Austin Packer Bulletin - August 18
Volume 2, Issue 3
August 17, 2023, was an exciting day for Austin Public Schools. The Strengths-focused work that we have been implementing amongst the District Leadership Team (during 2021-2022), in partnership with Flourish Consulting L.L.C., as a part of our strategic plan, was rolled out to elementary sites in which staff had the opportunity to Know, Own, Show, and Grow their innate talents, in an intentional way.
KNOW - Our staff will gain a basic understanding of their top five Themes, according to the CliftonStrengths® assessment, and deepen their awareness of how those talents manifest in observable behaviors. They will be invited to see how they are uniquely wired to serve our students and community.
OWN - Staff will be invited to internalize the value each of their talents brings, accept their innate talents as what is "right" about them, recognize how pairings of Strengths impact behavior, and grow in their capacity to notice how they might be perceived.
SHOW - Staff will learn how to course correct, regulate the timing and intensity of their Strengths, and dig into how their unique "brand" of talents can be an asset in relationships with students, colleagues, and the community.
GROW - As we continue our journey beyond the 2023-2024 school year, staff will continue to have opportunities to explore the impact of Strengths in their daily lives and relationships. They will be encouraged to take an asset-based approach to collaboration, communication, and navigating conflict and change.
Over the coming years, staff of all building sites will be able to board this critical development work. Our goal is for the Austin Public Schools staff to acknowledge their unique contribution to the culture so we can all bring the best of ourselves to impact our students and this community's growth and development.
Why is this work so important?
One of our strategic priorities is to provide support and resources to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment. Learning, communicating, contributing, taking responsibility, and building resiliency are the Core Values we follow and will help us become a better organization.
Timeline of Austin Public Schools & Flourish Consulting Partnership:
- Last Year: IJ Holton Intermediate School, Ellis Middle School, Oakland Education Center, CLC, and Adult Basic Education
- This Year - Elementary Sites
- Next Year - Austin High School and Kindergarten staff
We are partnering with Bethany von Steinbergs, founder of Flourish Consulting L.L.C., in this important work. Flourish Consulting is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to engaging and developing talent within organizations.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
Points of Pride
Great things are happening at Austin Public Schools!
With a wide range of partnerships and programs to benefit our students, staff, and the community, our #PackerPride shines through in all we do. Thank you for all the support, and check out our Points of Pride!
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
In 2022, 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 dial 988 if worried about a loved one needing crisis support.
For more information, visit Mental Health and Well-being.
Accelerate Austin School Supply Fundraiser
Are you looking for a way to give back to the community and invest in the next generation? If so, we have the perfect opportunity for you!
At Austin Public School, our mission is to Inspire, Empower, and Accelerate as we prepare our learners to make a difference in the world. One of the ways we are working to support this mission is to ensure that all students start the school year off with the supplies they need to be successful.
Your donation will help make a huge difference in our students' lives, and we appreciate your assistance. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
Together, we can build a stronger Austin Public Schools. Learn more here and how to donate.
Mower County Distinguished Citizens Awards Dinner
The Mower County Distinguished Citizens Dinner provides the Twin Valley Council and the citizens of Mower County with the opportunity to honor the leaders around us and to demonstrate to younger generations the qualities great leaders possess, all while raising funds to support the Council's outreach programs directly.
The Scouting programs in Mower County, which is part of the Twin Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America, serve over 1,000 boys and girls in kindergarten through age 20 and over 700 youth in our school-based Learning for Life programs.
The Mower County Distinguished Citizen Event will help support Mower County's new and existing Scouting programs, new S.T.E.M. programming for Scouts, training of adult Scouting leaders, Camperships to help send kids to camp, Unit and program support, and the Learning for Life outreach programs through local schools. Get tickets here.
School Board Information
The Austin School Board is a policy-making body responsible for the district's curriculum, personnel, and physical facilities. They work hard for Austin Public School students and encourage your involvement and feedback. The public is invited and encouraged to attend School Board meetings. Regular School Board meetings are held at 5:30 pm in the A.H.S. Annex Recital Hall at 205 4th St NW. Please enter through Annex Door #1. Meeting dates are noted in the calendar. Please call 507-460-1900 with any questions concerning school board meetings.
The meeting agenda is posted on the district website and in the Superintendent's Office at 401 Third Avenue N.W. three days before each meeting. School Board minutes are also posted on the district website and published regularly in the Austin Daily Herald. The meetings are live-streamed on the A.P.S. YouTube channel, and the link will be made available in the meeting agenda and via social media. Please note that only regular monthly meetings are live-streamed (this does not include study sessions).
During each Regular School Board meeting, the Board will allow audience members to address the Board. Don't hesitate to contact the Superintendent's office at 507-460-1900 to address the School Board.
Computer Science Opportunity For Students
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) seeks high school students to participate in the Computer Science Working Group. The group will aim to develop a strategic plan for a statewide computer science education program. Students should have experience in computer science, such as taking a computer science class in high school, participating in an afterschool or summer school program, or participating in a computer science or robotics competition. Learn more and apply by August 25 here.
MDE Landing Page and More
MDE has created a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date information on implementing the 2023 omnibus K-12 and early learning education bills. The 2023 session landing page is a central hub for communication, resources, training opportunities, and guidance issued by the Department of Education related to the recently enacted legislation. Content will continue to be added as it is produced."
Hometown Food Security Project
The Hometown Food Security Project is a collective impact effort addressing the hunger and food insecurity issues in Mower County, Minnesota. Led by Hormel Foods and the United Way of Mower County, the Project Coalition identifies resources, gaps, barriers, and opportunities by engaging content/context experts and community members with lived experiences.
Our vision is to ensure no one goes hungry in Mower County.
Our goal is that Mower County will be deemed a food-secure community when…
- data indicates a 3% food insecurity rate or less and
- all individuals have access to sustainable systems meeting nutrition needs to include food preferences, dietary needs, and culturally competent food to promote a lifestyle conducive to a flourishing community
- achieved through informed solutions related to partners, programs, policy, and research.
Community Assessment: Food Insecurity in Mower County
Through dozens of stakeholder interviews, surveys, community listening sessions, subject matter expert input, and countless conversations, the Coalition has compiled an informative report for understanding hunger in our community. Read the Mower County Food Insecurity Community Assessment Report to learn more here.
If you'd like to get involved with the Coalition, get in touch.
Connecting Recently Arrived Students and Families to Health and Other Resources
Minnesota's Refugee Health Program partners with local health departments, health care providers, and community organizations to offer populations eligible for Office of Refugee Resettlement benefits a comprehensive health assessment, appropriate follow-up or referral, and community-based health education. These groups include:
- Special Immigrant Visa holders
- Certified Victims of Human Trafficking
- Some humanitarian parolee groups
If you are working with newcomer populations and would like additional guidance on whether they are eligible for a Refugee Health Assessment or have other health-related questions, please contact email@example.com. More information is available from the Minnesota Department of Health website at Minnesota's Refugee Health Program. Additional healthcare resources can be found at the Minnesota Community Health Centers.
As a reminder, questions about a parent or student's immigration status are unnecessary to establish whether a family is eligible for services.
Electroposium Opportunity for High School Students
The University of Minnesota's new Center for Electrification Opportunity (MN CEO) invites high school students to their inaugural Electroposium on Monday, October 9. The afternoon event aims to inspire and empower the next generation of electrification leaders by showcasing the latest technological advancements, offering hands-on training and informational sessions, and fostering discussions about the future of electrification. For more information, visit: Center for Electrification Opportunity (CEO) | Technological Leadership Institute | College of Science and Engineering (umn.edu).
Austin Public Library Opportunities
Speaking of Health
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Stephany Oldenkamp.
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.
All you need to do is take a minute to answer a few quick questions at https://www.austin.k12.mn.us/alumni-spotlight.
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 Austin High School custodian Mickey Ely.
"Mickey works hard and is dedicated to making our building the best it can be. You can visibly tell which area she is responsible for as her attention to detail is evident from student desks and classroom floors to hallway trashcans and water fountains. She is amazing!"
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
Superintendent Coffee and Conversation
Please consider joining me at the Coffee House on Main for coffee and conversation.
Coffee House on Main
329 Main Street North
Austin, MN 55912
- September 11 – 7:00-7:45 AM
- October 23 – 7:00-7:45 AM
- November 27 – 7:00-7:45 AM
- December 20 – 7:00-7:45 AM
Or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-460-1900 to schedule an appointment.
* Dates are subject to change
Monday, Sep 11, 2023, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
In The News
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Austin Public Schools is committed to creating an inclusive environment that values the diversity of its employees and does not discriminate against any employee or candidate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status or membership or activity in a local commission. The school district strongly encourages anyone interested to apply to join our teams. Reasonable accommodations to access job openings or to apply for a job are available. Click here to learn more.