Superintendent Updates

Picture of Superintendent


Oct. 27, 2023

Dear families,

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to update you on the progress we've made in our school district when it comes to some of our major initiatives like safety and security, social-emotional wellness, and inclusion.

First and foremost, the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. We have implemented numerous measures to ensure that our schools are safe environments where your children can thrive. This includes enhanced security protocols, regular safety drills, and improved communication channels to keep you informed in case of any emergencies. I am proud of the progress our buildings are making to increase the safety at arrival and dismissal. We have improved drop-off and pick-up zones with added layers of staff to welcome students to campus. Our goal is for every student to have four points of contact on their way to class to ensure every child feels connected. Our safety and building teams have completed numerous drills including fire, lockdown, and reunification (read more below). We’re including emergency responders like the Irondequoit Police and St. Paul Fire departments as we can. Having them involved adds extra credibility to the experience, perspective and feedback.

In terms of security, we've invested in updated technology and increased the presence of trained personnel on our campuses like our Youth Assistants across grades 4-12 buildings and roving security for grades K-3. This, along with more secured entrances at all buildings, ensures that our students and staff feel safe in their learning environments.

All schools are taking steps to support student social-emotional wellness. We ground ourselves to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework. We must support our students’ ability to develop a healthy sense of self by developing emotional awareness and the ability to manage, relate and feel in a way that promotes healthy relationships and a confident self. For more information on CASEL, visit their website at Our schools and many classrooms are adding rooms or spaces for students to access when they just need a moment or special “sensory walks” on hallway floors for students. These, along with the classroom lessons being piloted across the district, are some examples of how we are not only teaching the a-b-c’s and 1-2-3’s but all the skills for students to develop into smart, healthy and socially sound adults.

Our commitment to inclusion is unwavering. We continue to work on creating an inclusive and diverse school community where all students are respected, valued, and supported. We have introduced educational programs, training for our staff, and resources to promote a culture of acceptance and understanding. One example is the continued refinement of our Heritage and Identity Months (read more below). This curricular initiative touches all grades to ensure all students are learning about the richness of our diverse culture locally and beyond. These experiences promote discussion aimed at meeting students where they are at to reflect and discuss the essence of what makes them and others who they are.

We understand that these are ongoing efforts, and we are dedicated to continually improving in these areas and many others. Your feedback and input are invaluable in our pursuit of making our schools the best they can be in service of all students finding their personal peak performance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with your thoughts and suggestions.

Thank you for entrusting us with the education and well-being of your children and for working with us through times of joy and stress to ensure every student is safe and loved. Please click here for more district-wide updates.



In partnership,

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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