This is my 9th greeting as Superintendent of Schools of the North Middlesex Regional School District and my 21st year as an administrator in this school district. It has indeed been a long and positive association that I have had with our three communities.

The North Middlesex Regional School District continues to be one of the largest regional school districts in New England with a total population of 4,845. This past year we have had our first "leveling off" of student population increases; however, with new homes springing up monthly, we will be continuing our upward population growth. The Pepperell Building Committee is preparing to make a final recommendation to our school committee on the proposed new grade 6, 7, 8 middle school that is to be built on the former Glow Farm in Pepperell.

Education Reform is in its 7th year. MCAS test results have been distributed for the second year to students and parents in grades 4, 8 and 10. We continue to be above state average in all levels and have made significant gains in our elementary and middle school test scores.

Fiscally, Education Reform funding has ended and we are awaiting information on what the new formula will be. Approximately 65% of our budget is state funded so that decision by our legislators will be an extremely important one for our district.

We have completed some major capital improvements that have been part of our own original strategic plan. They include a new roof, expansion of the parking lot, new gymnasium windows, and new corridor lighting at the high school; a new garage, refurbishing the baseball field and constructing a new playing field at Spaulding Memorial School; refurbishing of the portables at Peter Fitzpatrick School and the installation of an oil tank at Ashby Elementary School. In all of the schools we are almost 100% wired for technology and we continue to purchase and upgrade our computers.

In the coming year we will be following a new strategic plan which was created by teachers, parents, community members and administrators along with input from school councils and the school committee. This strategic plan will be a working document and will continually be reviewed.

North Middlesex Regional School District continues to achieve academic excellence. Our high school student population going on to 2 and 4-year colleges is above 85% for the Class of 1999, and our drop out rate has been steadily decreasing. Our goal is for all students to have a focused outcome.

Each of the principals will be specifically outlining and reporting their school success and progress and will reinforce our commitment to our children. A great deal of our success can be attributed to our parents, citizens, and the business and governmental support we receive from all three towns. Our teaching staff and support staff from preschool to grade 12 is truly dedicated to our students. Everything we do during the course of our day remains as it has always been; children’s needs, not adults, are our primary goal.

In the era of school reform, school safety and ever increasing societal changes, North Middlesex Regional School District will strive to be a proactive district rather than a reactive one.

To the entire staff, citizens and especially students, I want to thank you for the opportunity and the honor to lead you into the new millennium. It will be an exciting time in our lives.

Respectfully submitted,

James W. McCormick

Superintendent of Schools