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 2017-2018 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!
On Thursday, February 9, the RHS Culinary Class (ProStart) served as the hosts to the monthly Chamber luncheon. The luncheon was conducted in the Culinary classroom and guests from across the Chamber were welcomed for the meal.
The students, under the direction of instructor Bonnie White, did an outstanding job with the preparation, service, and delivery of the meal. From start to finish, the students planned and prepared the meal. While the Chamber members were enjoying the great food, the students shared information about their class and the Culinary program.
The students served the meal in stages starting with a salad. Students made a Pear and Walnut salad with creamy vinaigrette dressing. Popovers were also placed at each table. As the salads were delivered, Chamber members took a little time to do introductions.
The main meal included a breaded chicken breast with lemon garlic sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans. Students made the dining plate very attractive and delivered the meals with excellent service.
Once the meals were delivered, the students and instructor shared some background information about the class, the work that students do, and the learning they have experienced. The students highlighted their efforts to prepare for competition in the Twin Cities which will occur as the trimester comes to an end.
A choice of chocolate mousse or cheesecake served as a delightful finish to the meal as a light dessert.
The students responsible for the Chamber luncheon included CeCe Brooks, Austin Dockendorf, Trevor Spoden, Dominic Thies, Cory McCarney, Nick Viere, Jeffrey Greene, and Ozzy Vonderhaar. The classroom instructor is teacher Bonnie White.
The luncheon is a tremendous opportunity for students to practice their skills and plan a full meal. It is also a great opportunity for us to showcase the class and training to leaders in the community! It makes for a great partnership!
Stephanie Hillman, Community Education Director, has been at the last two school board meetings to share the background and preparations that are being made to incorporate “wrap-around” care options into the Community Education and Early Childhood programs. The first presentation was to share the background work that has been done; the second meeting involved a request to continue moving forward with the planning for wrap-around care.
Wrap-around care is a phrase used to describe child-care programs that are built around attendance in pre-school programs. The wrap-around opportunity allows parents to know that they have specific child care before and/or after the student participates in the preschool classes.
Wrap-around care is definitely separate from the preschool classes! The classes are conducted by our preschool teachers and follow the academic programs that have been developed over the past couple years.
When the students are not in class, the wrap-around program offers an opportunity for the students to be taken care of and supervised much like any other childcare program. The difference is that it is located on the school site and students must be enrolled in preschool classes.
Information about the wrap-around care program is available at the District Education Facility or by calling the Community Education offices. Because the program is just being developed, there are still issues being worked out and plans unfolding, but Stephanie and Becky Peart in Community Education are able to offer information to parents interested in the services!
The class registration process is underway at the secondary site. Students are engaged in examination of course options and making academic choices for the 2017-2018 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.
The School Board and district have begun conversations about the budget development process to set our financial direction for 2017-2018. 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 a “funding” year as the state budget for the next two years is set. 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!
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.