Superintendent’s Weekly Check-in, August 10

Superintendent Matthew HaasDear Colleagues:

A thought for next week: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good Friday morning!

I am so happy to know that all of our teachers are coming back to school next week! I had the pleasure of meeting 170 new teachers to the County on Tuesday this week; I think our veteran ACPS teachers are going to like them, and I know they can’t wait to meet you!

Yesterday, I was pulling up to work here at the COB, and I said to myself, “Hmm, there’s a School Board meeting tonight. I gotta have a bagel.” Yes, Bodo’s is like 100 yards from my office. When I got to Bodo’s, I ran into Katina Dudley, longtime Monticello High School teacher and Director of the Health and Medical Sciences Academy. She was so excited to tell me that MoHS had 170 students attend their freshman transition program yesterday, and 150 families were coming to an open house dinner with Mr. Vrhovac that night as part of the event. That’s awesome, and I know that AHS and WAHS have similar programs.

I thank all of you teachers, counselors, support staff, and administrators who go the extra mile in the summer to transition our students and their families into our schools. All summer long, I hear wonderful stories of elementary school teachers visiting homes and all three levels of schools offering fun activities to get their students excited about learning. Thank you for being so creative and welcoming!

On a more serious note, this weekend marks the anniversary of the illegal and traumatic events that brought so much pain and damage to our community one year ago. We want you to be safe and balance safety with the need to maintain our schools’ plans for the weekend. Today, all non-essential school staff will have the option of leaving your offices at 1 p.m. and concluding your workday from home. The County Office Building will close at 2 p.m. As usual on the weekend before school starts, there will be a lot of activity in the schools with our building services crew finishing up big jobs with contractors. Please communicate with your principal if you plan to be at school. Be safe!

One final note: Monticello High School actually had a tornado touch down on Thursday, August 2. A fair amount of damage was done to the school that our crews quickly and expertly began to repair. School staff and students in the school (including the football team) all followed the school’s tornado drill plan; no one was hurt. Know your school’s plan. We do get a tornado occasionally!

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.