Dear Community Members,
A sign hangs in my office, right above my computer monitor. It says, “I will devote time each day to improving the literacy skills of our students.”
It’s a promise I made to myself March 18, 2008, when I was an assistant superintendent in Montana, and it’s a promise I continue to keep today.
Declaring my intention to help improve student reading and writing might seem like a strange goal for a superintendent, because my job is to oversee an entire school district—15 campuses, 908 employees, nearly 6,500 students and an $87 million budget. My days revolve around community outreach, and meetings about curricula, facilities and future planning.
But when it comes right down to it, my goal as superintendent is to position the school district so it has the skilled people, the functional buildings and the up-to-date technology that make learning not just possible but inevitable.
Why? To help each of our students become literate learners. Literacy is the most important thing we do. It is the key to opening the gateway of opportunity and success for our students.
In this autumn’s Report to Our Community, you will see that Longview’s students and staff are making progress. Our graduation rate is rising, and our students’ results on state-mandated testing show areas of improvement.
You also will read that Longview has a vision for the future. That involves updating our facilities, beginning with those that support our youngest learners.
Do new buildings improve our students’ ability to read and write? Not by themselves. But when you add the passion and talents of LPS staff to facilities that work—buildings that accommodate the latest teaching technology and methods—it’s a recipe for student success.
And seeing our students’ success is what makes all the planning and strategy worthwhile.
Thank you, as always, for your support of Longview Public Schools!
Dan Zorn, Superintendent