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District Update 11-2-10

by Bill Heimann

November 02, 2010

The purpose of this message is to provide district news from the perspective of the superintendent. Topics include the district’s Annual Report, a summary of the November Board of Education meeting, high school drain tile project.

At its monthly meeting on November 1st, the Board of Education heard reports from two students. One student commented on how the L.I.F.E. program (aka Alternative Education) has helped her take ownership of her life and her future, and that she is now able to focus on having success after graduation (she is on track to graduate with her class). A second student reported on his involvement with Project Search, which is a transition program that allows students to gain valuable job site experience through a partnership with St. Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center in Lincoln. Mrs. Ladd, Waverly High School teacher, and Ms. Hunt, Special Education Director, also shared how the partnership is benefiting our students. It is a pilot-program that Waverly and Norris High Schools are involved in. Representatives from St. Elizabeth’s were in attendance and shared their excitement regarding this program.

The Annual Report for School District #145
, completed by Mr. Blum, Curriculum Director, was presented to the Board of Education for review. The report is a summary of the 2009-10 school year. Although our students continue to score well in the area of academic achievement, it was noted that our “Commitment to Excellence” encompasses much more than testing results.

Written reports from administrators highlighted many of the positive accomplishments of students in the past month, as well as school improvement activities by staff.

It was noted that the Nebraska State Economic Forecasting Board met on October 29th and revised its revenue projections resulting in a projected budget shortfall of approximately $1.4 billion (downward from its previous forecast of $751 million). This report will have definite implications for all state agencies, included state funding to K-12 education. The Forecasting Board will meet again in February and April of 2011 during the Nebraska Legislative session.

The Building and Grounds committee gave an update on the high school drain tile project. A tour of the high school prior to the meeting was taken by the committee.

The Board of Education took action to approve:
1. Option enrollment capacity for 2011-12 school year.
2. Final Reading of Board Policy 1315 – Use of School Facilities and Equipment

With more than one-quarter of the school year already completed, district staff continues to engage students in learning opportunities. We have specific expectations for student success that should occur prior to the end of the school year. We work backwards to identify what must occur each month, each week, and each day to ensure we are focusing our time and energy on the lessons/activities that are most important in helping us reach the “finish line.” Each step along the way is a building block in a student’s life.

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