Cavalier Friends -
It’s hard to believe but we are nearly ¼ of the way through our school year. Fall sports seasons are coming to a close and winter seasons will begin in about a month. And while the wheels of the school year roll along, we also spend time working with our teachers. Each school year, we look at our instructional calendar for students as well as our professional development calendar for our entire staff.
When I speak of professional development, I am referring to providing employees learning opportunities to learn and improve in the area of which they work. Each of our employee groups has had professional development sometime throughout the 2017-18 school year (and every year). Teachers learned about improved instructional methods, and analyzing student data to improve instruction, while custodians had training on how to maintain our new floors or cleaning techniques. Food service employees are trained on how to maintain healthy habits in the kitchen and bus drivers are are trained in ways that keep your child’s safety in mind. They receive specialized training in student behavior management, loading and unloading, security and emergency medical procedures. Paraprofessionals have learned how to assist students with special needs, while office managers have had additional training on using Google’s educational products. Administrators have been trained in the new seclusion and restraint laws and restorative justice. We try to customize the training based on the employee group that we we are working with.
It is important to note that by law it is our responsibility to provide at least 180 days of instruction and 30 hours of professional development to our teaching staff. Before school started, there was professional development for teachers that occurred in preparation for the start of the school year. In the next week, you will see the continuation of our professional develop for our teachers. While we would always prefer to hold training after the school day, sometimes we need to do them during the school day. As a result, during the school year, we have two different occasions where we have incorporated ½ days of professional development for our teachers. One is coming up on Friday, October 27 and the other on Tuesday, October 31. Our students will be released at the following times on both of these dates:
- High School 10:55 am
- Middle School 11:05 am
- Nellie Reed 12:10 pm
- Elsa Meyer 12:25 pm.
- Children’s Services has no school on October 27; October 31 they will be released at 12:15 pm.
We continue to ask for families to have patience as we work on completing our “punch lists” within each school that has had renovation work done. For example, from Friday, October 27 through Monday, October 30, our middle school gym will be closed so that floor finishing can be touched up. At Louise Peacock, starting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 26 through Monday, October 30 at 6:00 pm, this building will be closed as we complete the conversion of the wiring for the new electrical system. Therefore, Children’s Services programming will be suspended for those days.
We are awaiting hardware for interior doors at Elsa Meyer as well as hookup for our energy management system at CHS, CMS, EM, and NR. Striping on our track is not completed and testing is continuing to occur on our boiler systems before the winter chill arrives.
If you have ever built a new house, things seem like they are done, but we still need to attend to the little things. Each building has a “punch list” and we are working our way through the completion of each of these items.
It is my hope that we can get these projects 100% completed within the next month.
Lastly, please be reminded, every year, the National Association of Pupil Transportation sponsors the week-long awareness and educational program. Police departments and state troopers drew attention to this year’s theme of #StopOnRed, which refers to laws in all 50 states that require motorists to stop for school buses that have their flashing red lights and stop arm deployed and are pulled over to board or unload students. You will see in today’s Communicator a picture and list of our transportation employees. They are some of the first staff your children see in the morning and the last staff they often see at the close of their school day. The district is fortunate to have a dedicated group of employees in the area of transportation.
Once again, thank you for all of your support!!!!