Austin Packer Bulletin - 0125
Volume 1, Issue 25
The calendar shows that the 2022-2023 school year is approaching its final turn into the home stretch. This time of year signals a lot occurring in the Austin Public Schools. We are working through several critical objectives for the year and, at the same time, setting our sights on the 2024-2025 school year.
We recently took time at the Hormel Institute to plan more deeply for next year. We had the excellent opportunity to hear from presenters working collaboratively with the District.
Finally, Hormel Institute Executive Director and world-renowned cancer researcher Dr. Bob Clarke shared his inspirational, educational experiences growing up and highlighted how the Institute could continue to grow in partnership with us to support our mission to Inspire-Empower-Accelerate.
In September, I mentioned that our strategic plan centers on our mission and vision while highlighting our core values and priorities. These big goals look great on a poster, but are we ready to live them? I can say we are, and we are getting better at them. This year, we have installed new systems and processes to help us deliver on our goals. But what is really making the difference is everyone at APS and in the community. Along with our staff, the Austin community is how our work becomes real for each other, our parents/caregivers, and our students. As Dr. Henry Cloud points out, people are the plan.
I'll be providing an update on our District priorities over the next couple of Austin Packer Bulletins.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION (ECSE)
Children age birth to five identified as having a developmental delay or other disability will receive special education services through the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program. Children age birth to three receive services in their home or community childcare setting. Classroom learning experiences for three- and four-year-old children with special needs are provided in small groups or inclusive classrooms throughout the District.
HELP ME GROW Referral System
Parents, professionals, and caregivers with questions or concerns about a child's development can access support and services through Early Childhood Special Education. Our program coordinates with the state of Minnesota's Help Me Grow system to support families and caregivers who have a concern about a child from birth to kindergarten entrance. Referrals can be made online at www.helpmegrowmn.org . Help Me Grow Minnesota connects families to resources that help young children develop, learn and grow. Watch Minnesota parents share their stories about finding support through Help Me Grow. Anyone can make a referral to the state Help Me Grow system.
School Highlights, Enrollment, and Demographic Updates
We've recently updated school highlight information here. Each March, The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) releases "certified" enrollment/demographic data state-wide based on Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System (MARSS) data. You will find new demographic updates on the M.N. Report Card.
We have also updated the 2022-2023 "certified" APS District Demographic Documents:
Weightlifting State Champion
A huge congratulations to Austin's Jerryth Fieldhouse on capturing the 2023 MN JV 81kg Weightlifting State Championship!
Portuguese Delegation To Visit Austin
From March 22-23, a delegation from Portugal will be visiting Austin. A project called "Participatory Local Plans for the Integration of Migrants: Learning from best practices and building bridges between U.S. and Portugal" — supported by the Department of State through the "Small Grants Program" of the U.S. Embassy Lisbon, in Portugal — aims to help to produce national guidelines for a new generation of "Welcoming Plans" in Portugal for 2024.
The delegation is particularly interested in visiting five experiences in five different U.S. cities — the City of San Jose, CA; the City of San Antonio, TX; the City of Dallas, TX; the City of Austin, MN; and the City of Lincoln/Lancaster County, NE — to meet with its local authorities and partners, and to know more about the community engagement strategies that inform the development, implementation, and evaluation of its "Welcoming Plans" and that supported the earning of its Certified Welcoming designation. They have multiple stops planned in Austin, including the Austin Public Schools, on March 23.
Health Care Coverage
Minnesota families who rely on MinnesotaCare or Medicaid for their health care coverage will receive paperwork to renew coverage from the Department of Human Services in the next 16 months. Renewals were paused during the pandemic. The most important thing families need to do right now to avoid a coverage gap is to ensure the Department of Human Services (DHS) can reach them through the mail.
Please help us ensure every family has the information to renew their health care coverage. Families can learn what to do at DHS's Don't Risk a Gap in Your Health Insurance.
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumna Caylee Meier.
Are you an alumnus of Austin Public Schools? If so, we'd love to hear from you!
We're excited to hear about your accomplishments and are eager to share your successes and advice with our current students, families, and the Austin community. Please take a few minutes to complete the quick questionnaire at https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-resources/alumni-spotlight regarding your current position and your career trajectory.
Thanks, and we look forward to hearing all your wonderful stories!
At Austin Public Schools, our mission is to inspire, empower, and accelerate every one of our learners, and we know that the only way for us to reach this goal is through the efforts of all our incredibly hard-working staff.
In this week’s Staff Spotlight, we’re highlighting Woodson Kindergarten Center teacher Kristen Becker.
"[She] leads with compassion and deep care for all her students and her school family. Her dedication to helping our little learners grow and love to learn is unmatched."
If you’d like to nominate an outstanding Austin Public Schools staff member for our weekly Staff Spotlight, please take a moment to fill out the form at https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/district-resources/staff-spotlight. It only takes a minute and can truly make someone’s day. Thanks!
Superintendent Coffee and Conversation
Please consider joining Superintendent Page at the Coffee House on Main, 329 Main Street North, for Coffee and Conversation!
March 30 – 7:00 – 7:45 AM
April 4 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
May 29 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
*Dates are subject to change
Or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-460-1900 to schedule an appointment.
Thursday, Mar 30, 2023, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
We are providing the opportunity for you to offer the Austin Public Schools feedback with “snapshot data.” Each week, we will open a quick 1-minute survey for you to share your thoughts on the district for the week. These data can generate insights into trends and patterns over time, which can help inform our decision-making and strategic efforts as well help us address concerns and celebrate successes.
Thank you in advance for your time!