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Here in TSD, Connections Matter

Cover graphic for April update from Dr. Marc Schaffer

What is Thompson School District?

This is a question that gets a variety of answers depending on who you speak to. Is it the approximate 15,000 students and their families who we serve? Is it the 2,200 staff members who work hard each day to educate and support students? Is it the system of community support that we’ve established to best serve the needs of our families? Is it the buildings and infrastructure that are needed to educate our youth? Or perhaps it’s all of the above?

Our school district is many things. But I firmly believe that at its core, TSD is about people. It’s about students, parents and guardians, staff, and community members. That is who we are and that is the source of our strength.

We are also a very diverse school district, which adds to our community in innumerable ways. Within the district, approximately 30 languages are spoken by our students and families, helping to create a unique human tapestry of talent and support.

We believe that each student in our school district deserves a world-class education, along with the support that they need in order to help ensure their success. Our entire team also believes that it’s critical that each family and community member in TSD not only feels welcome within the district, but also feels empowered to partner with us on this important journey. One of the ways that we build these important relationships is through our language translation and interpretation program, which is designed to partner with our families in their preferred language. Our team of professionals provides translation services for written documentation across the district and also performs and arranges for live interpretation for parent-teacher conferences and other educational meetings and events. A network of contractors within our community, as well as additional resources, helps to achieve our goal of ensuring that each family in our schools feels connected and welcome.

One of our key focuses in this area has been to identify additional opportunities for us to better connect with our families. New technological improvements are providing some exciting options. For example, the advancement of automated subtitling, along with built-in translation support, is allowing our video programming to reach a far wider audience than ever before. Video conferencing programs are offering this same technology and we are also exploring the potential use of translation devices that can be used at our schools and district offices to assist community members on a one-on-one basis during visits. The growth of artificial intelligence and technological design is moving these advancements at a quick pace and we are confident that our capacity to serve each of our families and community members will continue to grow.

These connections matter. The ability to partner with each of our families and community members at a high level is critical to the success of our students. I truly believe that our diversity is our strength and I am proud of the relationships that we are continuing to build throughout Thompson School District.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of our amazing school district. We could not do any of this without you.


Dr. Marc Schaffer
Thompson School District