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Committed to Excellence

Superintendent’s Message

It's not that I'm so smart, I just stay with problems longer.

--Albert Einstein

Dear Islip Students and Families:

Our school year has gotten off to a strong beginning. As always, our faculty and staff are working day and evening to provide our students with a safe environment in which to learn, grow, and look forward to broader horizons.

One area of focus in our district is the concept of growth mindset. Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, developed this concept after years of research. She and her colleagues identified human learning and intelligence as falling into two categories - fixed mindset and growth mindset.

In a fixed mindset, individuals believe they are born with a certain amount of ability or intelligence that cannot be changed. This mindset is limiting and prevents individuals and teams from achieving at the highest levels. Conversely, individuals with a growth mindset believe they can improve their abilities, grow their intelligence, and improve their talent through effective effort and persistence.

During our faculty meetings, staff members have studied growth mindset, its positive effect on students and adults, and have learned how to create and sustain a growth mindset culture in our schools. Additionally, at our Meet the Teacher nights, we shared examples of specific growth mindset language you can use at home.

A growth mindset is quite possibly the superpower that can enable students and adults to stay positive in the face of obstacles; understand how to embrace challenges and use failure as a stepping stone; and embrace the notion that our abilities, intelligence, and talent are not set in stone from birth.

As our school year progresses, I will continue to share information and resources regarding growth mindset with you so we can all strengthen our skills in this area and support each other on our quest for learning. Please take a few moments of your time to watch this TED Talk, which in only ten minutes provides evidence and a thorough explanation of the power of a growth mindset.

In the near future, you can expect another message from me in which I share more growth mindset tips and language we recommend you use at home. Together, we can help our students develop their growth mindset and set them on a path of lifelong learning.

Sincerely,Dennis P. O'Hara, Ed.D.Superintendent of Schools