The importance of the last 9 weeks
Posted on 03/20/2023
Mondays with Maria Banner



Nancy Alvarez: Hi everyone, I'm Nancy Alvarez and we are back with our Superintendent for Monday's with Maria.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hi everyone. I'm Maria Vazquez.

Nancy Alvarez: Well, I cannot believe I am saying this, but the school year is in its final nine weeks. How are we here already? The last quarter. And you have an important message for students, staff, and parents as well.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes. It's so important to stress that even though the end of the school year is in sight, we have to stay strong. We need to ensure that we are coming to school, that we are paying attention, that if we have questions, we are able to ask them if we need help, that we ask for support so that we don't make poor choices. And the school year ends on a negative note instead of a positive note. It's been a great year so far, and that's how we want to end.

Nancy Alvarez: With the final nine weeks comes a lot of end of year testing. It's a stressful time. Is there some important information to share about end of course, exams or the required state testing?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I know there's so much pressure on our teachers, and especially our children at this time when we begin these high stakes tests. And what I want them to know is that they've got this, you have studied, you have been paying attention, you have done your part. We know that you are going to do very well. We believe in you. I need for you to believe in yourself, and we trust that it's going to be a pleasant experience and that you're going to do a great job on the test.

Nancy Alvarez: Great message. And, you know, students start getting a little more restless in the final stretch. It's been a long year, and I know you have had some thoughtful conversations around discipline.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yes. The discipline has definitely been a topic of conversation all year, and it's so hard to see a student who has had a great year and then makes one choice a bad choice, which then can have a tremendous impact on them. We really want our students to think about their actions and the consequences of those actions so that they don't end up in a situation where they regret their actions. So students, if they have any type of concerns, if they have questions about things that they're uncertain about, reach out to an adult. We want everyone to finish the school year in our schools.

Nancy Alvarez: And we hope that any parents that hear you, you know, with that message, they repeat it at home and they reinforce that. So the end of the school year also brings a lot of celebrations, right, Prom, graduation for our seniors. We mentioned earlier this year that graduation dates have been published and are on OCPS.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: They are. And Nancy, I love graduations. You know, you're walking in and the energy, the children in their caps and gowns, it's phenomenal. Schools have also sent out reminders. We also have it prominently posted on our website so they can check the specific dates. And I know that our families are looking forward to that graduation as well as our students and our teachers.

Nancy Alvarez: Well, next week Jamie will be back and you do have some important information to share since we last spoke about your first 100 days. So can you give us a little hint, a little preview?

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hard to believe, right? A hundred days have gone by. The conversations have been phenomenal and the themes that have come out have really, helped me and the team plan on what our next steps are going to be so that we are supporting our schools, administrators, teachers, and students. So I look forward to sharing what our next steps are. Soon. Before we go, I want to mention that our Top Talent live 2023 event is coming up and student star finalists will be announced this week. The show airs Saturday, April 29th. You don't want to miss it. That's Saturday, April 29th.

Nancy Alvarez: So much talent in our school district.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I know.

Nancy Alvarez: It's really showcased in a big way. It's great. It's going to be awesome. All right. Stay tuned for another Monday's with Maria. Bye everyone. We'll see you soon.