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A Message from the Superintendent

New England holds a great sense of pride in its history and tradition. This is certainly to be expected, as each of one of us tends to hold onto what we are proud of in our past and what we have come to know.

Yet, there is a time when change must take place, as we all are aware of the pace at which our world is evolving. Technology is shaping our lives like never before. Could we have imagined a driverless car, wireless devices that monitor and manage our home, and a watch that is a small computer? These are only a few of the innovations that will be reflected in all of our futures, but particularly for our youth, as we are to prepare our students for jobs that currently do not exist and that we cannot predict. This alone is a primary reason why our schools must adapt to changing practices.

In the past, students who struggled academically were slated as likely to not attend a post-secondary institute and were usually relegated to blue-collar or manual labor jobs. Now, we expect every student to be prepared for some type of post-secondary opportunity. In the past, it was acceptable to give a student a failing grade for a task not done well. Now, we do not accept failing. Instead, it is up to us, as educators, to work with each student to ensure that we provide every opportunity for the student to learn and experience success.

As all of our schools in Region One hold School/Community Partnership meetings this year, one of the important activities will be to engage our parents and community members in a discussion around “the portrait of a graduate”. The question will be: “What are the primary attributes or competencies we want every student to possess?” followed by, “What can we do, in our school and in our communities, to see that we achieve this?” It is important for us to hear from stakeholders on this topic, so that we have a shared vision regarding the skills that students need to be successful in work, citizenship, and life.

In our schools today, we expect that students will master rigorous academic expectations and develop mindsets, skills and habits correlated with long-term success. We expect that students will have ownership of their learning and be motivated to succeed. We want their learning experiences to be tailored to their individual needs, skills and interests. We want them to set short and long-term learning goals and, with help from us as educators, create plans for how they will reach these. We must use time, pace, instructional methods, and experiences to help students integrate what they are learning and connect this to their interests and potential career paths.

Schools today must be different types of learning places, through a variety of opportunities for students and the expectation that every student achieves proficiency or beyond. Traditional practices may have worked well twenty years ago, but some may need to be set aside to make room for what students need today. Change can be good. In fact, in today’s world, it’s absolutely vital to prepare our students for what lies ahead.

We welcome all parents and community members to attend the School/Community Partnership meetings being held in each school district, both in the fall or winter and again in the spring. Please contact your school’s principal to find out dates and times. The questions and feedback we hear will help everyone, as we determine the positive changes we need to make guide the work of students, teachers, and schools. 


Dr. Pam Vogel

Region One Superintendent


In order for us to prepare each child for what comes next, we must align vision, expectation, and practice among all stakeholders.”                                         – Region 1 Board of Education