We are MPS, and we are preparing for success—By Bernadeia Johnson


The Minneapolis Public Schools will welcome students in grades 1-12 back to school on August 29 and our new kindergarten students on August 31. It is important that all of our students arrive at school on the first day ready to learn. Not only are we preparing for the upcoming school year, but we are also working to prepare students for future success.
Students are at the heart of what we do, and everyone plays a role in helping them succeed. MPS staff, community members and families support our efforts each day. Whether you serve students in a school building, support them in your neighborhood, or care for them in your own home as a parent, your support is essential for student success.
Families often ask me what they can do to help their children do their very best. You play a critical role in your child’s academic progress and can help your child prepare to learn each day:
• Help your child get ready in the morning so he or she arrives at school on time and prepared for learning.
• Ask your child what he or she learns in school each day.
• Set aside time each night to help your child with homework.
• Visit the open house at your child’s school before the first day. Your child will come to school confident and eager to succeed.
Community members can help, too. Consider volunteering in your neighborhood school, and encourage the children that you see each day to do well in school and pursue their dreams. From the first morning bus ride until the last activity of the night, countless efforts combine to educate and support Minneapolis students every day.
We are working hard to make every school a great school. That means every classroom has an effective teacher, every school has a strong principal and every staff member shares the same high expectations for all students. What students are taught, how they are taught, and how they are measured is the foundation of a system of great schools.
All three of these elements are being consistently implemented at schools district-wide. That means that no matter which Minneapolis Public School your child attends, you will encounter a predictable and consistent curriculum. That means academic rigor regardless of where you live and where you choose to send your child to school.
To accomplish this, I am making sure that our schools and our staff members are well equipped to provide our students and their families with the support that they need. MPS staff members inspire success in their colleagues and students.
Last year, we began to recognize our staff members and hold them up as models for what MPS strives to accomplish. This year, we will continue to recognize our dedicated staff members who turn their everyday accomplishments into student achievement. The support of our community members, families and partners is crucial. Together, we are MPS.
I hope you will take some time early this fall, as soon as school starts, to get to know your school’s principal and your child’s teachers. Ask questions to better understand the expectations of your child.
School supply lists and back-to-school open house schedules will be available on the MPS website. Keep in touch with us as the first day of school inches closer. We will update our website, Facebook and Twitter pages with back-to-school information regularly. Equip your child with the tools that he or she will need to complete schoolwork.
Open lines of communication between families, teachers, school staff and community members make for a better education. This is a chance to celebrate successes of our city’s children and to identify and correct small issues before they become big ones.
We look forward to making 2011-2012 a great school year. When we all work together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Bernadeia Johnson, Ed.D., is superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.


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