Austin Packer Bulletin - 0105
Volume 1, Issue 5
Quality Schools Make Austin Special
I have lived in Austin for more than 50 years, leading a dental practice and raising three children with my wife, Mary. I am blessed to be able to call Austin my home. I take great pride in how our community works together when facing a new challenge.
In that spirit, I want to make sure everyone is informed about an important community decision — the Nov. 8 referendum to increase the school operating levy.
Our schools have served students well for generations. Mary and I graduated from Austin Public Schools, our children graduated from Austin Public Schools, and we are the proud grandparents of two seniors who will graduate in the spring. Quality schools were one of the reasons I wanted to raise my family in Austin, and they remain an attraction for young families to this day.
Currently, our district’s operating levy is the lowest in the region, at $42.70 per student. Without increased funding, the students of tomorrow will not have the same opportunities that we have been so fortunate to receive. That’s why the district has proposed an operating levy increase of $470 per student on the ballot this November.
If the operating levy increase is approved, it will help alleviate a $3 million operating deficit the district is facing next year. Increased funding will ensure that students can explore the arts, get involved in athletics and receive extra support services. It will also ensure students have vocational opportunities and the chance to earn college credit while in high school. These are the kinds of programs that give our students a head start, helping prepare them for productive and fulfilling lives after graduation.
If the referendum passes, the average homeowner in the district with a $170,000 home would pay an estimated tax increase of $12 per month. Everyone needs to decide whether the value of this investment is worth the cost. I encourage everyone to visit AccelerateAustin.org to learn more about the referendum and how to make your voice heard this November. (Austin Daily Herald)
Dr. James Herrick
MNSHAPE Elementary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Sumner Elementary School's Derek Picha on being named the 2022 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by MNSHAPE!
Derek was announced as the winner at the annual MNSHAPE Fall Conference. The award "honor[s] and recognize[s] the outstanding services and contributions in elementary school physical education."
According to the MNSHAPE website, "MNSHAPE is a school-based professional association that provides professional services and resources for teachers, organizations, and individuals who provide quality programs. MNSHAPE is dedicated to improving the skills, knowledge, health, and well-being of all Minnesota students."
Targeted services is an intervention/prevention program for students in Kindergarten-8th grade. During October, families of students in Kindergarten through 8th grade will receive information about Targeted Services programming in the Austin Public Schools. Programming occurs after school and is designed to supplement the traditional school day. Programming aims to help students meet grade-level standards with extended day support.
Did you know?
- Students who participate in Out of School Time Programming (OST) have better attitudes toward school and higher educational aspirations.
- Have higher school attendance rates; less tardiness.
- Better performance in school, as measured by achievement tests and grades.
- Greater on-time promotion.
- Improved feelings and attitudes toward self and school.
- Increased self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-efficacy.
Traditional Calendar Session Dates:
- November 1st-December 15th
- January 10th-March 30th
- April 11th-May 11th
Target Service Scheduled Times (transportation is provided):
- Woodson: 2:15-3:30
- Elementary Sites: 2:45-4:00
- IJ/Ellis: 3:15-4:15
Families will receive more information on Targeted Services and criteria during the K-8 conferences; if you have questions, please get in touch with your child’s teacher or contact Jessica Cabeen, Principal of Alternative Learning Programs.
National Custodial and Maintenance Workers Day
This past week was National Custodial and Maintenance Workers Day. We wanted to take a moment to honor these hard-working members of the Austin Public Schools family who help keep our schools productive, clean, and safe. Thank you for the fantastic work they do. Their impact on our students, staff, and families is immeasurable.
Governor Tim Walz officially proclaimed the week of October 3-7 as Principals Week in the state of Minnesota.
Scholars of Distinction Program
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) created the Scholars of Distinction program to recognize academic and intellectual accomplishments by talented Minnesota students that happen both in and out of school. This program celebrates the collaboration among students and educators and family and community members that promote ongoing inquiry, the quest for new learning, and a new understanding of the world around us. Through a Scholars of Distinction project, students exercise their creativity, stretch what they have learned, and challenge themselves. Most importantly, their projects represent an area of high interest and focus.
To earn this recognition, students must complete the required work in the Minnesota Academic Standards, demonstrate mastery of complex subject matter and apply their knowledge to challenging projects. Students eligible for award consideration in mathematics, science, social studies, or STEM may be enrolled in grades 11-12 at a public or private school, homeschooled in grades 11-12, or enrolled in a Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program.
Students interested in the award must complete the Intent to Apply form by November 1.
For further information, visit the Scholars of Distinction webpage.
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Charlotte Dykema.
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/aps-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 Ellis Middle School special education teacher Katie Learn.
"She is devoted to making a difference in all of her students lives and truly wants what is best for everyone. She understands that all learners are capable of learning, but that it will look different for each person based on their needs."
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/aps-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!
October 14 - 7:00 -7:45 AM
October 28 - 7:00 -7:45 AM
November 2 - 11:00 – 11:30 AM
November 7 - 7:00 -7:45 AM
*Dates are subject to change
Or you can contact me at email@example.com or call 507-460-1900 to schedule an appointment.