Dear Fairfield Area Community:
The 2022-2023 school year marks my 25th year in public education in Pennsylvania. Much has changed in public education during this time, yet much remains the same. During my tenure as an itinerant emotional support teacher, I experienced several professional challenges, changes, and opportunities: students; colleagues; and building-level leadership. Through perseverance, continual learning, commitment and determination, my students and I continued to make progress. I expect the same for Fairfield Area School District in 2022-2023.
So much has changed in education since that first in-service day in 1998. I started my career in a converted closet that housed the building’s wireless servers! The room was large enough to fit two teachers’ desks, a bookshelf, a desktop computer, and a kidney-shaped table for small group instruction. I wrote on a chalkboard and used the district-issued laptop computer mostly for paperwork. The students used the chalkboard in moderation and utilized the classroom desktop computer mostly as a reward for positive behavior. Today's classroom teachers in FASD have iBoards, Chromebooks, and other electronic devices at their fingertips to facilitate engaging and content-rich instruction.
Have you ever wondered what jobs will exist in 2033? 2040? 2050? As educators, our focus is to prepare students for the present (the world we know today) as well as the future (the world they will work in). It is imperative that we provide our students with the skills and abilities necessary to be productive and responsible citizens in the 21st century. Technology is a tool that assists teachers in facilitating instruction that supports the skills most often associated with 21st century learning: critical thinking; creativity; communication and collaboration. These skills are necessary for our students to be career and college ready upon earning their high school diploma from FASD. We must equip our students with these skills due to the rapidly changing, evolving, competitive world of work, technical school or college that awaits them.
I believe the district, as well as the Fairfield Area community, has tremendous pride in the past. FASD has produced highly productive graduates who have grown into remarkable and highly industrious citizens. However, for the benefit of our current and future students, we are not able to rest on the successes of our past … we need and expect our educators to continue the tradition of preparing students for their future in the 21st century; a future filled with challenges and ample opportunities.
I ask you to support our students, staff, and Board of School Directors in our unified vision of “engaging, educating, and empowering all students to reach their maximum potential to be productive, responsible citizens in a globalized society.”
Thomas J. Haupt
Superintendent of Schools