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October 2017 Newsletter: Message from the Superintendent

By now, most Shaker Heights residents have received a mailed copy of our recent edition of Measuring What Matters, the District's annual report to the community. I encourage all families to review Measuring What Matters because it explains our new metrics on student progress, provides insights into our continued fiscal stewardship and describes our PreK-12 International Baccalaureate Programme. This year, Measuring What Matters also shares the powerful narrative of the Shaker Schools experience through testimonials from students, parents and teachers.

I have been and remain adamant that the progress of the District and our students will not be defined by a static data point on a single day or by an isolated set of test scores. Indeed, we have opportunities to grow and we are well aware of these specific areas; however, we also have so many more areas of success and achievements. It is my expectation that we will continue to uphold the tradition of excellence that Shaker keeps as the hallmark of our efforts, as well as continue to demonstrate vision, integrity and passion to ensure that 100% of our students are engaged in the Shaker experience.

As an International Baccalaureate school district, I see evidence that the IB learner attributes and the Shaker Schools mission—to educate students who are civic-minded and creative, global thinkers—are present in our young people every day. I see it in students like Onaway fourth-grader Zara Jackson, who is well on her way to raising $5,000 for cancer programs at The Gathering Place. I see it in Blake Glatley, a junior who followed his curiosity into the world of woodworking. I see it in Thomas Schinabeck, a freshman saxophone player who used his passion for jazz music to help raise money for Parkinson's Disease. And I saw it last week at the City Club of Cleveland, when I introduced 2008 Shaker Heights High School graduate, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Lowery, who spoke to a sold-out crowd about the struggle between law enforcement, race and justice. (You can read more about our current students in the new section IB in Action.)

Each of these young people demonstrate so clearly that Shaker's holistic approach to education prepares them to contribute to our global society. They understand that they are a part of a community and world that goes beyond what they see and experience every day. Of course, their excellent work outside the classroom may not necessarily translate into As on their report cards, but it will go a long way to teaching them how to make a difference in our world.

And that, for sure, is something that matters the most for a Shaker graduate.

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

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