Austin Packer Bulletin - 0106
Volume 1, Issue 6
The Packer Profile at Austin Public Schools
The Packer Profile identifies the community's shared aspirations for students and what it means to be a graduate of APS. It reflects what our students, staff, and families desire each day for our students and support their preparation to become career and life ready.
The Packer Profile reflects 3 key principles to guide student experience throughout their education at Austin Public Schools:
- Career Pathways Exploration –Students will leverage their interests and abilities to explore future careers and educational opportunities.
- Meaningful Learning Experiences – Core content and instruction will intentionally engage students in authentic learning experiences with relevance beyond APS.
- Packer Portfolio – Beginning with the class of 2027, students will celebrate by designing their meaningful pathway journey and growth in the Packer Core Values through a digital portfolio.
During the 2022-2023 school year, design teams of teachers and school counselors from AHS and Ellis will work to create the Packer Profile 3 key principles and what those will look like for students and staff.
This initial design process will take place in October through February and result in a high-level structure scope and sequence. Community stakeholders and students will have multiple opportunities to receive updates on the progress of these design teams and provide feedback to consider in future design processes.
Click here to see "The Why" Packer Profile video.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
How would local farmers and business owners be affected by an operating levy increase"?
Agricultural land is exempt from operating levies except for the homesteaded property (house, garage, and one acre). Businesses would be impacted the same as homeowners for the operating levy. Seasonal recreational property is also exempt from this levy.
During the 2022-23 school year, we will engage in a formal program review for K-12 Math and K-12 Gifted and Talented Services. This is an opportunity for us to learn about our system and use the findings to support teachers and learners.
Austin Public Schools is working with Lesa M. Covington Clarkson, Ph.D., a mathematics educator with forty-three years of classroom experience, to conduct a program review of the K-12 Math Program.
- The purpose of the math program review is to examine the academic services and determine the strengths, challenges, and gaps between the potential experiences and the lived experiences of its stakeholders.
- From October through December, Dr. Clarkson will collect information from our district through classroom observations, meetings with teachers, administrators, and curriculum leaders, and examination of student achievement data and instructional materials.
- Principals and Instructional Coaches will coordinate classroom visits and meetings for staff. Dr. Clarkson will provide the School Board with a report of the findings in January 2023.
Gifted and Talented Services
Austin Public Schools will again work with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement (CAREI) from the University of Minnesota to conduct a program review of the gifted and talented program.
- Our district is planning to use this information to help prioritize, plan, and implement gifted and talented programming that aligns with best practice research and the needs of students. Over the next several months, the CAREI team will be collecting information from our district.
- The CAREI staff will be conducting several group interviews about gifted and talented programming. Some of you may be invited to join these sessions or complete surveys.
- We expect all information to be summarized by the end of February 2023.
What is APAC?
APAC is the Austin Positive Action Coalition that was formed in 2016. Adults and youth in our community have come together to highlight the positive within our community.
Our campaign, Truth Is Austin, has taken a STAND. Our youth are taking a new direction. 90% of Middle/High School students don't drink in a given month, and parents talk more with their kids. Our supportive adults unified the community to boost transformation through strengthening ordinances, positive messaging, and youth empowerment, creating normative and behavioral changes. The credibility of our collective impact earned us a Drug-Free Community Grant to continue to STAND with our youth. Our coalition highlights student beliefs and actions rather than their negative perceptions. "Positive behaviors become positive actions."
- ACOW - Austin Coalition On Wheels Provides positive alternative games for students and adults at school and community events
- Positive Community Norms Messages - messages (Billboards, Posters, T-shirts) that highlight the number of students making safe, healthy, and responsible choices
- STAND - Students taking A New Direction - Student-led group at Ellis Middle School, AHS, and Pacelli that offers students leadership, volunteer opportunities, and other fun activities
- Fall Float - APAC partners with Nature Center for the 4th canoe trip down the Cedar River. 12 STAND students will learn the skill of canoeing and interesting facts about the river.
- Responsible Beverage Server Training - Education class for employees in the hospitality industry to learn about how they can do their part to reduce underage drinking
- Promotional Item give-a-way - Water bottles and bandanas will be distributed at AHS sporting events that will remind adults/students about their crucial role in the prevention
World's Best Workforce
The World's Best Workforce committee is established by Minnesota law to provide parents and community members' involvement and input with respect to school programs and curricular offerings.
- This committee consists of parents, community members, teachers, and administrators.
- Meetings occur on the first Thursday of each month from 3:30-4:30 in the School Board Conference Room, located on the north end of Austin High School.
- World's Best Work Force is the primary link in involving the community in the systems accountability process.
- Persons interested in serving as committee members may contact Educational Services, 460-1912, for further information.
Please visit our WBWF site for more information.
Austin Public Schools Policy Update
APS policies are routinely reviewed and/or revised. These policies provide the governance structure and guidance in school district matters and decisions. The school board recently approved the following:
- 102 - Equal Educational Opportunity
- 515 - Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records
- 609 – Religion
- 707 - Transportation of Public School Students
- 708 - Transportation of Nonpublic School Students
- 722 - Public Data and Data Subject Request
Please check this site periodically to be sure you have the most current version of any given policy.
The Violence Project
The Violence Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center dedicated to violence prevention and intervention. The Violence Project believes data and analysis can improve policy and practice. Their research on mass shootings, funded by the National Institute of Justice, has received global media attention. The Violence Project's areas of expertise include gun violence, violent extremism, cyber violence, trauma and mental illness, street gangs, and youth violence. Learn more here.
Recent Media Coverage of The Violence Project:
American Indian Education: Field Hearing
Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller is holding the Annual Field Hearing on American Indian Education.
The hearing will be taking place on October 20 (MEA weekend) at Hinckley, MN. All are welcome to attend; they are specifically looking for student and parent voices to be heard. If you are unable to attend, an email box has been set up to submit written comments.
This is an opportunity to hear your voices to strategically plan for American Indian Education in Minnesota.
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Dylan Kaercher-Berthiaume.
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 Early Childhood and Family Education teacher Suzanne Rymer.
"Ms. Rymer always goes above and beyond when working with students, making them all feel special and welcomed. She even sends cards in the mail that are such a nice surprise! She is fantastic!"
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 25 - 7:00 – 7:45 AM
November 2 - 11:00 – 11:30 AM
November 7 - 7:00 – 7:45 AM
November 29 - 7:00 – 7:45 AM
December 7 - 10:00 – 10:45 AM
January 5 - 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.