August Reunites our FAmily for the First Day of School
Every year, the month of August always keeps us busy as we prepare for the return of our students after summer break. This year, however, it holds a special significance as it is the first time we’ve welcomed ALL of our students back, in-person, full-time, after a long 17 months apart.
I must admit, the first day of school was something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. To see and hear our students laugh and reconnect with friends and teachers in our halls again… it’s a wonderful thing.
But, even now, COVID-19 continues to present us with new challenges. The highly contagious delta variant means that we must continue to strictly follow health and safety protocols to protect all of our Foundation FAmily.
We’ve learned a lot in the past 17 months, and our incredible family of leaders knows that the only way to face these challenges is to face them TOGETHER. In our school buildings, we’re following all of the recommended health protocols, including social distancing, masks, and hand-washing, as well as implementing additional efforts like plexiglass desk shields and barriers. There is an air purifier in every room, and we are working to ensure that all adults in our buildings are vaccinated. We’re also holding free testing and vaccination events for our staff, students, and our students’ family members, too. This way, we are able to make a greater impact on our home city of Trenton, one household at a time.
For me, “commitment” is the word of the year, as two notable individuals – Dr. Randal Pinkett, this year’s all-staff orientation keynote, as well as Dave Griffith, a former Friends of Foundation Academies Board member and long-time FA supporter – have both recently shared relevant thoughts that center on the concept of commitment that I believe apply perfectly to this moment in time.
Now, more than ever, we are committed to our students and to their success. As I see our teachers and staff demonstrate their own fierce commitment to serve our students every day, I am beyond humbled.
While the road ahead may be bumpy at times, I am confident that our FAmily’s commitment to our students, to each other, and to this important work, will be our bridge to success.
Graig Weiss served as the Chief Executive Officer of Foundation Academies from 2014-2022. He began 5 years before as Middle School Principal. A 2003 Teach for America corps member, Mr. Weiss taught Math and Science in the Bronx and the Dominican Republic prior to becoming an administrator and was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007.
Prior to entering the education field, Mr. Weiss worked in the financial services sector with Cambridge Associates, LLC in Boston, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Scranton.