Now that February has arrived, we’re officially into the second half of the academic year. My gratitude to our phenomenal faculty and staff for their continued dedication to the District’s aspirations of excellence, equity and exploration. I’d also like to recognize our students for their efforts both in and outside the classroom. Let’s keep moving forward!
As you know, this year the District’s theme is Shaker Has Heart. We’ve taken an inclusive approach to what that means: showing compassion for our students, exercising our minds and bodies for mental and physical health, and engaging as active members of our community here in Shaker and around the world. In this month’s newsletter, you’ll see lots of evidence that Shaker Has Heart—from the upcoming Sweetheart Dance to recent visits from the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and from a successful MLK Day of Service to Fernway School’s Snack Attack program. Indeed, there is so much to celebrate in our Shaker Schools community.
Also, Shaker Schools has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to help guide us in taking care of our personal health. And there’s no better time than February—which is American Heart Month—to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Students may participate in an AHA fundraiser this month (if they choose), but better still, they will continue to receive the IB-focused PE instruction that promotes healthy living, good nutritional choices and the importance of a strong body.
This month, we also join the rest of the nation in celebrating African American History Month. On a personal level, it’s important for me to dedicate time to reflect on the the accomplishments and the atrocities that my ancestors endured. I carry their legacies with me as a proud African American who lives each day advocating for all young people and striving to lead by example for the next generation of leaders. As an educator, I know that today, race is still at the heart many of our challenges in public education. As the first African American Superintendent of the Shaker Heights City Schools, this knowledge informs the work I do every day to foster a more compassionate, accepting and equitable world for all of our students.
Finally, a reminder that there is no school on Friday, February 16 for a Grades K-6 Conference/Grades 7-12 Professional Day or on Monday, February 19. Best wishes to you all for a heart-filled and heart-healthy February and beyond.
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools