Sign-up for Text Alerts

5 hrs ago, no responses

Sign-up for Text/Email alerts to keep up with cancellations, late starts, early releases, and other important announcements.  If you need help signing up, contact any of the district offices: 319 988-3233 or 319 988-4226.    

Hudson Joins Promise of Iowa Campaign to Support Public Schools

8 hrs ago, no responses

The Board of Directors of the Hudson Community School District has passed a resolution in support of “The Promise of Iowa” campaign. The goal of the statewide campaign is to focus attention on the future of Iowa public school students […]

Spring Testing

4 days ago, no responses

Hudson Students Testing in February/March In the next few weeks, your child will be taking the Iowa Assessments. The Iowa Assessments provide detailed information about your child in a variety of important content areas including Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics, […]

Tis’ The Season of Giving

4 weeks ago, no responses

Second grade students and staff teamed up with the middle school girls basketball team and coaches this holiday season. In the spirit of giving, there were more than 600 articles of gently used and new clothing collected. Kadens Kloset is […]

Second Grade Experiments With States of Matter

4 weeks ago, no responses

Each second grade classroom held a North Pole Breakfast.  It provided an opportunity to explore properties of matter and how they can be changed.  Students contributed items that made this day a huge success! Submitted by Mrs. Hottle

Student Artwork to be Featured in College Calendar

4 weeks ago, no responses

Congratulations to Siri Olsen and Brinkley Simmer! Both second grade students were chosen from a field of over 500 applicants to have their artwork featured in the 2017 Dordt College Center for Economic Education Calendar. The calendar features original drawings […]

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Voss Blog Log

    Education in Iowa Public Schools

    Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent of Schools

    Well, as far as days of instruction go, Tuesday didn't go as planned. For those of you that don't know what happened, we managed to have a late start and dismiss classes early that day. Believe me, that is certainly not the way I wanted the day to unfold. I know how inconvenient that was for parents and deeply apologize for the problems this may have caused you. To add insult to injury we had technical difficulties with our messaging systems. Let me give you a briefing into how the day went, not as an excuse mind you, but rather a glimpse into how the day unfolded.

    For starters, many of you know that I have been commuting from South of Cedar Rapids the last several months while my house was finished (luckily that is now done and we are in the process of moving). In Cedar Rapids on Tuesday morning it was 37 degrees and overcast. When I got my first briefing at 5:30 a.m., the roads in Hudson were merely wet. I wasn't at all concerned until our transportation director called about 6:15 a.m. and told me that North Tama and Gladbrook-Reinbeck had decided to delay the start of classes by two hours. Mr. Dieken called shortly thereafter and shared that roads in Cedar Falls were beginning to get slick, but Cedar Falls schools were going to be on time.

    Around that time I decided to make my way to Hudson, from Cedar Rapids mind you. Around 6:30 I found myself on the side of the road on Highway 30 having a phone conversation with Chief Marsh who told me that roads in town were pretty slick. It was at that time I decided to delay school. Mind you, we already had students at school for early morning practices, but the timing didn't work to get everyone home. So I asked the coaches to hold with the students, and luckily Miss Cuvelier and several other teachers handled things from their end. Thank you Miss Cuvelier, Mrs. Dietz, and Mrs. Dekutoski! By the time I got to Hudson about an hour later, I was beginning to think that we probably would have been okay to go, but of course by then it was too late. 

    After I had a chance to get my coat off and sit down at my desk, a colleague called and told me that he was thinking of going ahead and canceling school for the day. I thought, 'no way', we are going to get the day in. Heck, it's still 37 degrees outside! Needless to say, he ended up cancelling and causing far less of a disruption that I was going to a mere two hours later. 

    All through that morning I was convinced that we were going to get the day in while everyone else around my cancelled. In fact, I went so far as to call the National Weather Service and have them report to me that if I could just hold on until 3:00, the weather would break and the sun would start shining. Unfortunately right after I hung up the phone, our two neighbors to the North decided to dismiss classes and our phones began to blow up. Once that happens we are in a pretty tough spot. 

    Well, sure enough by 3:00 the weather broke and it was relatively pleasant outside. The moral of the story here is that weather related decisions are almost always judgment calls based on the best information we have available at the time, and the collective wisdom of those making those decisions. When I finally arrived back in Cedar Rapids that evening my wife Ann asked if I got a lot grief for the weather calls that day. I told that I didn't and that people were very understanding. So, I wanted to say thank you for understanding! The fact is, I only received a minimal amount of feedback. 

    Moving forward, we do believe we have our technical difficulties addressed. To remind you, our weather cancellation system changed at the beginning of the school year and if you haven't signed up yet, you will need to do that again. If you want to receive text alerts or email alerts, please go to our website and check out the announcement box in the upper right hand corner of the site. You will need to sign up separately for both email alerts and text messages. 

    Oh, and in case you are wondering (I know the students probably are), Tuesday will not need to be made up.
    Posted: January 12, 2017, 8:49 pm
    Welcome to 2017! The holidays are over, so I guess now we can really buckle down and start to focus on those resolutions. We also get to spend the next couple of months writing the wrong date on documents anytime we have to sign something! I usually do okay with this since I sign my name so much, but I will probably get some of these dates wrong! Nevertheless, when one year ends and another begins, we tend to get nostalgic for the year that just 'was' and look forward with eager anticipation to the year that will 'be'. My last blog of 2016 focused on many of the great things that happened in 2016, so now let's look forward with eager anticipation to 2017! Good things are scheduled to happen!

    For starters, we continue to make plans to introduce the statewide voluntary preschool to Hudson in time for the 2017-2018 school year. As I shared in October, Hudson is one of only a handful of districts in Iowa that currently does not offer the statewide voluntary preschool and it appears that our window of opportunity may be closing. We have been meeting regularly with representatives from the AEA who are offering technical assistance and guidance during planning. Official planning and application material was made available right before the holidays, so we will really begin to see this develop and take shape in the coming months. For those of you with youngsters who will be four years old for the next school year, please stay tuned for an upcoming family meeting where we will be able to share some of the details of what we are planning.

    Another exciting item to look forward to this year is in direct relation to our strategic plan titled, 'Hudson 2020'. Adopted by the Board of Directors on July 22, 2013 with input from our parents, community members, and other stakeholders, this plan laid out in broad terms items and issues the district set to address by 2020. Item number four of the plan spoke specifically of building projects and pointed to the elementary school as an area of priority for the district. Over the course of the last several months, we have been working with an architectural firm on an elementary renovation project. Scheduled to be completed in several phases spanning multiple years, we are very close to having the first phase of this project ready for bid. If all goes as expected, it will be our intention to have the first phase of this project completed in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

    Students hard at work in Geometry class right before break.
    Pretty exciting projects if you ask me! While there will certainly be other projects and issues that come up, these will probably be the ones that make our mark on 2017. Which brings me finally to my 'one word'. Or in this case, words: 'Be Patient'. As we have been planning and developing these projects, there have been challenges. Generating and finding the necessary revenue to start up the preschool for example. Or budget estimations being a little higher than I would have liked as another. Some of these roadblocks still exist, but the good news is that by exercising patience we can begin to see a way forward. Perhaps we may have to think about things a little bit differently, or travel an alternate path. But in the end it will all be worth it!

    I have to continually remind myself that these things take time! I am sure there will be setbacks and obstacles along the way as these projects and others like them develop, mature, and ultimately come to fruition. But to expect immediate results just isn't the way life works. So Happy New Year, and Be Patient!

    Posted: January 3, 2017, 6:49 pm
    Well folks, this is going to be my last post of 2016. I plan to take the next couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays. Although I plan on being in the district next week during this break in the action, most of my time will be relegated to beginning the initial planning for the 2017-2018 school year. Foremost on the agenda will be creating several draft calendars. It is usually during this work where I have an opportunity to reflect on the year that has just ended. I suppose building a new calendar makes one a bit nostalgic!

    What a wonderful year we have had! There is just so much to make us both proud and thankful! Our athletic program has continued to perform at very high levels with several of our teams competing in the state tournament. Many of those accomplishments have been discussed recent posts, but thinking back on the calendar year as a whole: we don't want to forget the excitement of our boys soccer team who also had a very successful run at the state tournament. Remember how hot it was those days?

    A big change this year was the retirement of our longtime music teachers, Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Jensen. These high profile positions were ones that we had to make sure that we got right, because there are some high expectations for our music department. As I say to my colleagues, we take our music program pretty seriously at Hudson! Well, the proof is in the pudding because our music program continues to amaze us at performance after performance!

    Speaking of retirement, the makeup of our faculty and staff is very different than it was one year ago! In fact, this time last year we really had no idea the number of employees we would have retire. By my count we have nine new faculty members on staff! They are doing an amazing job by the way!

    The last couple of weeks I have shared with you some of the outstanding work of our teaching faculty. You now know that not only can we state this based on our observations, but we have been able to begin to quantify these results. A little teaser here: the Iowa School Report Card will be released sometime in early January. I have had an opportunity to have a sneak peak and can't wait to show you the results for our schools!

    You have probably also noticed in the last couple of years that I haven't spent much time visiting with you about the status of our budget. That is because we have a healthy budget and are financially stable. I will always advocate for greater funding for our schools, and based on the rhetoric that we are hearing as legislators are gearing up for the legislative session it sounds like we are going to be in for a rough session. The good news is that we currently have reserves that should enable us to weather low state aid. (State aid has been inadequate for years now, but we'll save that for another column after the new year! 😊)

    Parents join their first graders to build gingerbread houses
    prior to break. An annual tradition at #hudsonschools!

    Obviously the biggest driver of our school budget is enrollment, and I reported in October that enrollment was down this year, but it is not something that should be all that concerning. If you read the enrollment report, I shared that based on our projections we should have reached the 'low water mark' in terms of student enrollment. With our smallest class in the district graduating in May, that is good news moving forward. Using what we call the 'cohort methodology' based on a five year rolling average, it appears that our enrollment is set to begin to rise.

    Part of that enrollment increase should be attributed to some wise decisions by our city council that will bring more families into our community. As you are already aware, construction in the second addition of Upper Ridges is well underway and the Meadowbrook Condominium project is slated to break ground shortly after the new year.

    In all, a pretty good year if you ask me! Fact is, I am pretty excited and stoked to see what comes next! I would like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'll see you when school resumes on January 4th. 

    Posted: December 21, 2016, 4:45 pm