Welcome to the 2017–18 school year!
September has always been my favorite month. I love seeing our students and families back in our school buildings and our teachers back in their classrooms. There is such a wonderful buzz in the air around this time of the year; it feels as if anything is possible.
We have been hard at work all summer preparing for this day. Educators across the City took part in trainings and planned new lessons and activities in order to improve their teaching. School administrators and building custodians spent the season preparing their facilities for another year of learning. And many of our students participated in jobs, camps, and various summer learning experiences that will help them start the 2017–18 school year ready to learn on Day 1.
As we begin a new school year, we have much to celebrate. Thanks to our collective efforts, including the Equity and Excellence for All agenda we introduced in 2015, NYC public schools are the most successful they have ever been:
- All four-year olds now have access to free, full day, high quality pre-kindergarten;
- More students than ever are graduating from high school, and record numbers of students are attending college;
- Our schools are the safest they have ever been;
- Record numbers of City students are taking and passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams; and
- As we reported last month, our students in grades 3–8 have continued to make gains on the State’s standardized exams.
I am proud of the progress our students and schools have made, but I am even more excited for what the future will bring. This school year, we will be launching 3-K for All, a new early childhood initiative that will provide free, full-day, high-quality learning for over 11,000 three-year-olds. We are also increasing the number of literacy coaches in elementary schools to help students read at grade level by the end of second grade. You can also expect more computer science classes, Dual Language programs, AP courses, and college and career planning in our schools. These, and many other initiatives, are all part of our effort to achieve equity and excellence for all of our students, and I invite everyone to follow our progress all year long right here on The Morning Bell.
As we all prepare for the new school year, we would also love to see how your families are getting ready. Send us pictures of your families as you kick off the first month of school. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, and now also on Instagram, and join the online conversation using #BackToSchoolNYC. Do not forget to tag @NYCSchools on your own posts!
On behalf of the DOE, I wish our students, parents, educators, and administrators a joyful and successful school year!
Chancellor, NYC Department of Education