By the time the school year that begins this week ends it will be 20 years since the inception of Schools of Hope.

We mention that as a reminder of the critical role a community can play in the health and vitality of its schools, but also in the context of the simple meaning of the words put together those years ago to describe this community wide effort. Because it strikes us that this year our schools are as full of hope as any in recent memory.

But it also helpful to be aware that with as much success as Madison’s schools have enjoyed in the last year as a result of the new Strategic Framework, much more needs to be done.

Certainly more success is needed in closing the achievement gap. But to fully recognize Superintendent Cheatham’s blueprint for success for all kids, the entire community must remain as engaged as it has for the last 20 years – in fact more so.

We’ll get into specifics later. For now we take the opportunity to say the hope we all feel this week as our children go back to school can only be sustained by all of us supporting those schools and those children.