MRH Superintendent Issues Annual "Welcome Back" Message
Dear friends throughout the MRH community,
On behalf of the Board of Education and our staff, I want to welcome everyone back to the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District for the 2019-20 school year! The excitement and anticipation are palpable as we prepare our learning spaces for the arrival of our future leaders, scholars, stewards and citizens. Our first day for K-12 students is Monday, August 12; first day for preschool is Monday, August 19.
“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge – even wisdom. Like art.” - Toni Morrison, American novelist, 1931-2019
Friends, our region and the nation grapple to make sense of the pain and complex social issues surrounding the recent shootings in Texas and Ohio. What’s more, this month marks five years since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Such intense issues demand they be examined through a lens of sensitivity. I remain steadfastly committed to the MRH Resolution on Educational Equity and Social Justice. It outlines the path we must take to nurture community through relationships and communication.
For the upcoming year, our focus is to ensure our learning spaces are safe and inspirational for all. We know that children can not grow and learn in an environment where these qualities are lacking. This year, MRH is teaming up with local experts in the field of facilities design to advance several key objectives: to protect our students and staff in times of crisis, to maintain stimulating and motivational learning spaces, and to evaluate opportunities for expansion. Very soon, we’ll announce opportunities for all of our valued stakeholders to participate in this exciting process.
The Board of Education has established 4 Pillars of Safety for the MRH community:
Infrastructure - protecting buildings and facilities
Crisis management - emergency preparedness
Whole child health - tackling barriers to wellbeing
Cyber security - promoting positive engagement
These pillars comprise our “whole child” approach to ensure our spaces remain safe and inclusive for all students.
As many of you know, I have a passion for educational equity and excellence. I celebrate diversity and strive to foster inclusive education. In the coming year, MRH will continue to provide our educators with the ongoing training necessary to meet the unique needs of every single student. All MRH buildings (K-12) are engaging in a long-term, strategic progression of professional development to be trauma-informed and adept at restorative practices.
So, my message to you today is simple. Get ready, this year is going to be a thrilling ride!
Thank you for your continued support of our students and this district. I know 2019-20 will be another great year of many successes for our students and community!
Karen I. Hall, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Maplewood Richmond Heights School District
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.