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Principal Notes 1.11.2016

January 11, 2016

We have had an excellent start to the second semester thus far!  The students were welcomed back on January 6th with presentations called “Awareness Stations.”  Throughout the fall, the positive behavior team (PBiS Team) determined it would be worthwhile for the students to become more aware about issues that they may encounter on an everyday basis.  Elementary and secondary students were placed into five groups for the morning and rotated through various stations.  Jessica Baker and Mallory Siebold presented information on NADAA, bullying prevention, and suicide prevention.  Aimee Daily and Dani Niss provided information on disabilities such as autism and down syndrome.  Tracy Pella explained how mental illnesses (depression) can affect students and their behavior.  Vira Lillenas presented information on Ukraine as we attempted to make our students aware of cultural differences.  Finally, the students watched a video on a young boy named Caine who was successful creating a cardboard arcade and persevered when everything was going against him.  The day was topped off with a special presentation by Joe Coles who discussed bullying behavior, school pride, attitude, and doing the right thing when it may not always be popular.  Feedback from both students and staff indicate this was a great event with many positive messages.  We would like to thank all of our presenters for providing time to share their valuable information with students!

As we move into the second semester, there are two items that I would like to bring to your attention.  You may have heard toward the end of the first semester that security cameras have been installed on all buses.  Our school climate survey, completed this past fall, indicated that there were students who did not always feel safe on the bus.  After investing the issue further, it seems as though some students have been up moving around when the bus was moving.  Unfortunately, this causes an unneeded and unwanted distraction to the bus driver.  When students are moving from seat to seat while the bus is moving, it causes unsafe driving conditions and diverts the driver’s focus away from the road; not to mention also putting a child at-risk for injury.  We hope that the cameras will help this situation.  Throughout the semester, I will randomly view a bus route to see whether or not bus rules are being followed.  If they are not, students will be subject to the school discipline policy.  Please have a conversation with your child regarding proper bus behavior.  Together, I am hoping we can make our bus rides a safe environment for students.

Secondly, please pay close attention to the concession stand schedule that is sent out in the weekly newsletter.  Money earned from the concession stand is used to benefit all students through activities and events.  In order for us to have a successful concession stand, we need to ensure that everyone is working during their assigned times.  When concessions are short-staffed it puts more stress and work on those who are there.  If you are unable to fulfill your obligation, please find a substitute or contact the school office so arrangements can be made. 

The new semester provides students with an opportunity for a fresh start in each of their classes.  In some cases, students may be taking new classes altogether.  I encourage each student to begin the semester in a positive manner by completing assignments on-time and striving for excellent grades.  Beginning the semester in a positive way can carry on throughout the remainder of the school year.  Please encourage your child to do the best of their ability as we move through the second half of the year!

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