A Team Staff News
August 29, 2023
Message from the Superintendent
Greetings A Team Staff,
Last week we welcomed our new teachers to the Alexandria Public Schools team. It was fun to be in the presence of 25 new teachers and their excitement and anticipation as they look to serve our students and our families.
This week includes the traditional school open houses. I am excited for our students and parents to see classrooms, meet teachers and staff and complete any additional paperwork.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the events in the next few days...and then again on the first day of school - Tuesday, September 5th.
Employee Referral Program
Help us fill the following positions and earn rewards!
- Bus Drivers
- Compass Staff
- Food Service
Employees that meet the criteria specified in Board Policy 472, will receive a $500 referral stipend as a token of gratitude for referrals that are hired to work at Alexandria Public Schools.
Requirements for submitting a qualified referral:
- Employee must complete a Referral Form (verbal referrals not accepted)
- Candidate must list employee's name as referring source on job application
Program information can be found on the Staff Intranet under Human Resources. Must be signed in with district log in credentials to view.
School Resource Officer Update
Like many districts across Minnesota, the Alexandria School District has a formal agreement with the Alexandria Police Department in which local officers are placed in our secondary schools as school resource officers. These specially trained officers are part of the school's safety program, and seek to serve as mentors, and build rapport with students. In Alexandria, this relationship with our local police department has existed for many years.
In recent days, you may have seen media reports related to a change in state law that restricts the use of force and restraints on students. According to media reports, there is some confusion about how the law impacts police officers.
As a result, some local law enforcement agencies have suspended their existing school resource officer agreements with the school district, while others have raised their concern about the impact that the law will have on the future role of resource officers in our schools.
The Alexandria School District is actively working with the Alexandria Police Department to seek greater clarification about the change in state law. In the meantime, the department has assured the district that it remains committed to providing support to students, staff and families as this matter is resolved. District leaders and school officials will continue to communicate and collaborate with the Alexandria Police Department with the shared goal of keeping students and staff safe. The intention of both organizations is to continue to work together as the legislative interpretations are worked out.
As always, thank you for your support of Alexandria Public Schools and the students, staff and families we serve. We will continue to keep you informed as our organization seeks solutions in support of our community with the Alexandria Police Department.
School Board Briefs - August 21, 2023 Regular Meeting
New A-Team Members
We welcome the following individuals to our A-Team Staff:
- Fredelene Ampaso, Special Education Teacher, WES, effective 8/28/23
- Bonita Bais, Special Education Teacher, DMS, effective 8/28/23
- Jeffrey Bray, Paraprofessional, DMS, effective 9/5/23
- Monique DeLeon, Paraprofessional, WES, effective 9/5/23
- Darrell Egly, Short-Term Assignment-Installation & Wiring, Transportation, effective 7/27/23
- Thomas Ellison, Youth Skills Training Coordinator, AAHS, effective 9/5/23
- Candace Gareis, Secretary, AAHS, effective 9/5/23
- Alicia Gettel, Paraprofessional, DMS, effective 9/5/23
- Michelle Hess, Elementary Teacher, Grade 5, GES, effective 8/28/23
- Gerald Hoelscher, Van Driver, Transportation, effective 9/5/23
- Julie Johnson, Paraprofessional, EEC, effective 9/5/23
- Tamara Krick, Cook, AAHS, effective 9/5/23
- Jaqueline Lising, School Psychologist, LES, effective 8/28/23
- Joseph Martin, Custodian, WES, effective 8/10/23
- Jennifer Needham, Elementary Teacher, Grade 3, MES, effective 8/28/23
- Matthew Pasch, Band, DMS, 8/28/23
- Stanley Pasche, Bus Driver, Transportation, effective 9/5/23
- Anna Patzoldt, Paraprofessional, LES, effective 9/5/23
- Joan Radil, Cook, DMS, effective 8/21/23
- Peggy Rinkenberger, ABE Teacher, ABE-Morris, 8/14/23
- Christian Smith, Paraprofessional, MES, effective 9/5/23
- Carl Steuck, Bus Driver, Transportation, effective 9/5/23
- Karly Vogel, Paraprofessional, LES, effective 9/5/23
- Kirsten Webb, Cook, VES, effective 9/5/23
- Julie Wenner, Special Education Teacher, MES, 8/28/23
- Natasha Wick, Paraprofessional, LES, effective 9/5/23
The following staff members have submitted letters of retirement. Thank you for your service and dedication to the students and families of Alexandria Public Schools.
- Virginia Green: Coordinator, Community Education, effective 8/14/23 [date of hire: 2/18/22]
- Susan Tvrdik: Cook, Woodland Elementary, effective 6/1/23 [date of hire: 9/2/22]
First Reading of District Policy Revisions
- Policy 528 - Student Parental, Family and Marital Status Nondiscrimination
- Policy 529 - Staff Notification of Violent Behavior by Students
- Policy 530 - Immunization Requirements
- Policy 531 - The Pledge of Allegiance
- Policy 533 - Districtwide School Wellness Policy
- Policy 535 - Service Animals in the School District
The Curriculum/Policy Committee reviewed the policies at their curriculum meeting and supports the additions and revisions.
Adopt School Board Policies
Other Items from the August 21, 2023 Board Meeting
- The Board approved the Superintendent's goals for the 2023-24 school year - Enrollment/Demographics; Leadership Evaluation; and Student Achievement.
- The Board adopted the amended 2023-24 District Calendar, amended to include June 19, 2024 as a holiday.
- The Board approved the 2023-24 E-Learning Plan.
- Michelle Bethke-Kaliher, Director of Student Support Services, provided a Health Services update.
- Darcy Josephson, Asst Superintendent-Teaching & Learning, provided a summary of the Alexandria Public Schools 2023-24 Operational Plan.
- The Board approved the Resolution Announcing Availability of Positions and reinstatement of the following staff member from Unrequested Leave of Absence: Suzette Kaatz, .5 Teacher and TBD FTE Non Public, effective 2023-2024 school year.
- The Board approved the substitute staff pay rates as presented by Jessie Hjelle, Director of Human Resources. The new rates effective September 1 are noted, along with historical data, in the PDF below for your reference.
Points of Pride
Twenty-four Alexandria Area High School graduates and current students have been named 2023 AP Scholars based on their performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The awards given and students recognized include:
- AP Scholar designation was granted to Erick Bergerson, Madeline Boe, Maxwell Chinn, Monroe Glade, Abigail Kor, Hannah Larson, Emily Olson, Marisa Rousu, Cooper Running, Ellen Sansted and Joe Wieberdink, along with six 2023 graduates who received scores of 3 or higher on three or more of the exams.
- AP Scholar with Honor was granted to Josephine Hochsprung and Tatum Ketelsen, along with three students who graduated in June for achieving an average of at least 3.25 on all exams given and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
- AP Scholar with Distinction was given to Jaelyn Miller and Greta Oldenkamp, who received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and a score of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
- Aug 28-31: Teacher Professional Development work week
- Aug 29: PreK Open House/Orientation; Elementary K-5 Open House/Orientation, 3:30-7:30 p.m. LES/GES/CES/MES Picture Days.
- Aug 30: DMS Open House, 3:30-7:30 p.m.; AAHS Open House, 3:30-5:00 p.m. - 9th grade only; 5:00-7:00 p.m. - 10th-12th.
- Aug 30: Alexandria Area High School 10th Anniversary Community Open House, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
- Aug 31: All Staff Welcome Back and School Year Kickoff, 7:00 a.m., AAHS PAC
- Sept 4: Labor Day
- Sept 5: First Day of School PreK-12
- Sept 10-15: Homecoming Week. Refer to the graphics below for the Homecoming Schedule and the parade route graphic. Please note: The parade route has slightly changed. The parade will start at the Fairgrounds but Instead of ending at the college, the parade will be ending at 17th Ave by Fillmore Park. Click here for the parade participation form. Registration deadline is noon on Monday, September 11th to the AAHS Office.
Alexandria Public Schools
Our Vision is to be an extraordinary school district that tailors learning for each child, by working together!