2017-10-08 / Viewpoints

Chalk Talk

By Anthony Berthiaume
New Lothrop Area Schools

We are off and running into the second full month of school! My motto for the school year: Observe and Celebrate! I sent a quick survey to district staff asking them how they perceive the culture and climate of the district after the first month of school. The survey has been out for nearly two weeks, and overwhelmingly 92 percent of the respondents have reported a very positive or positive start to the school year. You may ask yourself as a parent or community member why this is so important to mention. I truly believe the more positive learning envi­ronment we can create for our students, the greater the impact we have on student learning in and outside of the classroom. I want to give our district staff a tremendous amount of credit for their enthusiasm and energy they bring each day to our students!

For planning purposes, students will have the day off of school on Friday, Oct. 13 for teacher professional development. The focus of the day will be reviewing our teacher evaluation tool The Thoughtful Classroom, along with goal set­ting and teacher self-assessment. This review will help teachers and administration moving forward on how best to produce quality instruc­tion and support our teachers and students in the classroom. Additionally, both buildings will be conducting grade level and department meetings focusing on curriculum planning and alignment throughout the district.

As far as the district using technology to enhance communication, we are using SchoolMessenger to mass communicate with students, parents, staff and the community. SchoolMessenger will alert parents, students and staff of school delays/closings, parent/ teacher conference reminders, alternate bus routes, etc. This communication tool will pro­vide the district with the opportunity to commu­nicate more effectively and efficiently with its stakeholders.

Our Parent/Teacher Conferences for grades K-12 will be held Thursday, Nov. 2 from 1:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. We hope to see many parents in attendance, so they can stay updated on their child’s progress. First quarter report cards for high school students will be handed out to those parents who attend the conferences. If you are unable to attend conferences, your student’s report card will be mailed home. Students will have a half day on Nov. 2. Please plan accordingly for that half day. Students will be released from school at 11:15 a.m. on that day. The following day, Nov. 3 both students and staff have the day off.

Finally, we look forward to what October brings. It’s college month in the high school, and of course the Halloween festivities students partake in and enjoy! On behalf of the staff, I want to thank you for the support you have given us during the first month of school. We will continue to learn and grow as educators and strive for excellence, because our students deserve the best quality education possible. We take great pride in making sure we offer the best opportunities to our students in a safe and productive learning environment. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. My office phone number is (810) 638-5091.

Yours in Education,
Anthony Berthiaume, Ph.D.

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