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As you may have already heard, after long and careful consideration, my partner and I have decided to move in together, and I have relocated to Buffalo, NY. Towards the end of the school year, I thought I might be able to commute. Still, ultimately, I believe WOIS deserves a leader who lives in this community, especially when we are reengaging families and students after the last few years. Therefore, I was offered a job in East Aurora School District at Parkdale Elementary School and accepted.
I am happy to say, that Kwame Donko-Hanson, former WOIS High School Assistant Principal, will rejoin our crew as the newly appointed Principal. My last day will be August 4th, and Mr. Donko-Hanson will officially start on August 16th. While I have some vacation and time off planned, I want to assure you Principal Donko-Hanson and I are already working on a smooth transition. In addition, the Assistant Principals and I have been steadily working on a summer to-do list to make sure the school has time to plan for a smooth opening. The School-Based Planning Team (SBPT) has also had several summer meetings.
In another announcement, Mrs. Nyree Wims-Hall has been placed at World of Inquiry by the RCSD as a new Assistant Principal. She is replacing Ms. Adrienne Steflik, who accepted the Assistant role at School #12. Stay tuned to hear from Ms. Wims-Hall directly as she is recently returning from vacation and a conference.
SBPT met yesterday to review feedback from the uniform reevaluation committee and to discuss survey information gathered thus far. Based on low survey results, the committee did not feel that it would be appropriate at this time to rush into a revised or 'reinforced' dress code that would need to be established and communicated within the next few days with little/no student input. Instead, the SBPT felt it was essential to use this year to engage students and families in an open dialogue on a fair and equitable approach to dress code in the future. End of the day, this team felt it was critical to get kids back into the building and reengaged. There will be more information regarding the RCSD dress code from this crew.
Please be on the lookout for our summer mailing which will go out the first part of August. See our website under “Announcements” for Supply Lists, Secondary Summer Reading Assignments, Elementary suggested reading, athletic information and uniform updates.
I want to express my sincere gratitude for a memorable, supportive, and rewarding experience at World of Inquiry. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you during this unusual time. So much transition has happened over the past few years. As a graduate of the RCSD, I passionately believe the critical equity work must continue. I have worked with some of the most courageous, intelligent, talented, hardworking, supportive, dedicated students, staff, and families and learned so much along the way. Expeditionary Learning Model will undoubtedly influence my future practice, and so will my work at World of Inquiry. Thank you all for demonstrating tenacity throughout these unique and unusual past two years. It has been a privilege to serve the students, staff, and families of the Rochester City School District and an honor to work at World of Inquiry. Words will never express appreciation for the relationships I have made and hope to continue to have even in my relocation.
As WOIS continues its vital work in this community, I hope that you reenergize your focus on "Crew." Please be kind to each other and ensure our students are loved, educated, and accepted.
With Much Love and Respect,
T’Hani Pantoja, Principal
Paul Lampe, Academy Director
Nyree Wims-Hall, Assistant Principal
Jennifer Johnson, Assistant Principal
Donna Enright, Athletic Director
Jessica Flanders, Administrative Community Site Coordinator