Update from the Superintendent - March 9, 2023

Going back to the founding of our nation in the 1770s and 1780s, Americans have always placed a special premium on citizenship and its intrinsic ability to further our democratic way of life. In fact, the earliest publicly-funded school in Boston originated from a desire to promote citizenry. Today, not surprisingly, citizenship remains one of the core attributes of public education and its promises for the next generation of Americans. MSAD 51's vision includes language that strives to teach students about the importance of "communicating with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers."

Much has been written about the so-called '21st Century Skills' and their importance in preparing young people for their future in this world we all share. Though each of these identified skills is considered critical unto itself, the

one that I believe holds special significance is citizenship. Without a foundation for healthy citizenship, the other skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication are of little value. Specifically, a responsible and involved citizen is one who:

  • unity
  • Accepts responsibility for personal decisions and actions

  • Demonstrates ethical behavior and the moral courage to sustain it

  • Understands and respects diversity

  • Displays global awareness and economic and civic literacy

  • Demonstrates awareness of personal and community health and wellness

The world that our children will inherit will become increasingly interconnected and, with it, our need to expand our notion of citizenship. Our schools are critical players in helping students understand their responsibilities as citizens in the 21st Century.

Jeff Porter