By Dr. Brian J. Blake
Superintendent of Schools
---- — KINGSTON —Greetings. I hope you are enjoying the summer, although it started off a bit soggy. As I write this, we are in the second week of a “heatwave”... Welcome to New England weather. Although schools are not “in session”, the school district continues to be abuzz with activity.
Our teachers continue to be busy, participating in a variety of professional development activities and summits in order to sharpen their skills and prepare for next year. Over half of our teachers participated in workshops after the school year ended, with many more staff members scheduled to participate in workshops and summits in August. We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff eager to improve their craft.
During the month of July, we have over 200 students participating in a variety of summer programming. We are currently offering academic camps, enrichment activities, and extended school year programming for our students with special needs. All of the programs are supported by approximately thirty full and part time staff members. This year, as in years past, the programs are being run out of the Sanborn Regional High School. The facilities staff worked at the end of June to ensure that furniture was moved from other schools to accommodate the various age levels of the students.
Speaking of our facilities staff, this is perhaps the busiest time of the year for our facilities department. Each summer, every room in every school building is cleaned top to bottom. The finishing touch is fresh wax on the floors that have been stripped.... 6 or 7 coats to be exact. The heat and humidity pose significant challenges, especially since teachers want to get back into their classrooms in August. In addition to the cleaning and floor waxing, classrooms and hallways receive fresh paint as necessary to maintain a clean, new look. Visitors to our schools constantly remind us of how beautiful our schools are, despite the age of some of our facilities.
We also continue to work on upgrades and improvements to our systems. Some of our projects this summer include the cabling necessary to have wireless access throughout all of our school buildings, replacing an area of roofing at middle school, replacing flooring in the Memorial and Middle School restrooms, renovations at Chase field house, and starting the installation of heat pumps as part of an energy efficiency upgrade.
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