Message from Superintendent of Schools Sandra "Sam" Himmel

Superintendent Sandra "Sam" Himmel

On behalf of the Citrus County School Board and the staff of the Citrus County School District, I want to welcome you back for another exciting school year! August is my favorite month of the year. It represents new beginnings, fresh starts, new relationships, and new opportunities to learn and grow as students and professionals.

Thank you to all our students and families for their patience and understanding as we navigate bus delays and schedule changes for the first few weeks of school. 

I want to take a short moment to welcome our new families to the district. There is no doubt our teachers and staff are the very best in Florida. They have been actively engaged in and taking advantage of various professional development opportunities all summer; attending trainings, reviewing student growth and achievement data, strategic planning, and making plans to engage your students.

Every summer, the administrators and I spend part of our time reflecting on our goals from the past year and setting goals for the “New Year”. As you might expect, those goals are focused on ways to ensure every student in our district feels welcome, supported, and challenged to achieve their potential.

Some things to keep an eye on these first weeks of the new school year:

  • Visit citrusschools.org, for information about policies and forms that need to be signed and returned. These forms are available through our Skyward Family access which can be found by just clicking on the “parents” tab on the top right-hand corner of our homepage.
  • Update your child’s emergency contact information in Skyward. This is something that needs to be done every year as there are additional questions that need to be answered.
  • Make sure students are getting sufficient sleep and good nutrition.
  • Stay involved! We love when parents are active participants in their student’s life.

The school district will continue to invest in other areas that impact student learning as well. The most important – is safety. I’m proud to say that we will continue to have a School Resource Officer and School Guardian in our schools.  In addition to their guardian certification, our guardians also receive well over 150 hours of additional training in tactics, CPR/AED, mental health, and suicide training. This layered security approach in our schools is something we are very proud of.

As we get ready for a new school year, I want to mention the importance of school attendance. Did you know missing 10% of the school year negatively affects a student’s academic performance? That’s just two days per month! Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success – both in school and in life. When you help us make school attendance a priority – you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, and have a better chance of graduating from high school ready to successfully meet all the challenges life may have in store for them!

Our administrators, teachers, and staff will continue to work tirelessly to make our schools a safe place where your child wants to come each day to challenge themselves, socialize, and be successful in the classroom and in their community! We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and caring staff whose focus and priorities are all in the right places – building positive relationships with each student!

On behalf of the incredible team of educators and support staff who serve the children of Citrus County, thank you for putting your faith in us to provide your children with a world-class education. It is an exciting time, and it is my great honor to serve as your Superintendent of Schools.

Citrus Schools is family; there is no better place in which to learn and work. Thank you for your continued support as we strive to do our very best for our community’s children. They deserve it, and we simply cannot do this important work without you.

 

Best wishes for an outstanding school year,

Sandra “Sam” Himmel

Superintendent of Schools