The 2020‐2021 school year has officially kicked off for USD 330 Mission Valley. The students and staff are back in the buildings and a new year is finally underway. With all the challenges that will be faced, a new school year offers the opportunity to explore new ideas and philosophies, to create a relationship with someone that will last a lifetime, and to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. 

Please take a moment to think about this‐‐‐‐The Mission Valley graduating class of 2033 started their educational journey this year. Right now their journey is not even a month underway and already they have started learning things and creating memories that they will hold for years to come. Yes, we are and we will face challenges this year that we never have had to face before…..but to the 2020 Kindergarten class they know no difference. For them wearing masks in the school, keeping distance between each other and having to take temperatures each morning at school is common. It is our attitudes and behavior as adults that we portray around them that will influence them as to whether to view the new health and safety guidelines in a positive light or not. 

We need to remember that as adults no matter if it is the school, the community, or in our own homes that our behaviors and actions are constantly molding the minds of our children. Yes, as adults we sometimes do make mistakes and say/do things around children that we sometimes wish we could take back. The key point is to recognize the power of influence that we have and guide them to be informed decision makers based on factual information and from other guiding experiences in their lives. One of my favorite quotes expresses how we as adults play a vital role in influencing our children's lives each day: 

“I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in my environment. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As an adult, I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de‐escalated and a child humanized or de‐humanized.‐‐Haim Ginott

Rather it is in the school, in our communities, our jobs, our state, our country or the world there will continue to be things that frustrate us, that we do not agree with, that is not “fair”, that is a change that does not benefit us, etc….but as adults how we handle and cope with this will be seen, heard and felt by our children. No matter if it is the graduating class of 2021 or 2033 we have a duty, as adults, to all children/students to work together through these challenging times and demonstrate to them appropriate problem solving techniques and how to appropriately express our thoughts and feelings. Learning for students does not start and end inside the halls & classrooms of a school…….learning is an everlasting journey for all of us. VIKING STRONG!!! 

I want to add a special message to THANK all the fantastic staff members who work for Mission Valley. No matter the job title, I am proud to have witnessed people stepping up and stepping forward to make the start of this school year a GREAT one. All summer, staff have been going the extra mile to be prepared for when students arrive by diligently working to complete tasks to prepare the school, by demonstrating creative thinking and team work to find solutions to problems, and by showing the dedication that they have to our entire school district. To the outstanding MV staff‐‐‐‐THANK YOU!!!! 

Have a great September‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐GO VIKINGS William J Clark, Superintendent/Director of Special Services