Michael R. Cornell

Mr. Michael R. Cornell
Superintendent of Schools
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As the weeks of August turn into early September, our collective attention at home and here at the Hamburg Schools begins to turn towards the dawn of another school year.  Because it is your children who bring the joy to our work, we look forward to Wednesday, September 6, which is the day that we welcome our students back to school.

As we continue to pursue the imperative of Modern Learning for all students, it makes sense to remind us that we do so within the critical context of understanding the mental, social and emotional wellness of our children.  While establishing the academic building blocks for success after high school is obviously an important part of what we do in school, it was important for me to point out that we also want every student to experience the joy, value and connection that comes from a deep sense of belonging in school.

There is ample research to strongly suggest that when a child feels like she/he feels a sense of belonging at school:

  • Attendance improves
  • Academic outcomes are better
  • Engagement in school activities increases
  • Negative school behaviors, like bullying, decrease
  • Student mental/emotional wellness improves

Creating that sense of belonging at school is a product of the work that our incredible teachers, administrators and support staff do every day.  You will notice this priority in everything from morning circles and fun, interactive learning experiences, to the efforts that our teachers will make to build a positive and productive relationship with your child - all of which are designed to help our students feel true community with their teachers and classmates as a critical part of the school experience.

Creating belonging and community isn’t simply a “feel good” effort.  The benefits of learning in warm and collaborative environments lead to better academic outcomes resulting in excellent college opportunities for our students.  Just as importantly, for students entering the workforce or military after high school, employers and recruiters actively seek to onboard collaborative people because they:

  • Learn from their colleagues more readily
  • Learn from constructive feedback
  • Are able to resolve conflicts more easily
  • Form stronger and more productive relationships with co-workers
  • Are more self-aware and adaptable

Finally, please know that we never lose sight of the fact that everything we do is done in partnership with families at home, and with our entire community.  We are grateful for the trust you place in us to care for your children, and we can’t wait to see them on the first day of school, which is September 6.

- September 2023

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