Friday's Rewind

A look back, some time to reflect, and a look ahead...

STEAM Magnet Grant Submitted to NWSISD

Just a quick update on our grant application. I submitted our grant proposal which would give us funding to support STEAM magnet programming at MES over the course of the next 3 years. The funding goes to support professional development, curriculum, resources, and other related needs. It sounds like they will be awarding 8-10 grants this year (so very competitive), and we hope that we will be selected. A big thank you to Jen Olson and Angie Kath for their help in completing this. It was a lot of hard work, but well worth it. We still anticipate needing to make adjustments after getting feedback from NWSISD and will need to do so quickly as it is a very short turn around. The timing of all of these deadlines have not been ideal for us, but again, the funding that would come with this grant is substantial and worth the headache if received. We should know the results in August.

Media Center Remodel

Conversations have recently started again about doing some remodeling to our media center. I will be working with John Heltunen in the coming week to determine budget and scope of the project. Once I know more I will connect with staff to discuss next steps.

Innovation Specialist Position

Linda Emmel will be retiring at the end of the school year and we will be hiring an Innovation Specialist to serve as our third member of the specialist team. A big THANKS to Linda for her hard work, dedication, and years of service to MES!

This new position will focus instruction on innovative programming such as coding, makerspace, digital production, google applications, graphic design and more. The innovation planning team is starting to have discussions about what this will look like. All of these experiences will continue to happen in the classroom as well as part of our school of innovation learning experience.

Next year, classroom teachers will bring their students to the library to check out books as this will not be a part of specialist time. We have not finalized ESP allocations for 16-17, but I anticipate that we will have an ESP supporting our library area throughout the day.

Innovation Planning Team Member Needed

As you know, Kate Volk will be joining Tatanka Elementary next year and we are looking to fill her spot on our innovation planning team. This is a compensated position so please let me know if you have interest in joining the team! Thanks Kate for your work and efforts on this initiative. It is greatly appreciated!

Welcome Whitney Bennett

Whitney Bennett will be joining us as our new 5th grade teacher, replacing Jan Michalek upon retirement. Thanks Jan for everything you have done for MES during your years of service! Whitney is currently a 3rd grade teacher in St. Peter and brings with her a passion for life-long learning, dedication and commitment to helping all students learn, and strong experiences with technology integration. She is going to be an outstanding addition to the MES family.

Teacher Appreciation Week

I am not a big fan of scheduled recognition days for staff members for the simple fact that I appreciate you daily, not just on designated days of the year. I may not tell you enough, but I truly feel that way. I am proud to serve MES because of the work each of you do. Perceptions of MES are at an all-time high right now. Families from outside of Montrose are calling to inquire about how they can attend. That is a HUGE deal! It was not long ago that perceptions were quite different. The work that YOU do each day is what has changed these perceptions. I appreciate you for many reasons, but what stands out in my mind the most is how this staff supports our students both academically and emotionally. You have bought into the belief that kids aren't bad, but some come from bad places. You understand that bad behavior often times manifests from something else, and sometimes care, comfort, and love is what is needed most at that time. You believe in providing students with new and relevant learning experiences that prepare them for the unknown future and not our experiences of the past. I could not be more proud of your efforts. THANK YOU for making a difference in the lives of our students.

To recognize you, the PAC and I will be providing snacks in the lounge everyday next week. We will put a sign up in the lounge with more information. Thanks again for all you do!