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Superintendent's Article August 14,2019
Dana Hines
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The 2019-2020 school year is off to a running start!  Extra-curricular activities including stock shows, football, band, softball, cheerleading, and cross country are in full swing.  In today's educational setting, it seems as though many of our activities never stop--even for a summer break.  One positive to this continual flow of activities is that students who are engaged and busy with projects and activities tend to excel, and as an added bonus, possibly stay out of mischief!

As in years past, tremendous improvements in school facilities are evident as we return to school.  An excellent and dedicated crew of summer employees has worked to better both the educational opportunities of incoming students as well as improving school surroundings.  We welcome comments and visits at any time from patrons who pass by our facilities and observe the summer hours spent to improve the overall school experience of our students.  A special thank you should also be extended to the patrons of our district who understood the current and future needs of our students, and with their "yes" votes in our last bond election, displayed trust in the best application of bond monies by the local school board and administration.  

The last bond election addressed two primary needs in our district:  transportation and technology.  As a district, we value the physical safety of our students--especially when transporting students to and from school and their varied activities.  The last bond election has enabled the district to order two buses, a driver's education car, and a pickup for the agricultural program.  Replacing older and less reliable vehicles is a main ingredient in maintaining a fleet of safe transportation for our students. 

A major component of the bond election directly addressed our school's mission statement--preparation of our students for an ever-changing world.  We all know that technology is at the forefront of each student's future success, and we have utilized bond monies this summer to focus on our school's infrastructure, adapting our facilities to make them more technology accessible.  The immensity of this task centers around placement and installation of new internet lines to every room in our school--in proximity to the nearest server.  This major undertaking provides a strong signal to each room, allowing for the use of individual Chrome books by each student.  To date we have 500 Chrome books with more on the way.  

We know that with changes come challenges, and district administrators and educators will need both time and training to address these challenges.  Knowing that it does not happen with the snap of fingers, we have already conducted several professional development classes this summer, but realistically, we are certain of the need for more training to take full advantage of the new technology.  To facilitate this needed training, WE PLAN TO DISMISS SCHOOL AT 2:00 P.M. ON THE SECOND AND FOURTH FRIDAYS OF EVERY MONTH. (Please see calendar below.) This will allow for continued and consistent one and one-half hour sessions, twice a month, addressing new techniques, technology integration, and group collaboration on teaching methods to enhance student knowledge and achievement.  We believe this presents an optimal and timely opportunity for our staff to regularly address real-life problems and even share real-life discoveries as they pertain to technology in the classroom.   

We know that our schools are not an ivory tower--students and educators, excluding the rest of the community--but rather an integrated part of the community  As an outreach to our devoted patrons, we would like to take an opportunity (with guidelines) to open one of our newest facilities for community use.  The Leopard Arena will be open for walk and exercise from 6:00 A.M.-8:00 A.M. weekdays when school is in session. Please enter through the northeast corner. This opportunity is open to adults only with no pets allowed.  There will be no admittance to the actual playing floor, but the horseshoe shape in the arena is a perfect walking path, plus the exercise room is available on the north end of the arena.

As another new year begins, I would ask everyone to be mindful of the safety of our schoolchildren.  As you drive around town or near the campus, remember that our students may be throwing caution to the wind, hurrying to another class or trying to be the first in the lunch line.  Slow down and help protect their youthful exuberance.  

 

Thank you for all your support,  

Dan Chapman

 

 

EARLY DISMISSAL CALENDAR

AUG 23, SEPT 13 & 27, OCT 11 & 25, NOV 8 & 22, DEC 13

JAN 10 & 24, FEB 28, MAR 13 & 27, APRIL 24