Pledging her commitment “to foster the learning and joy that students have come to expect from the Ridgefield Public Schools,” new Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva opened her tenure as leader of the town’s public schools with a letter to students and parents.

Dr. Da Silva’s letter follows:

Dear Families,

It is an extraordinary time to join a new community and to be a Superintendent. I am in awe and admiration of educators across our globe who stand together to transform schools and classrooms.

Together, barriers and obstacles have been torn down and vulnerabilities have taken a back seat to the needs of students, families and the profession. Homes across the world adjusted quickly to the new normal.

I would like to express my gratitude to Interim Superintendent of Schools, Dr. JeanAnn Paddyfote. Through her leadership, I now have the opportunity to look ahead and continue the work in this ever-changing journey.

Over the next few weeks, I will look to find creative ways to connect and collaborate with the Board of Education, staff, students, families and the community. You can expect frequent communication — in doing this, I ask for your patience, as I too am new to this style of social interaction and engagement.

I look forward to getting to know you, and you me, but for now it will have to be through this new digital world. During these difficult and unprecedented times, the work of the District will continue, albeit remotely. The road ahead requires the on-going assessment of our practices, modifying and adjusting where needed and navigating the Budget implications of now and the challenges of the future.

We will plan and prepare for students’ return, and as typical of school districts during the spring season, begin making preparations for the summer months. As days turn into weeks, and the possibility of weeks into months, creating parallels to the classroom experience will be essential.

We will look to foster the learning and joy that students have come to expect from the Ridgefield Public Schools. I am fully aware of how this unusual moment in history has impacted our students. While I wish we could turn back the clock, the best gift we can give now, is our spirit, drive, and endless energy.

So, yes, it is an extraordinary time. The importance of leadership has never mattered more, and I look forward to serving Ridgefield as your Superintendent of Schools.

Stay safe and healthy.

Respectfully, Susie.

Ridgefield, April 1.