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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future

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Letter from the Principal: Feb. 19, 2021

Dear Spectrum Families and Friends,

We witnessed the success of incredible human ingenuity, innovation, as well as scientific, engineering, and technological collaboration in the landing of Perseverance on Mars on Thursday. I did not expect to get emotional about it, but learning of a Rockford connection (Forest City Gear) and one of my granddaughter’s new interests in being an astronaut made me a little verklempt.

Congratulations to the Middle School and their VINTAGE INNOVATION of a digital school newspaper. I am simply stunned by what they accomplished their first week, first edition, and am looking forward to what they produce, today and in the future.

Innovation is our theme this year, and at this week’s Board meeting, we continued critical conversations regarding the future sustainability of our school. Given the insane disruptive aspects of COVID to education in general, and Spectrum’s remarkable success in continuing to do what we do in comparison with most schools and districts, we are at a critical time to consider adopting innovative strategic plans for long-term sustainability. Most of you must be aware that tuition is not enough to cover operational costs, and that we do not pay our teachers or staff a fair wage. The state is requiring minimum salaries for certified teachers, and an anticipated teacher shortage is going to make an already difficult job of finding teachers for our school even more difficult. These are challenges on my mind.

From innovative tuition models, to programmatic expansion, to creating a digital platform for external users, to re-thinking classroom organizational structures – or to keep it simple with less change and simply charge families what we cost (ie: more)….we need to consider what we must do as a school to strengthen and sustain Spectrum’s long term future. These are, at times, hard conversations, and I would not want you as parents to feel blindsided. I will be reaching out to families by phone and anticipate that the Board will host community forums as we get closer to solidifying any change in direction or structure. I remain hopeful.

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat

Principal

Spectrum School  

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