What a whirlwind to the first half of the year. It seems like we just go rolling, and Christmas break is here. I want to take this time to provide some reminders, updates, and plans for the future.
The deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2017 for next Fall. This is an important issue for those that choose to make an educational decision that is best for their family. There are many reasons for open enrollment, ranging from certain programs a school offers, better fit geographically, extra curricular offerings, or academic offerings. In the past, Washington has had a deficit open enrollment, but we are making improvements in the open enrollment area. Below are the comparisons showing the open enrollment deficit getting smaller as compared to 2015.
|Open Enroll Out
|Open Enroll In
|Open Enroll Deficit
So we have narrowed the gap on open enrollment by 15.6 that equates to nearly $100,000 in state aid. This is moving in the right direction and I applaud the efforts of our PK-12 staff to make our system better and better each year.
I just completed billing other districts who have students open enrolled into Washington that take concurrent classes either at our high school or Kirkwood. This weighting generates over $4,000 per semester for the district, but more importantly, allows the students to earn college credits and get a jumpstart on college at no cost.
If you have questions regarding the opportunities of Washington CSD, feel free to schedule a visit and see the wonderful things happening here. A reminder that the deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2017 and for 9-12 students some eligibility guidelines exist, so make sure you plan early.
Collaborative Professional Development
I am so excited to announce a collaborative professional development opportunity that will take place on February 17, 2017 between Mid-Prairie, Washington, and WACO districts respectively. Washington will host a Tech Talk 2017 day where all educators gather to share and learn from one another. This is a day of learning that is planned, prepared, and delivered by educators, not only on technology integration, but also on the learning strategies that are most effective.
The day will begin with Buddy Berry, a superintendent from Kentucky, who Mr. Schneider, Mid-Prarie Superintendent, and I heard at our Grant Wood AEA(GWAEA) superintendent meeting back in October. Mr. Berry has developed a teaching and learning model that has transformed his school and will challenge the participants how he is trying to make his school the “Disneyland of Schools”. He will share insights into how to engage students in their learning as well as tools to help connect with those students.
It is gratifying to see districts come together and work together for the betterment of their respective districts. The power of 3 districts with like-minded visions for learning, is something that can’t be replicated on our own. It should also provide opportunities to build Professional Learning Networks(PLN) outside of their districts. It is a great model for all of our students that because of technology those relationships can continue to flourish even after the day of learning.
In addition to the 3 schools, representatives from GWAEA and Great Prairie AEA will take part in the event. We will also allow up to 80 additional participants to attend from any other area schools on a first come basis. While I enjoy the Holidays, I am looking forward to this event in 2017.
Stewart Early Childhood Center a Success
What a difference a week makes. As I helped many volunteers move our 4 year old preschool classrooms from Stewart West to the new Stewart Preschool, I had no idea of the positive difference I would see over the course of the next few weeks.
Learning Spaces Matter
Now that the teachers are all settled in, the environment is very different from our old classrooms. The teachers are the same, the students are the same, but the culture is so much more open and fostoring to learning. Not only do the teachers now feel part of the entire Stewart staff, the kids are part of the Stewart learning environment, instead of being isolated in another building. This was a great project made possible by the voters of Washington CSD and generous donation from the Women of Washington that built the daycare portion of the addition. The Y daycare will not occupy until late spring, once we have the new drop off/parking area complete.
As we move forward, our kids will expect that we continue to offer learning spaces that are top notch and conducive to a positive culture of teaching and learning. A goal of mine this coming year is to begin evaluating and developing a 5-10 year Learning Spaces plan, a.k.a, Facility Utilization Plan. Many things will be considered when evaluating our facilities and the maximization of the respected facilities, while figuring out ways to provide learning spaces like our new classrooms at Stewart.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!