Welcome Message from Todd C. Flora, Ed.S., Superintendent

December 16, 2019

Dear Colorado River Union High School District Staff, Students, and Parents:

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our CRUHSD employees, students, community members and their families, a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and Happy New Year!!

It is my hope that everyone enjoys the extended time off and gets to spend time doing the things they enjoy doing most. I will be spending time with my relatives doing things that have been family traditions for many years.  One might even include a polar bear plunge in the ocean!

During my first six months as superintendent and throughout this first semester, I have listened, observed, engaged, and learned from the CRUHSD community and stakeholders. This is truly a generous area filled with philanthropic people who come together to do great things for our students. I wish to take a moment to thank all of you and to know that it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  

For me, taking time to meet you and to listen and learn was an important first step to move forward and into the new year. 

When we return and resume the second semester on January 6, I will be meeting with our administrative and instructional staff at 1:30 p.m.  We will continue to send reminder messages that all three high schools will be dismissed at 1:00 p.m. that day.

We will begin implementing a new approach to our instructional strategy. I will also be asking our parents and our community to play an integral part in this new implementation plan. I am asking for everyone’s help as we move forward.  Think of it as a gift you can give to our students!  

The classroom is but a small space in which teaching and learning takes place during a very brief period of time. My conversation with the teachers will be to challenge students to be more accountable for their learning experience and find lessons that apply to their everyday lives. They need to begin making connections to what they are learning in the classroom to the real world each week during the three days they are not in school to augment the four that they are! 

Students do not spend a lot of their time in classrooms.  The world in which they engage each and every day outside of school is the best classroom environment ever imagined -- one that is rich with teachable moments and ripe with opportunities ready for them to apply their skills and knowledge.    

Each Thursday, I will be asking every teacher to make sure that the students have a written assignment challenging them to find examples explaining how what they are learning in class applies to them in the world in which they live for every subject they are taking in school. 

I am asking parents, family members or co-workers, to speak with, and engage in, dialogues with the students they come in contact with at home and at work. I would like everyone to be asking students what they are learning, and how they’re applying these concepts outside of school when each and every moment applies to what they are learning. My hope is that this larger conversation resonates throughout the entire community. I'm looking for an educational buzz!!!

Teachers need to have their students learning all the time. More importantly, the entire community needs to assist in showing students that education doesn’t stop outside the classroom, and to always be thinking about what and how they are learning. 

That way, when they return to school each Monday with a brief well-written essay, they can all share their life learning experiences with each other.  Teachers can apply it to the coming week's lessons and connect it to the previous week's lessons, as they prepare and approach yet another weekend and another opportunity for learning outside the classroom. 

It is my hope that in 2020 we make the entire community an educational classroom that is always open 24/7.  No matter where our students go, at home, at work or in extra-curricular activities, they will be challenged to think about life skills, and begin to explore their own creativity, all while finding out what it is that they want to do, perhaps even sharing a little more about who they are with others in our community. We need to all be learning together. 

The students know how I feel about them having a voice, and how I am always saying that the more I learn the more I realize how little I know. Many of them are catching the learning bug! And once they get it, they will truly love to learn.  

These learning connections will help our students grow academically.  They will also foster social and emotional growth as they find outlets to express themselves, have their concerns listened to, become more receptive to new ideas, and help develop solutions.  This also involves learning how to reach consensus, all while interacting with real people in real time. 

As we enter this twentieth year of the new millennium, may the New Year bring health and happiness to everyone, and may our greater community embrace how important this collaborative effort truly is in 2020. 

Once again, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with great times together with family and friends, and most of all a healthy and happy New Year!!    

Sincerely, 

Todd C. Flora, Ed.S. 
Superintendent,
Colorado River Union High School District


Todd C. Flora