Posted by Tom Opstad at 12/2/2016
December 2, 2016
This week has been the start of the winter concert programs throughout the district. The Aberdeen High School ASL class held their concert on Tuesday evening in the high school auditorium. Our Miller JH and AHS orchestra students performed Thursday evening, also in the auditorium. Over the next two weeks the Miller World Rhythms and Bands, AHS Band and the Miller and AHS Choirs will all be performing winter concerts.
The SAT test will be given at the high school tomorrow with the ACT the following weekend at AHS. Many of the elementary schools will also be having several events, including their Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) December meetings, before the break.
The high school administrators will be providing an overview of the trimester schedule for the upcoming school year and the corresponding changes being recommended for Policy 2410 – Graduation Requirements. Much discussion has taken place at the high school over the past year and a half. It will be a great overview on Tuesday.
The elementary schools are planning for the AVID Summer conference next June/July. Staff from each elementary will be attending as the buildings work on having all teachers trained over a multi-year period. The AVID program will provide strong study skills for all students at the elementary level that will carry over into junior high and high school.
It is always great to have artwork from the schools on the walls and display boards in the district office. As you can see, it adds great color to our district spaces and brightens up the day everytime we past by the artwork. Thank you to the students and teachers for sharing - from Kindergarten through high school!
The Study & Survey should be completed by the end of the month. I will ask the architects to come and present the findings to the school board as they move forward with Phase II of the project which includes a number of conceptual drawings that can be used in developing the plans for a new elementary and several other projects throughout the district.
We are beginning the budgeting process for the 2017-18 school year. Fortunately, our situation is not like the headline in the Seattle Times, Seattle schools project $74 million shortfall next year, could mean teacher layoffs.” (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/seattle-schools-project-74-million-shortfall-next-year-biggest-since-1970s/). Our budget may be a little lower based on the amount we receive from the state for levy equalization, but teacher layoffs are not in the plan at this point. Much of what is going to impact our budget will slowly come out during the upcoming legislative session. I am very interested to see what is in the governor’s budget that will be released later this month.
As a UW graduate from many years ago, I still get the newsletter from the Department of Biology. I found this short video showing some of the changes in instruction taking place in the large lecture classes. I think worth viewing if you have time. https://www.biology.washington.edu/articles/active-learning-uw-biology
Another thing I do is listen to podcasts in the morning at the gym. This morning I heard one on cyberbullying that really impacts our students today. It hit home for me now that we have two grandchildren who will be growing up in a digital world. Working together, I believe we can all help our students learn how to be responsible and respectful citizens in the world of online social media. http://www.komando.com/listen/episode/2054/cyberbullies-have-new-and-vicious-ways-to-attack-you-and-your-family
Next Friday is the first home contest for the newly formed AHS Bowling Team. It should be fun and great for the home team to have support at their inaugural tournament.
Have a great weekend as we move into the final month of 2016.
Thank you, Tom