Meet the Superintendent
From Your Superintendent…
I’d like to welcome all of our students, teachers, and staff for the start of the 2022-23 school year.
Summer break was a very busy time across Pocono Mountain School District (PMSD) as our support supervisors and their teams had important school and campus improvement projects to complete. Our maintenance staff completed many necessary capital improvement and maintenance projects. Our custodial staff worked hard to strip and polish the many hallways and classroom floors at each school, and clean and rearrange classrooms. Our grounds team completed a number of projects while also maintaining the fields and grounds around our schools to prepare for the upcoming fall sports season, and relining parking lots. Everyone, from administrative assistants to principals, did their part to make the start of the 2022-23 school year the best start possible for all of our students, teachers and staff.
School Meals: With the cost of food increasing at local grocery stores, I wanted to reassure parents that the student breakfast and lunch prices are not increasing this school year. However, we do need parents to complete the USDA Free and Reduced Meal application this school year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) canceled the program that allowed schools during the COVID-19 pandemic to automatically provide free meals to all students. With the start of the new school year, students who are not approved for free or reduced meals will have to pay for their meals. The link to the application to apply for Free or Reduced student meals is available on the district website through the School Café.
Last school year, Chartwells Food Services experienced some difficulties getting certain food items due to nation-wide food supply issues. Some of those supply issues may continue this school year for our schools and schools across the nation. Chartwells submitted its food order for our upcoming school year in June to try to prevent any shortages and has been working throughout the summer to reduce the impact of any possible food supply issues on our school lunch program. Food supply issues can impact the variety of entrees available for the daily lunches served at our school cafeterias and force Chartwells to make last-minute changes to lunch menus to ensure menu items still meet USDA nutritional guidelines for school lunches.
School Safety: We continued to evaluate and assess our school safety measures and procedures throughout the summer and will continue that process throughout the school year. We have made some changes to our school safety procedures for the start of school based on information contained in preliminary reports on the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. While I cannot discuss in detail the specific school safety measures we have in place or the changes we are implementing, I want our parents to know that we never take school safety for granted. It is my expectation that every administrator, teacher, support staff member, and contracted employee in Pocono Mountain School District will remain vigilant every single day regarding school safety. Our employees should remain fully engaged and committed to closely following all school safety procedures and practices at our schools. We also need students and parents to remain vigilant about school safety. It takes the commitment and awareness of our entire school community to keep our students and schools safe.
As I’ve mentioned many times in my communication with students and parents, you are the district’s eyes and ears in our communities when it comes to school safety. The importance of the role parents and students have in school safety is supported by a report produced by the U.S. Secret Service on “Averting Targeted School Violence – A U.S. Secret Service Analysis of Plots Against Schools,” where the Secret Service analyzed 67 averted school attack plots. The report states, “there are almost always intervention points available before a student’s behavior escalates to violence.” The report further states, “Students are best positioned to identify and report concerning behavior displayed by their classmates,” and “The role of parents and families in recognizing concerning behaviors is critical to prevention.”
If you see or hear something that seems like it could be a concern or a threat against one of our schools, a student or one of our employees, please report your concern immediately to our administrators, to the police or through the Safe2Say Something anonymous reporting system, which is available through an App or through the link on the district website.
Student Involvement: I also want to stress again the importance of students getting involvement in their schools. PMSD offers many opportunities and activities to excite and challenge students; help students grow and expand their interests; help students feel more connected and supported by their school and peers; and help students learn more about what they personally enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. Included in the back-to-school issue of the PMSD Connection was a list of co-curricular and athletic opportunities available to students throughout the district and a list of the clubs and activities that were available in our school last school year.
Some of the clubs and activities offered at our schools this school year may change based upon student and school interests, so please look for flyers, announcements and ParentLink calls regarding sign-up dates for school-based clubs and activities, and co-curricular and athletic opportunities. I encourage parents to talk to their children about getting involved in school activities. This includes our PMSD Cyber Program students who can participate in PMSD after-school activities or hybrid programs where they attend some classes in school.
I guarantee the relationships and connectedness students form through after-school activities will be invaluable to their social and emotional development and wellbeing throughout their school years in Pocono Mountain.
Welcome back for the 2022-23 school year. Let’s make this a great year for our students.Dr. Elizabeth RobisonSuperintendent of Schools
“The Pocono Mountain School District shall post the mutually agreed upon objective performance standards on the District website and shall also annually post the date of the District Superintendent’s annual performance assessment and whether or not the District Superintendent met the agreed upon objective performance standards.”
Below are the agreed upon objective performance standards used as a basis for assessing the performance of Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Robison in the areas of Student Growth and Achievement: Organizational Leadership; District Operations and Financial Management; Communication and Community Relations. This evaluation tool was agreed upon by the Pocono Mountain School District and Dr. Elizabeth Robison.