A Message from Superintendent Ben Richards

September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022

To the TCS Community,

First and foremost, thank you for the warm welcome and hospitality you have shared with me and my family since we have moved to the district.  We have loved getting to know different people and learning about so many of the opportunities present in our community.

It is difficult to believe that we have already been in school for a month.  I am extremely proud of the efforts shown by our staff and students this first month, and I am excited to see their growth and accomplishment in the future.

While we have already been at work to determine areas to grow and improve in the future, two areas stick out as major needs: 1) Increasing our focus on Career and College Readiness; and 2) Providing more professional development opportunities for our staff to better meet the needs of our students.

To that end, I will be asking the Tiffin City Board of Education at the September 26th board meeting to make a slight adjustment to our calendar for this school year. The plan is to provide asynchronous (at home) learning for students on Monday, November 21st and Tuesday, November 22nd (the two days before Thanksgiving Break) in the areas of Career and College Readiness. Students will have the entire break to complete the lessons to meet their attendance requirements.  We will continue to do more work to improve our experiences and opportunities for students in Career and College Readiness moving forward, but this represents our first substantial step. 

Individual buildings will communicate with students and parents about what will be required in the coming weeks.  We have paired these professional development days with an already existing holiday break to give families more opportunity to spend time with loved ones. By providing notification now, it is our hope that families will have enough time to make arrangements to spend more time with friends and family.  We understand that while families often have to make last minute arrangements for weather delays and cancellations that are beyond our control, this is a planned day to improve educational experiences for our staff and students.  As such, although we will not be running transportation on these days, Washington Elementary will be open for parents of K-5 students who need child care on those two days.  Lunch will be provided like regular school days, and they will be supervised by educational aides from Tiffin City Schools.  Parents will be required to register their children in order for us to better staff those two days.

Our staff will be involved in a variety of professional development opportunities, including: mandated tabletop safety training with our local Emergency Management Agency, “Stop the Bleed” training sponsored by the Tiffin Fire/Rescue Division, Student Mental Health 101, Response to Intervention training, Multi-Tiered Support System training, and SPED 101 training.  Additionally, teachers will have time to work in building/grade level/department teams to improve alignment and instructional practices.

I truly appreciate feedback, critical or supportive, as we continue to make TCS the premiere destination in our area for student growth and opportunities.  Please feel free to reach out with questions, concerns, or suggestions about how this could be improved.  My email is ben_richards@tiffincityschools.org .  You can contact me via email, or attend the 9:00 AM Coffee Talk at Bailiwicks on Wednesday, September 21st.  We want to be open and transparent about our needs and goals for this time prior to taking any official action. 

Finally, on Wednesday, September 28th, we have a guest speaker coming to TCHS for all students in grades 6-12.  Mr. Dave Roever is a nationally recognized speaker with a truly inspirational message.  He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War who was not expected to survive the burns that affected over 80% of his body.  While this will be a great experience for students, we also want to show our support to the veterans in our community.  We will host a special event at TCHS at noon on September 28th just for veterans to meet with Mr. Roever.  Afterward, the veterans are encouraged to remain as our VIPs for the presentation with our students.  Any help you can provide us in getting the word out to the appropriate individuals is greatly appreciated.  

Thank you for your time and consideration of both of these items.

Proud to be your Superintendent,

Ben Richards

 

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