Last spring, the Ridgefield Board of Education (BOE) voted to approve the District Mission Statement and Core Beliefs and Vision of the Graduate. \u00a0 RPS Mission: \u201cThe Ridgefield Public Schools (RPS) provides engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences so all students can pursue their interests and prepare for life, learning, and work as global citizens.\u201d This commitment is truly the product of a collaborative process reflecting what we value as a community from our education system.\u00a0The BOE and RPS leaders are committed to pursuing this mission and vision with fidelity. The Mission will drive all of the future work in which RPS engages. As the new school year unfolds, we are already seeing evidence of that dedication. A few examples are: The BOE Policy subcommittee is currently working on policy related to homework, assessment, grading practices, and reporting to parents to foster growth for all students while promoting wellness of mind. \u00a0 The school calendar supports our teachers by including early dismissal Thursdays once a month to provide our educators with the necessary time to engage in learning and collaboration that covers the changing landscape of education. The school start time steering committee comprised of a cross section of community stakeholders is actively engaged in exploring the feasibility and options for potentially changing school start times to align with current research on adolescent sleep. The committee will provide a recommendation to the BOE this fall, and the BOE will make its decision by end of October for possible implementation in the 2018-19 school year. At start-of-year convocation, all educators in Ridgefield participated in a presentation on emotional intelligence to gain a deeper understanding of the importance emotions play in learning and well-being. The BOE will continue to support RPS work furthering the Mission and to reflect that commitment in BOE policy, budgeting and strategic planning initiatives. (You can view more information regarding policy, and the school start time project, under the Board of Education page on the RPS website.) This column was submitted to The Press by the nine members of the Ridgefield Board of Education.