I feel a little bit lucky that we were able to get in a whole week of school, on time! With the extreme cold and snow earlier in the week, I wasn’t sure at the beginning if we would be on time or not! Right now it appears that we might start off next week with another round of interesting weather; hopefully we will be on time and in session every day. At least the bright side is that it will be warmer!
On Wednesday afternoon we met with the certified staff labor relations committee and covered quite a bit of ground. At this point it appears we will finish a review of the handbook by the end of February! I am very appreciative of the work and collaboration that is occurring between our administrators and teachers on this project! Today will be one of the highlights of the month for me when we have our NICL superintendent meeting. This meeting with superintendents in our conference is a great opportunity to network and share ideas with one another. A review of our agenda suggests a lot of great conversation to come!
I wanted to thank you for your hard work at our board meeting on Monday evening! You made outstanding decisions for the district and we did get our school bus ordered on Tuesday morning. We anticipate a delivery sometime in the next two weeks. The bus will enter the fleet shortly thereafter, we will need to get it inspected and the camera system installed. Joel tells me that he will need a just a couple of days to complete that.
Chad and I met with Karyn Tuesday afternoon as planned. As a result of that meeting, I believe an extended exempt session is in order to discuss our negotiation strategy. As I plan the next board meeting, we will likely forego the normal monthly reports so we can spend our time together where it is most needed. If you have had a chance to peak at our February agenda, you probably have noticed there are a number of action items scheduled. However, many of these items are those which will quickly be resolved.
In legislative news this week, I believe the bill that received the most press has to do with a proposal to allow public schools to teach a bible study class as an elective. As proposed, this bill would not mandate public schools to offer this course, but would allow boards to add this as a social studies elective. We haven’t heard anything about supplemental state aid yet, and anticipate that won’t occur until the legislature has completed the de-appropriations, which we are hearing will come next week. In order for the legislature to meet the 30 day timeline, a bill will need to be on the governor’s desk by February 9th, so we are not all that far away. The operational sharing bill, which is one of our legislative priorities, passed through the House on a 99-0 vote last session but stalled in Appropriations. This week that bill cleared the Senate subcommittee and should be considered on the floor soon.
The picture I am sharing this week is from the NICL vocal festival Tuesday, where we hosted Sumner-Fredricksburg, Columbus, and Wapsie Valley. Each choir sang individually before the festival choir sang at the end of the program. Our kids sounded absolutely amazing! Not only that, it was a real treat for me to watch them perform. The joy on their faces and body language made it evident to me that they were truly having a good time performing. I wish you could have witnessed it! It was, without a doubt the highlight of my week!
Have an awesome weekend, and go Vikings!
Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent