With Thanksgiving over and as we move on towards Christmas, one realizes how fast time goes and all that gets accomplished. Also knowing that there is more to do in order to meet the needs of individual students and our district as a whole.
Our cross country and volleyball teams wrapped up successful seasons, as well as our football players who share with Central DeWitt. In the Fine Arts department, the students put on a fine performance of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, a great fall concert at the secondary, as well as having an elementary student selected for the OPUS honor choir two consecutive years.
Numerous clubs and groups have been busy participating in educational activities. This makes one appreciate a small school, knowing all the opportunities our students have to participate in the classroom, and the extension of the classroom into our communities and beyond with educational experiences.
Teachers have been busy as well with district professional development learning sessions focused on Trauma Informed Schools. The start of the school year began with staff in-service, led by Jen Alexander, speaking to all of our teachers and associates about trauma and how to identify and help students navigate the daily demands of school, family and issues that arise for each individual. As the school year continues, the same staff are participating in a book study reinforcing the concepts of how to affectively help students cope and make good decisions in school and home life. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)and the Teacher Leadership Program continue to be a standard “way to do business” for staff. The opportunities for staff members to collaborate and work together on priority standards and units is essential to ensure we are meeting the individual needs of each student.
On the horizon between now and Christmas break students will be sharing their talents with concerts (Elementary 12/9 and 12/10, 7:00pm and JH/HS 12/19, 7:00pm), and basketball games two or three nights per week. This is a busy time for students and families and we appreciate the support of our students from our community members. I encourage you to continue to check our website at www.cal-wheat.k12.ia.us and utilize the district phone app and social media pages to keep up on the calendar of events and happenings of the district.
The 2020 legislative session will convene in January and school districts will focus on advocating for public education. If you are interested, here are just a few topics that you could contact your legislator about: Preschool: continued support for 4 & 5 year olds; Mental Health: offer preventative and treatment services and comprehensive mental health programs; School Funding: supports equitable and timely funding: Supplemental State Aid: setting a rate that supports local districts’ efforts to plan, create and sustain schools; School Calendars: supports locally elected boards to determine the calendar to best meet student needs.
And finally, thank you to the Calamus Wheatland communities for the overwhelming support of extending the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy for an additional ten years. Our communities have and continue to value the small school public education of our youth and we are honored to work for these great communities.