January 25, 2022Dear Valued Community Members
Kirk Miller, Executive Director School Administrators of Montana, penned a letter to all Montanans in September 2021 to consider the value of their public schools in their communities. In his letter he asks Montanans to contemplate what their communities would look like without their public schools in their communities. In his letter he asks Montanans to contemplate what their communities would look like without their public schools to serve as a safe place for the education of their children, the community center for social and community gatherings, and the pride of supporting their kids as they participate in their academic, co-curricular, extra-curricular, arts and athletic activities. These are the values of all Montanans. Mr. Miller requested that Montanans reflect on the value of their schools in their communities, not just individually, but also for the common good. I have reflected a lot on that letter over the course of this school year. The success of our schools, Manhattan Public Schools, Amsterdam School, and Manhattan Christian School, is vital to the health and economic viability of our communities. Our students, collectively, are the lifeblood of the Manhattan, Amsterdam and Churchill communities. We are all in this together, public schools and non-public schools.
The core values of Manhattan Public Schools are respect, integrity, community, work ethic, and citizenship. We value respect for others at all times. We believe that respecting others’ individuality and accepting the unique attributes of everyone is vital to our success. We believe in being kind to everyone, even those in which we may disagree. Manhattan Public Schools values integrity. We believe that honesty is the best policy. We believe that having a strong work ethic, showing respect and professionalism towards others, even in situations where there are strong differences of opinion, values or views, is critical to our success. We value the sense of family and community. We believe everyone needs to work together for a common goal through compromise, transparency and openness. We value self-discipline and we promote the benefits and fulfilment of achieving individual goals. We also believe that in order to be successful, it is vital that we work as a team for the betterment of our students, staff, the community and society in general. We believe in the importance of citizenship. We also believe that the value of serving others builds trust and resourcefulness in the community. These are the core values that we hold dear. This is the Manhattan way
While we all have core values that are unique to our individual schools, I can say with confidence that all of our schools are safe, healthy places for our children to engage in their education. Our schools are a major driver of the economic viability of the Manhattan, Amsterdam and Churchill communities. Our schools are the largest employers in the greater Manhattan area. The employment of our neighbors who serve as educators, support staff, bus drivers, school food service, paraprofessionals, custodians are all working together to meet the educational needs of the children in our community. The collective economic impact of our schools and all of those who work in the schools is significant for the economic health of our community. Our schools are the heart of our communities - the place where not only our students engage in learning, but our towns gather, socialize and work together to create a wonderful life for our children and ourselves. The doors to our schools are open not only to our students and staff during the school day, but to the greater community until late into most evenings. Our schools and pride for the community largely revolves around how all of us rise up to support our children and their growth and development through supporting their successes in academics, the arts, activities and athletics, providing an environment that promotes student success in education and in life. Thank you for supporting our schools.
Brian K. Ayers