Dear Community Members,
The last few years have provided our community with some difficult challenges. The economic problems of our region have affected all of us. Schools and municipalities continue to struggle to provide top quality services while seeing reductions in revenue. While reducing five percent of our overall expenditures, Birmingham Public Schools balanced our budget and maintained an outstanding array of academic and extra-curricular programming. The recent news from the federal government, regarding additional funding for schools, only provides a temporary reprieve to the ongoing structural deficit we face.
Our students must be prepared to compete in a global society that is rapidly evolving. This provides educators with an interesting challenge: how do we retain the things students need for a solid academic foundation while stretching them to think and act globally? It takes much more than the basics in math, science and language arts. In addition to the basic skills, students need to be creative thinkers, strong problem solvers and flexible workers. Our curriculum must be delivered in a manner that engages the learner and promotes self-direction.
Preparing students for a career is not enough. We must also join with the family to prepare our students to be global citizens. Our character education program enables our students to explore their relationship with others through stressing honesty and integrity, responsibility and accountability, respect and kindness and a positive attitude. Our commitment to diversity continues to be a critical component in all we do and our students, staff and community benefit from our growing diversity. We are working hard to prepare our students to be caring, socially responsible adults who will be key leaders who embody the characteristics our character education program and our diversity focus emphasize.
I appreciate your time and encourage you to stay aware of school issues that affect our community. Several years ago, we used the motto “strong schools = strong communities”. That motto is as true today as it was then. We rely on one another for our strength and our future. It is what makes this the incredible community that it is. Thank you.
David F. Larson, Ed.D