Dear John Jay Community,
It is my hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and your 2019 becomes everything you wish it to be. While school has back in session for a brief period, much has happened, is happening, and will happen as planning for the rest of this year and next year are well underway.
Our Fine and Performing Arts programs kicked off 2019 excellently as they performed their winter concert series. We all take pride in the growth and sophistication of our performing groups as we live the belief that the arts are not only another curricular area but part of a well-rounded education and life. This belief guided the high school’s hosting its first Celebration of the Arts Week, January 7-11. Our students had opportunities to perform for their peers as well as the larger school community, including John Jay Middle School students, as they showcased their talents and inspired others to follow in their footsteps. We’re grateful for the students’ commitment and cooperation in making the week come alive.
Since our return, enriching experiences that made learning come alive were not exclusively confined to the stage. Again, our World Language students had a successful and enriching experience as part of a yearly trip to Quebec, Canada. This learning opportunity for students was an important example of the district’s Learning Commitment in action. Our French program again provided students most relevant, engaging, and active learning experiences in the classroom leading up to the trip and on the ground where learning was fostered and immersed in an authentic setting. It goes without saying students will remember that experience forever and we’re grateful to our teachers for making the experience possible.
Authentic performances have also included athletic programs as the winter sports season has commenced in full. I have recently commented on how the sources of community for students at JJHS are so critically important to their well-being, including the need to belong to something bigger than themselves. That’s why it’s always fun and memorable to see large swaths of the student body on hand supporting their peers; high school sports are fun! Our student-athletes remain focused on excellence in competition and in the classroom. We wish them continued success during the winter athletic season.
With every winter, our eyes turn to the spring and the dual excitement of finishing the year in good standing as well as preparing for next year. As part of preparing for next year, all are asked to remain informed and involved as the district makes critical decisions regarding your child’s education in the form of the yearly budget. As part of this year’s budget process, Superintendent Selesnick has communicated a list of meetings to interact with the community and gain your perspectives and input on matters affecting your child, including school starting times across the district. Please consider joining us in thinking through these issues together during the meeting dates Mr. Selesnick has sent out via email.
As always, the school/home partnership is vital to the education of all students and I’m grateful for the support and partnership received from the John Jay High School community- thank you!
Enjoy the winter and looking forward to seeing and connecting with all of you at school events.
Steven T. Siciliano Ed.D.