I had a great time celebrating the District's Homecoming week, Shenfest, and other activities this fall. Several fun activities such as the color run/walk, parades, music, and other events created an exciting atmosphere in the community. I want to thank everyone who made an effort to help with events and attend some different activities. Everyone's effort makes a difference.
I have enjoyed spending more time in classrooms this month. Our teachers and students have been engaged in some pretty impressive work. As a former elementary teacher, the 95 Phonics instruction that is occurring caught my full attention. It is a solid, evidence-based model of instruction that provides systematic and explicit word study. I was impressed with how the teachers used it in their classrooms and how the students interacted with the materials.
Some of the furniture that was purchased this spring was delayed in shipping and just recently arrived. The timing might not have been ideal since students were in session. However, John Finn, the Plant Manager at Pella Corporation, sent a crew on site to help put the furniture together. Their help was an incredible gift of time for the District. It was also rewarding to see the Pella crew engage with students and allow our students to learn from them. Thank you for the ongoing support, Pella!
The High School renovation is complete, allowing the District to work on additional projects that are necessary and will contribute to maintaining safe and healthy facilities for the students and staff. I have shared about many of the projects that were completed this summer in previous blogs. However, I was more than pleased the Board agreed to move forward with purchasing new windows for the JK-8 building.
Completing this project will improve the air quality and the efficiency of the HVAC system in the building. The District received approval from the Iowa Department of Education to complete the project using ESSER funds which are federal funds provided to schools during the pandemic. CA Nelson will be assisting the District with the project.
Superintendents from around the state recently gathered to discuss relevant concerns at SAI Executive Leadership fall meeting. One of the important topics of discussion included manners in which districts address the teacher and staff shortage that is affecting Iowa. The shortage is a real concern. I am very pleased that the Shenandoah CSD Board has been actively engaged in discussions about retaining and attracting staff to work in the District. This work is vitally important so we can continue to provide the best staff possible to support high-quality educational services for the students and families in the District.
The Board has also been very engaged in ongoing efforts to monitor the financial health of the District. Mrs. Ruzek, the School Business Official, presented an extended report at the board meeting Monday evening. You can see a copy of the presentation here.
Members of the Shenandoah CSD School Board include:
|Jean Fichter, Board President|
|Adam Van Der Vliet, Board Vice President|