Austin Packer Bulletin - 0111
Volume 1, Issue 11
Austin School Board Member Don Leathers Named to MSBA All-State School Board
10-year Austin School Board member Don Leathers has been named to the 2023 All-State School Board by the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA). This is MSBA’s most prestigious award and represents a huge honor for Don.
Each year, MSBA selects up to seven board members from the state of Minnesota to be on the All-State Board. The program, which began in 1971, is designed to recognize “school board members who are committed to student achievement, determined to build support for their local schools, and unwavering in their pursuit of what’s best for students,” according to MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind.
Award recipients are chosen from Minnesota’s nearly 2,300 school board members and have been nominated by superintendents, fellow board members, or the community. Criteria for the award includes MSBA training, strong leadership, and a demonstration of concern for students, staff, and the community.
Don will receive his award on January 12, 2023, at the MSBA winter conference in Minneapolis.
Elected to Work for our Kids! Thank you, Mr. Leathers!
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
Please Note: There will be NO targeted services next week!
Attorney General: Lunch shaming includes alternate meals
Commissioner Heather Mueller asked the Attorney General to clarify an opinion about student meals after learning that some school districts were providing an alternate meal to students based on meal debt.
In an opinion issued yesterday, Attorney General Keith Ellison stated such practices must stop.
According to the Attorney General’s opinion, providing an alternate meal not on the scheduled menu violates a Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. § 124D.111) that requires respectful treatment of students regarding school lunch debt and prohibits limiting access to many aspects of school life based on meal debt.
The opinion takes effect immediately, which means all schools must offer the same meals to students regardless of their school meal debt.
Austin Public Schools has been aligned with the new guidance for several years.
Update: Gifted and Talented Program Audit
Austin Public Schools will again work with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) from the University of Minnesota to conduct a program review of the gifted and talented program. Our district is planning to use this information to help prioritize, plan, and implement gifted and talented programming that aligns with best practice research and the needs of students.
- Week of November 28: Staff survey for staff members that work with Advanced Academics, Young Scholars, Pi Academy, Honors, or AP students
- Week of December 5: Student survey for students in grades 3-12 in Advanced Academics, Young Scholars, Pi Academy, Honors, or AP classes
- Weeks of December 5 and December 12: Student, Staff, and Family Focus Groups
Additional information and directions will be shared with those that will participate in the program review. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Malo or at 460-1924.
Help Your Child and YOU Stay Healthy
The exponential rise in children’s respiratory illnesses resulting in hospitalizations from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and influenza-like-illnesses (ILI) has placed an unprecedented strain on our hospitals and emergency departments (EDs).
As a result of this increase, Minnesota hospitals are receiving an overwhelming number of parents and guardians requesting notes from hospital staff, specifically in EDs. The increase in requests for these notes has placed an additional burden on an already strained system. When in need of a note from medical providers for absences, please request these notes from a healthcare provider instead of going to the ED to get a note.
We encourage the promotion of basic public health measures including handwashing, covering your cough, staying home if sick, and promoting vaccination. Thank you for your continued support to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and each other.
Austin Public Library: Dungeons and Dragons Club
Austin Public Library connects people with resources to foster literacy, equity, and community in a safe, comfortable space. They have many opportunities, including a new Dungeons and Dragons club. Beginning and experienced players can meet others interested in the game, learn the rules, and join us for adventure. Our first meetings, on December 3 at 1 pm and on December 5 at 6:30 pm, will gauge the club's level of interest and needs so we can plan for the future. Stop by the library to learn more about all the youth and adult activities.
MN School Violence Prevention Symposium
The Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) is partnering with the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA), the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), and the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association (MESPA) on a Minnesota School Violence Prevention Symposium.
Swimmers and Divers Head To State
Congratulations to the Girls Swimming and Diving team and all this week's state tournament participants!
School Board Policies
APS policies are routinely reviewed and/or revised. These policies provide the governance structure and guidance in school district matters and decisions. The school board recently approved the following:
- Policy 205 - Open Meetings and Closed Meetings
- Policy 206 - Public Participation in School Board Meetings/Complaints About Persons at School Board Meetings and Data Privacy Considerations
- Policy 208 - Development, Adoption and Implementation of Policies
- Policy 209 - Code of Ethics
- Policy 210 - Conflict of Interest - School Board Members
- Policy 305 - Policy Implementation
- Policy 406 - Public and Private Personnel Data
- Policy 724 - Tax Abatement Policy
Please check this site periodically to be sure you have the most current version of any given policy.
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Emily Quam.
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 Banfield Elementary School counselor Kendra Hotchkiss.
"Kendra puts her whole heart into the students at Banfield. She creates such a welcoming and safe space for all of her students, and Banfield is truly lucky to have her."
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!
November 29 - 7:00 – 7:45 AM
December 7 - 10:00 – 10:45 AM
January 5 - 7:00 – 7:45 AM
February 9 – 7:00 – 7:45 AM
March 30 – 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.
Tue, Nov 29, 2022, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
In The News
- Institute launches Young Scientist Program
- 'Deaf Day' at Minnesota Children's Museum offers inclusive experience
- Teaching constructive feedback helps set students up for life beyond school
- The core problem at the root of math phobia? Fear of failure
- The culture wars are pushing some teachers to leave the classroom