Letter to Community from New Superintendent Dr. Bret Apthorpe – First Day at Jamestown Schools Today!

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year. My name is Bret Apthorpe and I am the new Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent. I have deep personal and professional roots in Chautauqua County, making this an especially exciting place to be. I am eager to partner with our community to provide Jamestown’s children with a world-class education.

I have three very strong beliefs that will influence my leadership.

1.    I believe all children can learn and be successful.

It is a biological reality that every student can learn. Some students need different forms of instruction; some need more or less time; but every student can learn. We need to work together to set high expectations while also adjusting our instructional strategies until every child is successful.

2. Jamestown schools are your schools and we need your involvement.

Your involvement with our children’s education is absolutely critical to their success. As family members, it can be reading with your child; keeping video/computer time to a healthy minimum; volunteering in the classroom; attending school functions or partnering with your child’s teacher. There are also many opportunities for members of the community to share their time and talent with our children, including: Chautauqua Striders mentoring and tutoring program, Lutheran Foster Grandparent Program, Jamestown after school programming and Junior Achievement. Our schools have strong PTAs. You can help them become stronger by joining. With the assistance of parents, families and community, PTAs can become even more effective in helping our students to succeed.Every Jamestown school also has a Shared Decision-Making (SDM) team, which discusses, analyzes, and plans intentionally in order to set a path for school improvement. Each school also has a FaCE (Family & Community Engagement) committee to work on helping families and community members better understand how they can help students succeed. SDM & FaCE teams have parent and community representatives. If you are interested in becoming a member of one of these teams, please call your neighborhood school’s main office to speak with the principal.

3. Our children’s involvement in the arts, athletics and/or clubs will provide valuable lifelong skills.

Resiliency may be the most important character trait that students acquire in school that helps them be successful in any endeavor later in life. Student involvement in the arts, athletics, and/or clubs often helps students acquire this trait. Equally as important, student involvement in these activities connects them emotionally to the school and a positive, healthy peer group. There are many opportunities for the community to support our children’s extracurricular involvement in action such as: athletic events, music concerts and a district art show in May, which are all open to the community. The best way to find out about these events is to visit our website  or JPS District Facebook (@JamestownPublicSchools) or Twitter pages (@JamestownSchool).

Every one of our schools also gives back to our local community through fundraising efforts, including last year’s Jamestown High School’s Battle of the Classes and Penny Wars. Over the past 30 years, the Battle of the Classes has raised over $250,000 for local charities. We believe an important part of every child’s learning experience lies in understanding the importance of giving back to the very community that has helped them succeed.

2017-18 will be a banner year for Jamestown students, their families and the local community.  Together, we will work to ensure that all children learn and that all children will be successful.

posted on 09/01/2017 - filed under: Community, Elementary School, JHS, Middle School, Spotlight, Superintendent