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Spring Message from Dr. Karen Cheser

We will be holding community listening sessions April and May – a schedule will be sent out soon.  At these sessions, we would love to hear your ideas for making your child’s school, or the district in general, better. We also invite you to join our Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council.  We meet two more times this school year and would love to have you join.  Just email me if you’re interested. In addition, please continue to use the Kaizen form at this link to help us improve. 

Your ideas are tremendously beneficial and we are acting on them.  Over the last year, here are some of the actions we have taken in response to the ideas parents/guardians and staff members have submitted through the Kaizen form and we are working on more.

  • Added funding to CTE (career and technical education)programs
  • Updating our transportation software and communication systems to provide more information to parents and schedule more efficiently (coming this spring)
  •  Added two parent/ teacher conference days in the calendar next year
  • Increased social-emotional support for students
  • Implemented an anti-bullying program at middle school
  • Provided consistent literacy and math curriculum and resources so teachers aren’t creating everything
  • Creating a district vision (our Portrait of a Graduate) and a system-wide strategic plan
  • Provided more information on our work on DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging) 
  • Created a district-wide behavior matrix
  • Implemented listening sessions
  • Used additional strategies to recruit substitutes, including increased sub pay
  • Added reading and math interventionists and intervention resources
  • Added behavior interventionists
  • All schools have a full-time counselor
  • Increased STEM programming at elementary with more to come
  • Recruited more paraeducators
  • Lower class sizes, including at K, 1, 4 and 5
  • Increased pay for teachers and staff to be commensurate with neighboring states
  • Added recruiting and retention bonuses 
  • Professional development on DEIB, cultural differences
  • Increased positive news and stories in the media (we have had 70+ positive Herald stories since last spring)
  • Began curriculum mapping for science and social studies
  • Increased parent volunteers and tutoring assistance
  • After-school programming at all elementary schools
  • Increased clubs and sports for students
  • Provided a cursive writing program at elementary
  • Implemented a consistent data platform (Abre) that also houses student plans 
  • Streamlined the intervention process
  • Implemented a more efficient work order and facility rental system
  • More support for instructional technology
  • Provided Kindergarten screening and kits so parents can help students be prepared for success in kindergarten 
  • Increased student capacity at The Hub
  • Moving preschool to a Monday through Friday program
  • Redesigning the district website to be more user-friendly (coming this fall)
  • Building more inclusion models for students with disabilities (including co-teaching)
  • Creating a continuum of supports for students with disabilities
  • Provided a Summer Bridge program and incentives to help prevent summer learning loss and grow skills all summer
  • Building school garden programming
  • Increased field trips 
  • Instructional coaches for every school
  • Gifted/ Talented teachers for every school

Some of the ideas you submitted that we are working on include: improving bathrooms at some schools, more locally-grown and nutritious food at lunch, standardizing accommodations for students with disabilities, upgrading busses, remote learning plans for snow days, and reducing car idling at student pick-up.

As you can see, your ideas and suggestions matter!  This is how we create a better district for our students , our families, and our employees.  Please keep the suggestions coming!  Thank you.


Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent
[email protected]