Friday Board Bulletin 1/27/17

Board Members:

It really seems like we have just started having winter weather about the time I moved! In fact, I just realized that the early morning drives to check roads haven’t been as commonplace the last couple of years. Now all of a sudden there have been a lot of ‘opportunities’ for me to get up early and check the roads! It will be nice to have a couple of days where I don’t have to worry about it!

On Tuesday Karyn and I attended the legislative advocacy day in Des Moines sponsored by IASB. We were lucky enough to be involved in a private meeting with Representative Rogers where the main focus of the conversation was on flexibility in our categorical funding streams. A great example that I used was our inability to fund preschool and hit that hard a couple of times with him to emphasize my point. A little later on in the afternoon I had a chance to meet with Representative Rogers outside the chamber and he mentioned that he had his aid working on draft language to address our concern. We also had a chance to sit down with Senator Danielson and share the same concerns with him. He is supportive of our efforts and is reaching out to the DE directly on our behalf to see what needs to be done. The good news is that both our elected representatives are supportive of our agenda, and with them being from opposite sides of the isle this can only be seen as a good thing! There has been no decision on SSA yet, but I learned this morning a subcommittee meeting is scheduled for Monday at noon. There is a desire to set the rate within the first 30 days, and that would mean the clock is quickly winding down. To remind you all, the governor proposed 2% SSA in each of the next two budget years. I’ll be heading back down to Des Moines the middle of next week to keep the pressure on with regard to flexibility and begin a conversation about the status of Smarter Balance and the need to have an assessment that is aligned to our standards.

Otherwise it has been a very busy week! Yesterday our Wellness Committee met to finish making proposed revisions to our Wellness Policy. It will be my intention to have this policy ready for the first reading during our February meeting. I have also started my second round of meetings with our new teachers. Although early in the process I am hearing some common themes from these new educators.

Finally I might mention that if you are interested there will be a legislative forum at 4:30 this afternoon at the AEA. Maybe I’ll see you there! If not, have a great weekend!

The picture that I am sharing from this week is from a recent visit to kindergarten. You will see in the photo that a number of students are engaged with their iPads. They are utilizing an instructional program known as ‘Reading Eggs’ that helps improve numerous reading skills for emerging and early readers.

Dr. Anthony D. Voss, Superintendent