PREPARING FOR THE START OF THE YEAR
We are rapidly approaching the end of August! This means we are that much closer to the start of another school year. The summer activities to prepare our buildings are drawing to a close as more and more students and staff regularly appear at the building sites. I want to share a few thoughts about the preparations for opening the school year as we close out the month of August!
The summer offices, buildings and grounds staff, and custodial staff members have been hard at work getting the buildings ready for the start of the school year. Although we don’t have students and staff on regular school schedules during the summer, there is a lot of work that must be done to complete one school year and prepare for another.
Our facilities have received great treatment over the course of the summer through the duties and efforts of the custodial and maintenance staff. The staff has been hard at work cleaning, scrubbing, sorting, repairing, building, removing, and preparing our school buildings. We did not, for the first time since about 2006, have a major construction project disrupt our schedules and structures, but over the course of the summer, all the buildings have been prepared.
The grounds crew has been able to maintain the outdoor space and prepare for the fall activities. Buildings and Grounds supervisor Ken Kraemer and his crews have done tremendous work throughout the summer. A few challenges to the grounds work included the preparation of soccer fields after our first season of ROCORI soccer as well as the beginning of the plans for baseball field improvements through the community Field of Dreams project. Thanks for the great effort!
The offices have also been staffed by dedicated and hard-working employees. Each of these staff members have been very diligent in their efforts--whether in the district office or one of the building offices--working to get the district in shape for the start of the school year. We have witnessed a large number of enrollment and student changes, challenges in developing schedules and work to update information.
We have also seen some significant personnel changes this year with many positions changing, individuals coming to or leaving the district, and adjustments to assignments or duties. Through all of it, the office staff members have invested great energy and effort in school preparation!
ALL STAFF WORKSHOP
The calendar is different this year with the very late Labor Day weekend and a very early start to some of our activities. We have all staff members return to the district for workshop and in-service time in preparation for the school year. This normally happens just prior to Labor Day, but will be a week earlier in this calendar. We have three days of scheduled time with staff members prior to the return of students.
All staff members return to school during the week of August 24 with workshop and in-service days scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of that week. Two of the three days have activities scheduled at the building levels. The work at the building level is intended to be preparation for the school year. The buildings will be working with specific student data to plan the academic work with students.
Wednesday evening, August 26, includes the open house and orientation activities across the district. Staff members are at the school sites to help students and parents become acquainted with buildings, schedules, and other school assignments.
The third day of the schedule, Thursday, August 27, includes district-wide activities. One of the highlights of the day is the luncheon with local business leaders scheduled on the school site. The school staff will have opportunity to have lunch with the local Chamber of Commerce as well as Richmond Civic and Commerce members in the High School Commons. The remainder of the day includes district-wide return to school presentations, information, and activities.
Because of the uncertainty of what the legislature would allow, we do have our keynote presentation to staff set for Thursday, September 3. School will be in session in the morning for students and staff will be hearing from Kevin Honeycutt—a nationally recognized speaker. We are excited to bring Mr. Honeycutt to the district.
As the calendar rolls forward, there is no question we are gearing up for the start of school! Activities are rapidly increasing and we are quickly getting the buildings set for students and staff to return. School begins, for students, on Tuesday, September 1!