NOTES AROUND THE DISTRICT
We are well into the school year and have all kinds of things happening across the buildings and programs. The second trimester is just beyond the midpoint. Winter activities are winding down and heading into tournament competitions. Academic programs are well-underway with students very focused on learning and growth. Planning is beginning for the 2018-2019 school year. It is a very busy time of year.
With all of the things happening, I wanted to take a few moments to highlight a few topics. Although the topics are not directly related to each other, there are several things to highlight!
The class registration process is underway at the secondary site. Students are engaged in examination of course options and making academic choices for the 2018-2019 school year.
The process is an important element in helping to determine the programs available to students and the staffing patterns for next year! Although we certainly have required classes within our programs, student choices drive a great deal of the senior high schedule. The more students desire particular classes or programs, the more staffing is needed in those areas.
Senior High students, including the eighth grade students moving into ninth grade, have been submitting their registration choices this past week. Middle school students will be completing their registration process in the weeks ahead. All of it is important to our planning for next year!
Parents who have not seen registration forms may want to ask specific questions about the registration process as the submission of requests requires parental approval! The secondary site can be contacted with either a homeroom teacher, a counselor, or the office staff being able to offer information and feedback about the process.
Parents should have received information from the district, already, and there have been advertisements in the Cold Spring Record, but the annual calendar shows the ROCORI Kindergarten Roundup set for February 27. Parents of kindergarten age students may learn about the program in the ROCORI Schools and register for enrollment in the fall. There are a variety of activities planned for the evening. If parents have not yet received information, please feel free to contact any of the elementary school sites about Kindergarten Roundup!
The School Board and district have begun conversations about the budget development process to set our financial direction for 2018-2019. The topic will, in some fashion, be a part of nearly every school board meeting between now and the final adoption of the budget.
The process begins with the School Board setting several important parameters for budget development by making some “assumptions” and projections for the coming year. We know that a good share of our budget is affected by the number of students who attend school here, but the board must make some predictions about how the enrollment will turn out.
In addition, we ask the board to consider the legislative process and make projections about what the legislature might do. This is not a “funding” year as the state budget for this year and next year has been set, but we ask the board to consider any additional action the legislature might take. We also talk about strategic directions, policies and initiatives within the district, desired outcomes for fund balance and structure of the budget.
The process unfolds over an extended period of time as we seek to learn more direct and specific information to allow us to be as accurate as we are able. There are some specific timelines and details that occur at particular times, but the district has typically taken a great deal of time to develop a solid and sound budget.
Director of Business Services Beth Bertram and many members of the office staff and administrative team have direct roles and responsibilities in pulling together all parts of the budget.
Our calendar builds in a process for making up days that might be lost for weather or emergency purposes. In February, we have a long weekend for students and staff over Presidents’ weekend.
Because we have not lost any additional days due to weather or emergency closure, the entire vacation schedule of Presidents’ weekend will remain in place! Enjoy the extended weekend!
BUS DRIVER APPRECIATION
A year ago, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared February 22, 2017, as the first ever “Bus Driver Appreciation Day” in the state. It was designated as an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the people who serve as school bus drivers!
Minnesota School Bus Operators Association (MSBOA) plans to continue the recognition. This year, Bus Driver Appreciation Day is set for Wednesday, February 28. MSBOA’s Facebook page declares, “It’s time to celebrate our humble heroes! We encourage Minnesotans to organize appreciation activities for school bus drivers across the state for Minnesota’s second annual School Bus Driver Appreciation Day!”
We certainly appreciate those who transport ROCORI students to and from school each day of the school year. Many of the drivers also help with shuttles, transportation for school activities, and field trips within the school year.
The role of school bus driver is very challenging! The drivers, as an extension of the classroom, are often the first and last school representatives students see in a given day. They are the “greeters” for the district when students get on the bus in the morning. They have opportunity to wish students well as they return home at the end of the school day.
The primary task of bus drivers, of course, is to drive school bus—to get students to and from school safely. Within that task, drivers are expected to connect with students, monitor student behaviors and activities while the bus is moving, watch traffic around them, and keep the bus running according to the scheduled times.
ROCORI School bus drivers are employed by Richmond Bus Company or Voigt Bus Company. We contract with both bus services to transport our students. Both companies, and our drivers, have strong records of providing quality transportation services—and we very much appreciate the work that is done!
Thank you, bus drivers and our transportation providers, for the great work and service to our students!
This is a very busy time of the school year. Although it is sometimes challenging in regard to weather—though it certainly has not been so far this year—there are many, many things unfolding across the district.