Superintendent of Schools
Mr. Matthew J. Link
Dear Northern Lehigh Families and Community Members,
I hope your summer has offered you an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. I am very excited about the return of our students and staff for the 2019-2020 school year; they will find our buildings and grounds in great shape! All of our buildings have had upgrades, whether they are aesthetic, mechanical, or total renovations. The greatest transformation has been at our high school with a total redesign of our science wing, including the addition of two new classrooms. We are very pleased that this transformed teaching and learning environment will be ready for our students on the first day of school.
At the end of last school year, we were sad to see nine employees retire. We wish them all well in the future, and encourage them to stay involved in the Northern Lehigh community. We have been extremely busy over the summer filling any vacant faculty, support staff, and administrative positions in the district. I am happy to say that the screenings and multi-tiered system of interviews resulted in outstanding candidates, and due to the high quality of the individuals, our decision to narrow it down to one for each position was no easy task. Thank you to our staff members that gave their time to be part of the interview process.
In the areas of teaching and learning, we will focus on supporting the goals of our recently approved Comprehensive Plan which began on July 1st. We will have a focus on Multi-Tiered System of Supports for academics, behavior, and mental health. Our administrative team began professional development in these areas in June. Targeted and purposeful professional development will be provided in these areas and others throughout the year. We will extend our one-to-one device model into the high-school. All high-school students will be issued a laptop which they will have the option to take home with them each night through the school year. Again this year, our middle school students will have the same opportunity with Chromebooks.
We continue to move forward reviewing plans and taking action to reduce potential threats and risks to our students, staff, and guests to our buildings. We will continue with the Safe2Say Something anonymous tip-line for students and the community to report any potential safety concerns to a team within the district. We have completed a district-wide vulnerability assessment and have already begun implementing recommendations from the extensive report. One example of this is the roll-out of the ALICE response training to any sort of armed intruder. Knowing that we must also be pro-active in making students feel safe, secure, and supported in our schools, we will introduce all of our staff to the Trauma Informed Schools model of supporting students and each other. Last school year we partnered with a local provider, Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center, to deliver mental health services directly to our students in the school setting. That service will continue again this year with an additional therapist added to the team.
As we start the new school year, I have asked our faculty and staff to greet students and each other with the enthusiasm and a dedication to helping our students and each other succeed. What better way to let our students know how much we care about them and welcome them back to their home away from home! What better way to let each other know that we are family!
I look forward to a great school year and encourage you to get involved with your child’s education and the Northern Lehigh community!
Matthew J. Link