Monday, July 11, 2011

Teaching Assignments

At the last PTO meeting in May I had the opportunity to present information on where individual teachers have been assigned for the 2011-12 school year.  Not everyone was able to attend that meeting and many are interested in knowing which teacher is teaching which grade.  I have provided that information here and I hope that it is helpful.  I'm always happy to talk so please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or comments that you have.

Half-day Kindergarten  - Christine Peterson
Full-day Kindergarten - Bobbie Kunkel

First Grade - Nancy Mosher and Andrea Beegle.  Andrea has been teaching at Harriet Bishop Elementary in 191 and she is currently re-assigned to teach at Sioux Trail in the fall.  I'm excited to add her to our team and she is excited to be here and work with Sioux Trail first graders.

Second Grade - Karen Otremba and Sacia Williams.

For the 2011-12 school year the staffing model has changed and the decisions about how many sections each grade level will have is no longer made by the building principal. It is now determined by the Superintendent.  For the 2011-12 school year Sioux Trail is assigned 2.5 sections of first grade and 2.5 sections of second grade.  A part time teacher provides valuable services and meets an important need.  In this case I determined that two part time teachers was was not the best situation. I paired the two 0.5 positions and I asked Sonia Boche to teach a multi-age classroom.  Multi-age classrooms are research proven and a great way to integrate differentiation strategies and to teach to students based on their needs.  Our multi-age classroom will be a mix of first and second grade students and will be a balanced classroom; using the same placement model that we use for all classrooms.  In early August families with students who have been placed in the multi-age classroom will receive early placement letters and invitation to attend an informational session.

Third Grade - Annie Engdahl and Mark Kleven

Fourth Grade - Debra Brandon and Katie Mulvahill

Fifth Grade - Becky Laatsch and Sarah Gant.  Sarah is an experienced teacher, who, similar to Andrea Beegle, has been teaching at Harriet Bishop Elementary in 191 and she is currently re-assigned to teach at Sioux Trail in the fall.  I'm excited to add her to our team and she is excited to be here and work with Sioux Trail fifth grade students.

Sixth Grade - Barb Istas and Duane Barton.  Because of the large number of student in this class we have been assigned an additional half-time sixth grade teacher.  This individual has not been hired yet, when hired, this teacher will reduce class sizes during math and literacy instruction by providing small group instruction. 

For the 2011-12 school year ISD 191 is adding art specialists to all ten elementary schools.  This was not true in the past and is an exciting opportunity for our students.  Sioux Trail is one of five smaller schools in the district that do not need four full time teachers and we are sharing specialists (art, music, science and physical education) between our schools. To facilitate the sharing process you will see multiple staff in each area, but the students will have the same teacher for their class throughout the school year.

Music - Rachel Lucius and a position to be hired for
Physical Education - Kevin Morrissey and Brian Moorlach
Art - To be hired
Science - Bounthavy Khamratthanome and Bjorn Anderson

Special Education - Katie Nelson, Kim Roark, Patty Tushie and Wendy Hirschey

Instructional Intervention - Sharron Stalock and Leslie Horwart

Resource and Enrichment - Jeff Gallus

ESL - Becky Fredrickson and Ann Condon

Sioux Trail does not currently have Title I for the 2011-12 school year, but we're still waiting on final numbers from the Minnesota Department of Education and this may change.

There are additional staff beyond the teachers, but intent for this blog post was to identify the teaching staff.  If  you have questions please contact me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What do you do?

One of the questions that I often get asked is: "Do you have the summer off too?" When I say that I don't and explain that I have an allocation of vacation days (many of which I use in the summer) I'm asked the follow-up question - "So, what do you do all summer?"

I wanted to add a blog post for you with information about some of the changes that I'm working on.  hopefully this will give you a good idea of what I've been working on and what will be different at Sioux Trail in the fall of 2011. 

My first item won't be change, especially for all that know Mr. Glende!  The building is spotless and getting cleaner every day.  We have had some additional custodians assigned to our crew for a short period of time because of construction at the Burnsville High School.  This crew (nicknamed "Glende's Gang") is making quick work of many projects.  They have done impressive work cleaning all of our classrooms, moving classrooms and doing a wide variety of other projects.

Sioux Trail is hosting one of the summer school programs again and those students started arriving on July 6.  The program is called ESY or Extended School Year and provides summer service to students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) who need support through our DCD (Developmental Cognitive Delay) classrooms, speech therapy and other related programs.  We have also been hosting a cheerleader camp for Burnsville High School.  The first day the cheerleaders arrived was a big surprise as the gym was filled with carpets that were being cleaned and none of us had any idea were were hosting summer cheer camp.

With the generous support and partnership of the Sioux Trail PTO we were able to order nine SMART Boards for classrooms and those have arrived and will be installed soon.  I used the donation from the PTO along with building funds to purchase this interactive instructional technology and I'm very excited to add these tools to our classrooms.  This means that when we start the 2011-12 school year we will have a SMART Board in the classroom of each teacher who has requested one.  I believe that by adding the technology when teachers are ready for it there is a higher likelihood that the tool will be used on a frequent basis and will have a positive impact on students achievement.

The 2010-11 school year was the final year that room 109 and room 110 were to be used as classrooms.  We affectionately refer to these two classrooms as "the portables" even though they stopped being portable over twenty years ago. During the 2010-11 school the portables were home to Mrs. Mosher, Mrs. Horwart and lots of wonderful first grade students.  The buildings were added as temporary solution for increasing enrollment many many years ago and when the school board did a recent study of attendance boundaries and building capacities the decision was made to remove these buildings.  The buildings have not been adequately maintained in recent years and a decision had to be made regarding updating the spaces and doing some maintenance or removing the classrooms.   The ISD 191 school board made the decision to remove the portable classrooms at most of the elementary buildings where they are located.  Glende's Gang has removed everything from the portables at Sioux Trail that can be re-used and we waiting for demolition crew to arrive and remove the physical buildings.  If you see some heavy equipment outside of Sioux Trail it may be time to say good-bye to these classrooms.  These two classrooms have been a great addition to Sioux Trail and losing them will mean that the remaining space at Sioux Trail will be used very efficiently. 

I've been making good use of the summer to do some professional growth and I've been able to attend conferences on several professional topics including Response to Intervention and the work of Professional Learning Communities. I'm increasingly excited to work with teachers and students!

Please feel free to call or email with question, concerns or just to say hello!  I plan for another summer blog post very soon detailing teacher assignments (who is teaching which grade / subject).  Stay tuned!