Happy first day of school, and welcome back! I hope you’re as excited as I am to start the 2019–20 school year. This is a great time to be a student in a New York City public school. So many of our students and schools are doing better than ever. We have the highest-ever graduation rate, and more students graduating ready to succeed in college. And I expect more great things for our students this year.
From our youngest learners to our oldest in high school, our children are the next generation of thinkers, leaders, creators, and change-makers. We are ready to propel each of them on that path. Our commitment holds steady regardless of a student’s family income, race, religion, nationality, disability, language spoken at home, sexual orientation, gender identification, or any other dimension of their identity. Everyone at the DOE is working hard to ensure that every student gets the rigorous, inspiring, engaging, nurturing education they deserve.
I call this the Children’s Agenda—every day and every decision is about getting each student what THEY need to succeed. We understand that no two students, classrooms, or schools are alike, and recognize the beautiful and distinctive nature of each. At the same time, we are offering our students and families strong support, creating more welcoming schools, and ensuring a rigorous curriculum for all. Students across the city will benefit from social-emotional learning, restorative justice practices, and culturally responsive curriculum that reflects who they are. This is what it means to advance equity now. All of us at the DOE hope you love what you see today, and wish you a successful school year.