It is truly an honor and a privilege for me to open the 2023-2024 school year as your Superintendent. This year will mark my 34th year in education and my 16th year as the Superintendent of Schools for Astoria School District. I am anticipating this school year with added excitement - this is a great time to be a part of ASD.
As we prepare for the beginning of the year, I want to appreciate our community and all the support our school system has received over the past few years. The unique partnership we share with our community is integral to the success of our students.
This year, we are returning to school in newly updated buildings, classrooms, and workspaces thanks to the Astoria community’s passing of the 2018 school bond. This year will be our first full school year in our new and updated facilities. Our school community is thankful for the modern, safe, and secure spaces where staff and students can teach and learn every day.
We are excited to announce that Astoria School District has a new and improved district website. The new district website focuses on quick, helpful, updated, and accessible school district information. The Astoria School District website can be found at: https://astoria.k12.or.us/
The Astoria School District, along with the Astoria School Board, recently completed a year-long comprehensive strategic planning process with the help of parents, staff, students, and community members. The new strategic plan will help to guide our work and decision-making through the next 3-5 years. The strategic plan consists of three priorities:
Instructional Development and Engagement - The District will strengthen instructional learning outcomes that will lead to student success;
Workforce - The District will hire, support, develop, and retain diverse and student-centered staff instructional development and engagement; and
Relationship Building - The District will advance and nurture a welcoming and inclusive learning community where every individual feels safe, valued, and connected.
Another one of our goals this year is to ensure that every student attends school regularly. Chronic absenteeism negatively impacts learning to such a degree that we recognize it as a top priority. Last year, 36% of students in the Astoria School District were chronically absent, meaning that 36% of all students missed more than 10% (17 days) of school during the year. When students are absent, they miss critical learning and time that helps them master their academic material. Students cannot benefit from their education if they miss the opportunity to learn and grow with their classmates.
For this school year, the District has prioritized parent communication and student support around attendance. The schools will communicate with families regularly regarding their student’s attendance. Parents are encouraged to contact school staff if they need support to help get their children to school regularly.
Together, we can make a difference by helping students and families understand that attending school every day is critical to their academic success.
In closing, I want to highlight our exceptional team of school staff members. I cannot adequately express how fortunate I feel to be a part of such an excellent school district.
Thank you, Astoria School District staff, for your dedication to our district, our community, and the students and families we serve.
I wish everyone a great first day and a productive school year.
Craig Hoppes, Superintendent
Astoria School District