“How’s your school year going?” I sure get that question a lot. Generally I think people just ask it to be polite. But it made me think about all of the things we’re working on and how appropriate an update might be about now. Most of this post will also be in the next school newsletter for everyone who doesn’t access information here on the blog.
We’ve experienced a smooth transition back to a grades PK-6 elementary school and a 7-12 high school. Our new technology addition was open for classes on the first day of school and the renovations to the old technology wing are expected to be completed by mid-October. Soon you’ll notice our High School Main Office is located right next to the front entrance of our school, exactly where it makes the most sense. Randolph’s youth wrestling team will surely enjoy the new wrestling room which will be ready for the new season for our RCS wrestlers.
Our elementary students and teachers can experiment, explore and imagine in our new Science lab while our occupational and physical therapy teachers work with their students in the multi-purpose room. Both new spaces afford opportunities to do things with our children that we didn’t have before the renovations.
As required by the State Education Department, we are beginning work on our facilities planning for the next five years. The mechanics bay in the bus garage and the playing fields for soccer and baseball will both be a focus for us. We are interviewing new architectural firms and exploring all of our options so that we can present our best solution to district voters sometime in the future.
Our Fall Sports Teams are tearing it up out there and we are happy to celebrate their successes! Teachers continue to work together to tackle new programs like Read 180, a grades 5-12 reading program that helps our students become better readers, and RTI, response to intervention which compels us to try and document multiple methods with students prior to a referral to special education. Just as it should be, don’t you think?
Please rest assured that we are working together to pay attention to the frequent updates on the H1N1 virus. Everything we’ve heard to date continues to stress the importance of frequent hand washing, routine cleaning of our schools, and the need for students and employees to stay home from school when experiencing symptoms: fever of 100 or greater, cough, sore throat and possibly fatigue, muscle aches, congestion, and/or vomiting. It’s very important that parents have accurate and reliable emergency contact information on file here—if your child gets sick with these symptoms, we will need you to pick him or her up from school. Parents–please don’t expect the school to hire a bus driver to take your child home when sick, that’s your responsibility and we can’t continually expose our drivers OR send your child home on the buses where the virus can spread. You must make arrangements with someone who can pick up your child when sick if you are unable to do so.
For the past several years the BOE has been planning for the addition of a superintendent of buildings, grounds and transportation. The civil service exam for that position is being offered on October 31, 2009 and we hope to have someone in place by the start of the new year. The additional management and leadership that we gain through this position will go a long way to helping the district make good decisions in these critical areas.
The Board of Education continues to plan with us for our future and we are participating in another BOE retreat in October, when we will talk about our collective vision for our district. Financially, the district is preparing for every contingency with the possible cuts to state aid or the stabilization funds. We know times are tough for many families right now and we will work hard to try to present another year with a 0% increase to the tax levy for our taxpayers.
A good start to what will hopefully be a great year!