Right now it is 2:30 on Friday, August 20th. We are approaching the end of our first week of school. Yes it has been a short week but for the first week I think that is always a good thing. Below I will update several different areas that have impacted the start of our school year.
Overall I couldn't be happier with our start to the school year! Our staff and students alike have had great attitudes. Today and yesterday it has been a little hot in our building but I'm proud of everyone for remaining calm and keeping a positive outlook. The kids have hit the ground running and we are already busy with learning activities.
The preliminary enrollment numbers, based on the first three days, indicate a fairly sharp jump in middle school enrollment. Last year we opened our doors with about 345 students grades 6, 7, 8. This year we appear to have 378 students. As a district it looks like we will have around 1800 students. Last year we had just over 1600 students in attendance.
One of the things that we have talked a lot about as a staff is identifying the activities that we are passionate about. I asked our staff to think about an activity that they like to do (it might be a hobby) and then think about how they always have energy to do that activity. I always use myself as an example. As many of you know, I'm passionate about golf. I always have energy for that activity. We then talked about trying to find out what our students are passionate about and how we can build on this passion in our school and in developing their Personal Learning Plans.
As a staff we have also discussed what we can do to have 100% of our students engaged in our classrooms. We all agree that we need to create meaningful lessons and incorporate technology into our instruction as much as possible. We also need to build on our students interests and relate lessons to real life activities. These are all ways that we can create classrooms in which all of our students are interested and engaged in their learning.
The number one indicator of how successful we are as a school district is based on achievement. We will strive to have EVERY student in our school learn and achieve at a higher level then they performed last year. This achievement can be based on the students grades, basic skills scores, and MAP scores.
At our opening year staff meeting we talked about the part that "homework" plays in our school. We all agree that sometimes our students need to be asked to "practice" school learned material at home. For example, we ask all of our students to practice their reading skills at home every night by reading on their own for 20 or 30 minutes. We have decided as a staff to eliminate homework from our vocabulary and instead use the word practice. We want our students to understand that practicing skills (sports, music, reading, etc) are all part of a process. We want our students to feel comfortable knowing that when you are practicing it's alright to make mistakes.
Yesterday we started 7th and 8th grade athletics. We are offering cross country, football, and volleyball this fall. We are proud to announce that we had about 130 students participating in a fall practice last night. So we have roughly 60% of our students in 7th and 8th grade participating in athletics currently.
Letters Mailed Home
Next week you can expect a couple of letters mailed home. The letters will include information about your child's participation in health related classes and information about your child's advisory teacher. If you have any questions about these letters after receiving them, please contact me.
Having a district this size of Clear Creek Amana can be challenging sometimes in terms of transportation. The Clear Creek Amana CSD is approximately 250 square miles and this requires many bus routes to get all of our students to and from school. We are still working out some of the kinks in the system but overall things have went pretty well.
Questions and/or Concerns
Please remember that you can always contact me with any questions or concerns. If you call or email me I will do my best to return the email or call within a day. If you need immediate assistance you can always call the school office and let them know that you need to talk to me right away.
I would like to thank each of you for the opportunity to work with you and your child. I feel that the job of educating children is one of the most important jobs in our society. I'm honored to have the chance to work with you and your child.
I'm looking forward to a great year at Clear Creek Amana!
319 545-4490 (office)
319 330-6316 (cell)