August 21, 2023
Dear Members of the Wellesley Public Schools Community:
I hope you are enjoying the remaining days of summer and that these past few months have been restful and restorative for you and your families. We look forward to welcoming our students, staff, and families back for the start of the 2023-24 school year, which will begin on Wednesday, August 30th.
We have a busy calendar in store for our district in the coming year! If you have driven by either the Hardy or Hunnewell School sites in recent months, you have seen the incredible progress of these projects following our ground breaking at both locations last year. We plan to move into the new Hunnewell School in February 2024 and the new Hardy School prior to opening day in August 2024. (Can you believe that the current Hardy School will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this fall? Amazing!). We remain grateful for the generous financial support of our community in making these substantial investments in the future of public education in Wellesley. This year also marks the final year of the Upham School, which has served our students so well since 1957. We will mark this moment in June and acknowledge this exceptional school community. Upon the conclusion of the building projects, we will move forward with our elementary redistricting plan, which will take effect beginning in SY 2024-25.
In the coming year, we will also finalize the district’s new strategic plan. This past June, the School Committee approved the overall framework of the plan. In September, we plan to bring forward a more detailed version of this document for School Committee approval, which will frame our collective work over the next five years.
Of course, the heart of our work is the teaching and learning that occurs in classrooms each day. To this end, we will continue to chart a course guided by our commitments to equity and excellence for all students. Following the pandemic, we continue to see signs of strong academic recovery for our students. Slower to recover, however, has been our students’ social and emotional health and well-being, which has been deeply impacted during the past few years. Our social and emotional learning (SEL) work remains vital in providing students with the necessary skills to attend to their individual health and well-being, and to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
You may have seen the exciting news that with the final approval of the state budget for the coming year, Massachusetts has now become the eighth state in the country to permanently provide free school lunches to students in public schools. We have posted the latest information about school lunches on the WPS website.
As the summer begins to wind down, this is a great time to begin phasing in good habits to start the school year around sleep schedules, nutrition, and overall organization. If you haven’t already, please be sure to update your family information in the PowerSchool Portal, including your contact and emergency information, as well as provide the necessary permissions for the upcoming year. Homeroom information for Grades K-8 is available after families have completed their updates in PowerSchool. Grade 9-12 schedules will be available on August 23 after 3 p.m.
On behalf of the incredible team of educators and staff who serve the students of the Wellesley Public Schools, thank you for putting your faith in us to provide your children with a world-class education. We look forward to partnering with you throughout the school year to ensure the success of all of our students. Let’s have a great year WPS!
Dr. David Lussier
Superintendent of Schools