April 2015 Message

April 2015

To the Piscataway Community:

Despite a winter that doesn’t seem to want to end, let’s be optimistic and hope warmer temperatures descend on your spring break. In all corners of our district, our entire school community pitched in through a difficult season of school closures, delayed openings and early dismissals, rarely losing sight of our students as you faced pressures and deadlines. This does not go unnoticed.

At this time of year, there are several shout-outs that come to mind:

·    To our principals and teachers, students and parents, for their unwavering support in making the best of a walk in the PARCC. Even though the standardized testing season isn’t over, the professionalism and flexibility of teachers, the support from the IT department, the added pressures principals and administrators faced for an entire month, and the willingness of our students and families to work through it all with us humbles me. I hope these tests ultimately provide us with good information about our students. Again, thanks to all our PARCC Rangers!

·    To our Facilities Department – grounds, maintenance, custodial, mechanical, and trades. It was a brutal, cold winter for this crew whose day started at 2 or 3 a.m. in order to have lots cleared, and sidewalks shoveled and salted. These folks were exhausted from lack of sleep but never backed off. Whether we had a delay or a closing, they were here. Their staff were quick to respond to heating issues, leaks, and other maladies that accompany single digit temperatures.

·    To our Transportation Department who worked along with our grounds crews to have buses ready whenever we were able to open or close early. One evening about 8 p.m. I called transportation to discuss the next morning’s opening. It was 5 degrees and windy, and our supervisor and drivers were all outside, de-icing windshields and running bus engines. Kudos to our drivers who safely transported students despite township road conditions.

·    To our Parents and Guardians who took those 5:00 a.m. school closure announcements with understanding and support for the safety of all our students and staff.

·    To District Supervisor Bob Coleman who headed an amazing cast of staff and volunteers that celebrated PiscatawayREADS on April 1. This nationally-acclaimed literacy event brought our community together for song, storytelling, friendship, and ideas around the theme of social justice. This event improves every year!

·    To all of you who make up our Piscataway Community – may you have spring restore your spirit, give you respite with your loved ones, and renew your energy. You are PwaySTRONG!

It is a privilege to work with and for all of you and your families.

Teresa M. Rafferty

Superintendent of Schools