Superintendent’s Weekly Check-in, August 24

Superintendent Matthew HaasDear Colleagues:

A thought for next week: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Good Friday morning!

I thank you all, and I mean each and every one of you, for a super opening to the school year on Wednesday! Wednesday and yesterday, I visited Woodbrook, Agnor-Hurt, Greer, Jouett, AHS, Hollymead, Sutherland, Baker-Butler, Stony Point, Stone-Robinson, and Burley, to walk about the schools with principals and to say “Hi” to students and staff. There was so much positive energy among students, and, teachers, you really hit the ground running with ways to engage them.

In some of the best classes I have visited so far, teachers have set aside going over the syllabus and housekeeping and used class meeting time to both spring into the curriculum and build community through icebreakers and other forms of self-disclosure, so that students could get to know them and each other. Starting the year in a way that is relationship-oriented and engaging helps a student to think, “I am looking forward to the next class with that teacher!” If you have a strategy in your back pocket that is super engaging and gets students excited, don’t hold back. Use it now!

I really loved the chance to greet all of our Child Nutrition staff on Monday during their professional development time! Their work is truly gracious work for children. When I was at Stony Point on Thursday, Principal Latishia Wilson and I visited with the Cafeteria Manager, Kimberly Eubanks, and Food Service Associate, Newassa Gentry. Their very clean kitchen was bathing in sunlight; they exuded pride; and the lunches they were preparing looked delicious! Our children are so fortunate to have staff like Kimberly and Newassa in all of our schools to nourish them!

One final note: Albemarle County Public Schools has more than 1,700 classroom spaces. I don’t know what we would do without such a high-quality building services staff to maintain our facilities and resources, helping us to serve large numbers of children with complex needs.

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.