Welcome to the 2017-18 school year. There is quite a bit to celebrate in the Dracut Public Schools as the days shorten, the weather cools, and the school doors open.
The district’s technology infrastructure upgrade, in the making for five years, is in full swing. As of the opening of school, all six of our schools are now fully wireless environments. In anticipation, we have added to our hardware inventory by purchasing over 400 Chromebooks along with mobile carts, so that students may be able to connect to the world in the district’s classrooms.
Very soon you’ll see bucket trucks in town installing fiberoptic cabling, linking the schools together with enough bandwidth to ensure capacity for years to come. At the same time, the installation of our voice over internet communication (VoIP) system is being installed. This new system will provide comprehensive, integrated communication capacity, replace outdated intercom systems, and provide for enhanced security features in every classroom.
Everyone involved in supporting this effort (School Committee, members of the Board of Selectmen, the Town Manager, Town officials, the Town Meeting body, as well as parents, and other interested parties who played a part in advocating for this project) should be applauded for their efforts in making our vision of 21st Century schools a reality.
Also new this year, the district is introducing apps to make finding information and communicating with the district easier for busy parents. Standing on the sideline of a soccer game, or sitting in a car waiting for a band practice to end, and need to find out something about your child’s school, no problem… Apps for each school as well as the district are available in the Apple and Play Stores. Download them today.
Most importantly, we are thrilled that we have dramatically increased our mental health, social and emotional supports for students this year with the hiring of four additional school adjustment counselors. These new counselors join our existing professionals to ensure that each school has a dedicated, experienced professional available to students and to provide consultation to teachers.
Walking through the schools today as teachers, other professional faculty members, and the administration were preparing for the opening of school, the positive energy was outstanding. I wish everyone a wonderful, productive school year. Together we will Discover the Dracut Difference…