Austin Packer Bulletin - 0113
Volume 1, Issue 13
A Strategic Plan for Austin Graduates
Over the past year, we have been focusing on developing strong career pathways and a clear vision for students that enter our system. From the first day of pre-kindergarten to the day they get their diploma, our students should develop their strengths and learn how to apply their education in life after graduation.
It is a big process and takes time, but I want to share with you the Packer Profile, how the process is moving along, and what it means for our students, staff, and teachers.
- Desired Daily Experiences for Students, Staff, and Teachers
- Strategic Planning Process for Packer Profile
- Packer Profile: 5 Core Values (next week)
- FAQs (next week)
Desired Daily Experiences for Students, Staff, and Teachers
Our strategic plan has centered on how our students will experience their education at Austin Public Schools. A big part of this, too, is thinking about what our daily desired experience should be–for students, teachers, staff, and parents.
We asked some big questions: Day to day and week to week, what do our stakeholders want to experience in our District? How can we better serve our students, staff, and parents? Here is what was shared with us:
- I am supported and challenged in my learning and believe I will be successful
- I feel that school is safe and that school is challenging, and fun
- I am an engaged learner at school and in our community
- I am seen, valued, and respected for who I am and the work I do
- I receive the support and resources to do my job well so I am able to create a healthy and safe learning environment
- I work in a district that is willing to adapt and change when necessary to best meet the needs of all students
- I am part of my child's education and feel welcomed, valued, and respected as a family
- My child enjoys coming to school and is safe, included, and respected, so they are learning every day
- I am engaged in a partnership with my child's school, so I know what to do to help my child continue to grow and learn
Creating a new and better plan for excellence in our school system doesn't happen overnight, and our progress is exciting!
If you haven't seen our Packer Profile video – The Why – please check it out here. Next week, I'll highlight the Packer Profile's Core Values and share additional information.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
Austin High School Principal Search
The search for Austin High School's next principal is underway. In a district-wide reorganization announced in January 2022, Dr. Page shared the positive changes that will help better align Austin's administrative team with district goals. The reorganization ensured that Austin's schools were better aligned in instruction, curriculum, and assessment.
The comprehensive search for Austin High School's next principal started in February 2022. To find the best candidates for Austin High School, we needed to exceed stakeholder expectations and advance our District's and the schools' commitments to improvement. The search was unsuccessful, and Dr. Sheri Allen was hired as interim principal. Dr. Allen's incredible experience and accomplishments have afforded us more time to find Austin High School's new leader.
Round 1 interviews were completed on December 7. Round 2 interviews will be held on December 14. A successful process would be completed before the winter break, followed by a comprehensive transition plan with Dr. Allen through the second semester.
The Hormel Foundation
Recently The Hormel Foundation (HF) board of directors approved record distributions of $21.1 million for nonprofit agencies in the Austin/Mower community for 2023. In a ADH article, the HF chair shared, "It is a great honor for the board of The Hormel Foundation to be able to distribute these funds to nonprofit organizations that benefit so many members of our community," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chair of The Hormel Foundation. "We can all be thankful to Hormel Foods' employees for their dedicated effort, hard work and success in generating these funds. We continue to benefit from the foresight of the founders of The Hormel Foundation who created a plan 81 years ago to ensure that our community would benefit throughout generations."
The Austin Public Schools are so thankful for the Hormel Foundation's ongoing support. This year the District received over $1.8 million in allocated funds to a variety of programs like technology in the K-12 settings, REACH, gifted and talented, professional development, and supporting our music programs.
Young Scientist Program
The Hormel Institute launched their Young Scientist Program in partnership with the Austin Public Schools! It was made possible through a generous donation to their Education Fund, which supports current and future education initiatives for student learning opportunities at the Hormel Institute.
Packer Dome Update
We appreciate your patience as we work to have the Packer Dome accessible. Unfortunately, our dome installation this year has been hindered by weather delays, a mechanical breakdown, and workforce availability. Now that it is inflated, we are completing inspections and repairs inside. We will let everyone know when it is available to the public.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
In July, the United States transitioned to the new three-digit dialing code 988 to reach crisis support. The change is part of a nationwide effort to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (the Lifeline) to a phone number people can more easily remember and access in times of crisis. The shift also includes an online chat feature and a new texting option.
The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline code will serve as a universal entry point, so people can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help regardless of where they live. Anyone can dial or text 988 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reach crisis support or to use an online chat feature to connect with crisis support. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
For more information, including resources to support mental well-being visit Mental Health and Well-being.
Connect, the Minnesota State High School League's monthly online news magazine, is published the last week of each month. It compiles news and features from the League's previous month.
The League looks forward to another year of providing features, news and other information to the Member Schools and their communities via the News portion of the website and the new-look Connect. Read the November Connect here.
Austin Public Library Events
The Austin Public Library connects people with resources to foster literacy, equity and community in a safe, comfortable space. Check out their activities for children and teens here.
Grading and Reporting Committee
Last year the PK-12 Grading and Reporting Committee met monthly to review the APS grading and reporting systems. Given the feedback and next steps articulated by the grade level groups this year, a sub-committee from the Grading and Reporting Committee members will meet to review the weighting of practice work and assessments for our 5-12 system. Updates on the work will be shared at future District World's Best Workforce committee meetings.
Reminder: Elementary School Transition Updates
The Minnesota Department of Education's flexible learning year provides optional scheduling approaches for students and educators for a school year by building or program. Sumner Elementary School has utilized a 45/15 schedule for several years in the Austin Public Schools. Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, Sumner Elementary School will return to the same calendar as the other elementary schools in the District.
This means that beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, all Austin Public Schools will be on a traditional calendar when all students begin in the fall, have traditional breaks throughout the year, and have most of the summer off. This transition in schedule also means that all elementary students in the Austin Public Schools will eventually begin the process of adhering to attending their neighborhood elementary school. The elementary boundaries have not changed. This transition will involve several changes throughout the District, and we would like to share as much as possible with you here.
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Kathy Enger.
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 IJ Holton Instructional Coach Sarah Shultz.
"Sarah always goes above and beyond to help both students and colleagues in any way possible. She has touched many lives both students and colleagues in a positive manner!"
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!
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.
Thu, Jan 5, 2023, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
In The News
- MSHSL set to serve up boys volleyball as school sport option
- AHS holiday music opportunities
- Over 1,830 colleges are test-optional for fall 2023 admissions
- The path to a career could start in middle school
- Check out Austin's Packer Profile
- Walz pushes for more resources for all public schools: "Now is the time to be big on this"
- All APS schools now on traditional school schedule