities for students. This past week, I had the pleasure of attending the Fine Arts Academy as part of my Listening Tour. I was very impressed with the creative energy of our students and staff in this program. Speaking of the Listening Tour, I want you to be aware that as part of my entry plan as superintendent, I am engaged in a Listening Tour throughout July and August. I had my first planned meeting with teachers this week. For more information about the process and upcoming events, please visit We’ve got more opportunities scheduled for teachers and students next week.

Teachers: If you have time available next week, I hope you will sign up for a listening tour session. I’ll also be doing a session with students and staff attending the annual CoderDojo Academy. In fact, I encourage teachers to visit the CoderDojo program as part of the CoderDojo Fellowship. This year’s CoderDojo is taking place at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School.

I thank you all for choosing to be educators, and I consider all of our employees and staff to be educators, as the noble and kind work you do will always find its way to the betterment of children. When done well and with care, all of your work has a positive impact. I appreciate you!

Just checking in,


Matthew S. Haas, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Your mission and my mission every day is to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time.