News Release: DEDHAM STUDENTS AND STAFF RETURN TO SCHOOLS FOR 2022/23 ACADEMIC YEAR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2022
DEDHAM STUDENTS AND STAFF RETURN TO SCHOOLS FOR 2022/23 ACADEMIC YEAR
DEDHAM, MA - Dedham Public Schools welcomed 2600 students in grades 1-12 back on Wednesday, September 7th for the start of the 2022-23 school year. Dedham’s littlest learners in Kindergarten and Pre-K will be returning over the coming days. As staff returned for an opening day welcome event last Thursday, September 1, they were encouraged to explore ways in which they could each make student learning even more of a priority.
“As an overall district, we need to focus on getting back to doing what we already know how to do well - helping every single one of the students in the Dedham Public Schools reach their maximum potential,” Superintendent Michael Welch said during his welcome remarks. “This means a focus on student learning, and a commitment by every one of us as adults to continuous improvement in our educational practice.”
Welch also renewed a District commitment to continuing work in integrating a more multicultural approach across the District through its ongoing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice efforts. He also recognized several key projects facing the District in the year ahead, including the Oakdale Elementary building project and the search for the next Superintendent, both of which are already moving forward under the direction of the Dedham School Committee.
“After working in 7 different districts and dozens of different schools as a substitute, classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Superintendent, my days of decision-making in Dedham will conclude when I retire at this year’s December holiday break. It is time for someone with new, better ideas and a fresh set of eyes to observe and guide our district forward,” Welch noted.
Students and staff will return this year with new faces in leadership roles, including new Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Matthew Wells and new Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Sara Stetson. Riverdale Elementary students have a new Principal, Dana Bennett, who came into the role after Principal Ed Paris shifted to become the principal of Avery Elementary, and both Dedham High School and Middle School will welcome new Assistant Principals Kelly Cook (DHS), and George Benzie (DMS).
With regards to COVID safety, masking and pooled testing will no longer be required, though students and faculty will still be asked to consent for rapid testing in the nursing offices if symptoms are noted during the school day.
In concluding the staff opening day remarks, Welch encouraged teachers to “Be that person who makes a difference by redirecting and forever altering the trajectory of our students’ lives in a positive direction.”