Shout out to our Choir Director and Transportation Coordinator!

August 24, 2018

Great work by Chris Weisenborn and Jody Luttrell and important information on student enrollment and the August 27 board meeting.

Dear All & Happy Friday!

Again this year I plan on giving weekly updates. I might investigate some different formats for this communication, but my goals are the same and clear: to cheer on the great work we are doing; to challenge us all to pause and reflect; and to give you concise, clear, and pertinent information.

Wins!

  • Chris Weisenborn - Congrats on being selected to join the Illinois Music Education Association Clinician Network. This network is comprised of outstanding music educators from across the state to collaborate and deliver music education specific professional learning content. Christopher will be pare of a network that will make a large impact on music classrooms across the state this year...so that's pretty cool! Way to go!!
  • Flexibility, Fun, Faith - Thank you to EVERYONE for a great opening to the school year...I am witnessing such a supportive and team effort related to the "trying to get settled in" theme of starting a school year. The connections you are starting with the kids and our families are very impressive. I have also seen a lot of planned fun! I am especially appreciative for your understanding and patience when it comes to the new copiers system and Skyward. It is very upsetting to me that we have so many glitches with our new systems and I apologize for all the inconveniences. While I anticipated some of this it is way more than I envisioned. Please know we are addressing each situation that comes up as aggressively as possible and I am monitoring our progress. I will continue to have Faith that our changes will make us better and stronger as a district.
  • Jody Luttrell - I was mistaken in our opening meeting not to call out the contributions Jody gives with all things transportation. Under normal circumstances, the transportation demands on schools is basically a zoo. So when you add the complications of the first week of school and adding an additional Pre-K section with midday runs, it is like a zoo on steroids. Jody handles it all with a "do what it takes" caring attitude and it is much appreciated!

Thoughts

  • I have often regretted my speech, never my silence. -Publilius Syrus
  • Be good to people for no reason.
  • "Don't wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don't wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom."

Need to Know

  • Fall 2018 Maroa-Forsyth Education Foundation Grants - Attached are the forms you need to complete if you would like the Foundation to possibly fund a project for your classroom. The applications are due Wednesday, September 12th.
  • Illinois State Graduate Tuition Waiver, One Credit Hour - We have received 1 Hour of free graduate credit to ISU. If you are interested please contact me (first come first serve).
  • School District Satisfaction Survey for Staff - We are still looking for 10 people to serve on our strategic planning team in October...it is critically important that we have staff representation on this team...please seriously consider it and email me if interested. Just as important, you need to have a voice on our future whether you are on the team or not. So, please, please click on this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/mtfstaff and fill out the staff satisfaction survey. The data from this survey will be analyzed by the strategic planning team to determine the future direction of our school district. Survey completion is due Friday, September 21st. You might have noticed a community/parent survey has also been made available on our website. If you are also a community/parent member you can fill out both surveys (mainly same questions) but can maybe answer slightly different based on all the roles you have. I can't emphasize enough...we need everyone's input!
  • Teachers Contract 2018-2022 - The final copy has been completed so we've attached it for your reference. It can also be found along with many other staff forms in the footer of the district website under "Helpful Links - Staff."
  • School Board Meeting Agenda & Packet, Monday, August 27 - While also on the website, attached for your reference.
  • Student Enrollment 2018-19 - In case you are curious, our 6th day count is at 1209 for the entire district (562 GS, 258 MS, 389 HS). That is up 19 students from last year...and in looking at past reports going back 20 plus years it is the 2nd highest total for the district (2016-17 had 1219). From last year: HS down 10, MS down 15, GS up 42. Largest class: 9th at 102. Smallest class: 2nd at 65. Obviously, adding the 2nd Pre-K section should be taken into consideration when comparing to other years.

In closing, for so many reasons what an exciting time of year it is...we have 11 student teams/groups launching their seasons this month...best of luck to ALL and thanks to all the coaches and sponsors for their dedication and talents...best wishes for truly "magical" seasons!

Take Care,

John

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