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!

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