Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Preparing for the Summer

May is finally here! If you were as tired of the rainy and cloudy weather from last week as I was, the sunshine we have enjoyed this week is a welcome relief! We needed the rain, but I don't think I am alone in saying enough is enough! Hopefully farmers will be able to get their crops in the field! 

I am not a 'count down to the last day of school' kind of guy, but wise enough to know that time is drawing near. It is really hard to believe we are in the final weeks of school! May is traditionally busy with track meets, concerts, and many other events that honor our teachers and students, so it really makes the days fly by! As we are bringing this year to a close, our work is quickly shifting to preparation for the start of the 2016-2017 school year. The board recently moved to expand our connected learning initiative to include grades 3-12, which is exciting for our young learners (and teachers)! We are also hoping to adopt a new math curriculum at the middle school. If all goes as expected I anticipate bringing that up for a vote at the May meeting. We have a few items of clarification that need to be ironed out, but are very hopeful we will be able to close that gap. 

We are also wrapping up our hiring season. A decision will need to be made about the number of kindergarten sections we will offer next year, and if the numbers hold the way they are trending I will likely recommend three sections. This is always a very difficult decision because of the fluidity of our kindergarten enrollment! That is why it is so imperative to get your registration material submitted as soon as possible. So please, if you have a kindergartner that will be attending Hudson schools for the 2016-2017 school year, fill out the paperwork and submit it as soon as you possibly can. The quicker we know what our enrollment looks like the quicker we can make our final determination on section sizes! 

By the time we get to the May board meeting I imagine all of our teacher leadership positions will be filled. That is great news because it looks like our teacher leadership system will be fully staffed up by the start of the next school year!  This is due in no small part to the work of our current teacher leaders and their collaboration with Mr. Schlatter to clearly define, articulate, and lay forth a plan of implementation for our model teachers. This is really a huge step forward for our system!

This summer we have some exciting upgrades and improvements, the majority of our focus being on the elementary school attendance center. For starters we are planning to replace the remainder of the carpet throughout the building. The carpet in many of our elementary classrooms is wrinkled and in some places fraying. This will be a huge improvement in and of itself! We will also be finishing the renovation and remodeling of the restrooms on the first floor. This includes the restrooms in the kindergarten wing and in the first through fourth grade wing. These restrooms will mirror those in the fifth and sixth grade, so a much needed improvement!

At the high school we are planning on some updates for the commons. The biggest difference will be in new furniture for the space and a new paint job. We are moving toward a more modern look and think we have something in mind the students will really enjoy. The carpet replacement theme will continue into the high school auditorium where we are planning on replacing all that as well. Mr. Dieken has been working with Mr. Lewis to design an 'Inquiry Space' room off the library in the high school that will host a myriad of experiential learning projects for our students. Although housed in the high school, the room is designed to be used for all grade levels. 

There are a few projects scheduled for athletic facility upgrades as well. For starters, we will be replacing all the weight room equipment sometime around the first part of June. A big thank you for the work of the booster club and Mr. Wurzer on this project! The good news is that 75% of the funding for this project is coming from outside sources! The booster club wrote a Blackhawk gaming grant that paid for half the project, while the other half was split between the booster club and the school district. Everyone should be aware that we are evaluating new access, privileges, and accountability measures for the weight room. We are also looking forward to refinishing the competition gym floor, and hopefully very soon we will have grass growing and a fence around the hotel property!

As is always the case, it will be a very busy summer as we make our plans to start the 2016-2017 school year! 

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