We have all turned our calendars to February in hopes of putting the brutally cold month of January behind us. For school, this also means that we have begun our second half of the academic year.
Our elementary teachers have completed mid-year assessments of their students and are communicating with parents the results. Throughout the year teachers do benchmarking, a way of assessing individual student growth on specific learning outcomes. The high school teachers completed finals for first semester in January and began second semester courses a few weeks ago.
Our staff is working on program planning for the next school year. All of us need to evaluate where we are, what needs to be done and what options there are to accomplish our mission. Evaluating our programs allows us to look at results, identify strengths and weaknesses and then adjust what we do to meet our students' needs.
Our district facility task force will meet next week for the third time. In our meetings, we have reviewed staff input, looked at state guidelines for space, discussed community needs, reviewed future programming options and discussed what our needs are for the future. Our architects and engineers have presented options based off of the first two meetings. Our work now focuses on fine-tuning what we think our district and community needs are, examine the tax impact of the different options and discuss how to get feedback from our community and staff.
I personally want to wish Scott Hogen the very best as he leaves New Ulm to become the Facility Manager for Mankato Schools. Scott has provided leadership, expertise and dedication to New Ulm since he started. His vision has always been to do what is right so our students have the best learning environment. He is respected and admired by so many. We wish you well in your new position.
Les Koppendrayer is the interim principal at Washington Elementary. He has had this position for the past two years. Les will be done at the end of this school year as he re-retires from education. New Ulm Schools has been fortunate to have Les at the helm of Washington to guide the staff and students. We are in the process to replace Les and find a highly qualified candidate who can provide the leadership, expertise and vision for Washington Elementary. A group of staff, parents, board members and administrators will be involved with the interviews and final recommendations to the school board.