Well, it is 2019 and I wish each of you a Happy and Joyful New Year !! We have bid 2018 adieu and are welcoming 2019 with all of its promise and opportunities. “For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” — T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) There is so much that awaits us in the coming year; much of which we will have prepared for and much of which we cannot have prepared for. I am thrilled to be on the journey with you...
As winter crept in quietly before the break, our shortest days are now behind us. That being said, the increased light is growing each and every day… As I reflect on the year past and anticipate the opportunities for joy and growth in the year upcoming, I am thoughtful about all that we have done together and all that we have yet to do. We can feel confident that while there will be challenges we have not anticipated, we have the skills and drive to meet them and together have the capacity to continue the strong traditions in this amazing district.
According to Technology Director Allen Miedema, the email migration that Tech has been working on over the past several months and completed over Winter Break moved NSD off Zimbra (where we have been for 8+ years) and onto a cloud-based Outlook environment. Allen shared that the migration involved moving 4543 accounts containing 72.5 million emails, 1.4 million calendars events, and 1.7 million contacts. The total amount of data moved was in the neighborhood of 6TB. Wow, that is amazing !! The migration work was structured such that each account was reviewed and processed at least three times in order to make sure that information was migrated correctly and completely. In order to make sure that the work impacted users as little as possible, much of the work was performed after hours, on weekends, and over break. In fact, two Tech department members (Jon Biggerstaff and Ski Kacoroski) worked more than one “all-nighter” running and monitoring processes - which they then followed by working their “regular” shift taking care of more typical day-to-day technology activities. We are so appreciative of their efforts and the efforts of so many others both here in the Tech Department and at schools and departments all over this amazing district. Please join me in thanking all of those who supported this transition; it matters.
In an update from our Diversity and Equity Department, the week-long holiday of Kwanzaa took place from December 26th to January 1st and is a time to celebrate African American and pan-African values of family, community, and culture. This holiday was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor and Chair of Africana Studies at California State University, as a way to: honor African values and traditions; celebrate the contributions, growth, progress, and self-determination of people and communities of African descent; reflect on the importance of family and community; and promote care for the environment. The Kinara (candle holder) is an important symbol of Kwanzaa because it holds candles that represent the seven principles of the holiday. These principles are: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith). I wish all of our students and families who celebrated a “Happy Kwanzaa!”
Where I'm From
This morning at our District Leadership Team meeting, we heard from our leadership team at Woodmoor; Principal Ebony Harvey and Assistant Principals Samuel Ramirez and Renee King, about the great work happening at Woodmoor this year. According to the school leadership team; “As we engage in our equity work at Woodmoor, we’re being intentional that all staff and students have the opportunity to celebrate diversity and develop awareness around our diverse and individual cultures through self-identification. One of the ways we are doing this is through "Where I'm From Poems" where staff and students share specific details and feelings about their lives and memories. Throughout the year, we will continue to provide opportunities for our staff to engage in courageous conversations which challenge our own bias and institutional perspectives.” This is a great example of our bold strategic plan in action. Imagine the possibilities…
Five Essential Questions in Life
It is often at this time of the year, as I reflect and am thoughtful about my resolve for the coming year, that I review the interesting link to the Five Essential Questions in Life according to Harvard School of Education Dean, James Ryan. I think these remarks are especially timely as we begin a new year filled with such promise and fraught with its usual uncertainty. It is nice to know that which we can count on when we anticipate challenges and new ideas. Our greatest resource is one another and the relationships we hold dear. Together, all things are possible -- and of that we can remain resolutely certain.
2019 will see our Northshore School District strong and getting stronger. Our future depends on the character and competence of the children we both raise and educate. It takes all of us in moments both small and large to make the difference for our future generation. I look forward to seeing you in the schools or at an afterschool activity in the coming year.
“Make time, make peace, make change, make love, and make sure your voice is heard.” -- Oprah
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.