School Newsletter for Parents
Hello and happy Friday, Attea Families.
First of all, we hope all of you are having a great summer.
People often wonder what principals and school offices do over the summer without students and teachers in the building. Actually, it's quite a busy stretch of time. And since the new school year is on the horizon, we'd like catch you up on summer developments and share some preliminary details for the coming year.
Finalizing the Staff: One of the main activities of the summer is to finalize the school staff for the next school year. New staff members have joined the Attea team from other schools in the District, while other staff members were hired from outside the District. Here is a summary of the changes and information about new team members we are excited to welcome:
- Laurie Ford is one of two new Administrative Assistants in the Main Office. Laurie previously worked in Springman's office.
- Diane Kaneshiro is the second new Administrative Assistant in the Main Office. Diane is an accountant, a former teacher, and an experienced office assistant.
- Jill Conner, whom many of you have come to know in Attea's office, is now the Administrative Assistant for D34's Food Services Dept. So, you will continue to see Jill in Attea's Main Office (and we are happy that she'll still be with us), but her responsibilities have changed.
- Allison Foerster has joined us as a part-time Spanish teacher. Ms. Foerster previously was a Spanish teacher in Indiana and at a private school in Illinois.
- Frank Rottman, whom many of you know from his former role as principal of Pleasant Ridge, will be returning to the classroom as a social studies teacher.
- Kristin Kroeze has joined Attea from Springman as a math teacher.
- Josip Stolar has joined Attea from Springman as a PE teacher.
- Andrew Mayer has joined Attea as a PE teacher, and he will continue in his role as a PE teacher at Hoffman.
- Colleen Hogg has joined Attea from Springman as a special education teacher.
- Mallory Dahlquist, who was a social worker at Henking, will be supporting Attea and Springman as a social worker as well.
- Christina Piccirillo has joined D34 and will be supporting Attea and Springman as a psychologist.
Interviewing and Hiring still in process: recent departures of staff have created some staff openings that need to be filled:
- We are currently in the process of finding a new special education teacher for our ACE program.
- We are currently in the process of finding a new Orchestra Director.
Welcoming New Families and Students: Each year we welcome new families and students to our school community, and spring and summer is when we typically receive the students and work with the families and former school districts to ensure proper registration and placement for the new student.
Registration: Speaking of registration, over the summer the school office verifies that all forms and fees for all students have been received and are up-to-date. Communication goes out to any family that is missing registration related forms. If you have received any communication from the office, are missing any forms, or if you have any questions, please contact the school office as soon as possible. Please note that students who have not had the required residency verification and/or health forms submitted by the 1st day of school will not be permitted to attend school until any open matter is resolved.
Facility Maintenance: Summer is an incredibly busy time for our custodial team. It takes the entire summer to clean the building from top to bottom. Each classroom and office is emptied, carpets are washed, windows are cleaned, all furniture is wiped down, and then the rooms are put back together. Hallways and stairs are stripped, cleaned, and re-waxed. Building preventative maintenance and needed repairs also take place during this time.
Ordering and Re-stocking: The school office works to ensure that we have all the necessary materials for the coming school year. Locks for student lockers, student assignment notebooks, PE uniforms, Executive Functioning materials, general office supplies, etc., are all ordered and organized. Additionally, any and all curricular or program materials that are delivered to the school (textbooks, student workbooks, technology equipment, special education equipment, etc.) all need to accounted for and organized.
Student teaming and scheduling: Summer is when student teams and schedules are built. The intricacies of the middle school schedule and educational program, along with the incorporation of parent and teacher input into the transition process, requires "hand scheduling" of each student. This is a month long process in which demographically and programmatically balanced teams are created (with parent and teacher input factored in) and then class schedules are constructed. More information about teams can be found below.
Grade-level Team information
As a District, we have been discussing our approach to student placement and the complexities connected to posting team lists at our buildings prior to the start of school. While we understand the interest our parents have in seeing what other students will be on their child’s team, for a variety of social emotional and security reasons we will be moving away from this practice.
Starting this school year, District 34 will be following a process similar to many of our surrounding districts in which parents receive an e-mail with information about their child’s team as well as other important details leading into the start of the school year. You can expect this information in August, similar to when team lists were posted in the past.
We recognize this is a change in practice for all our parents, but our commitment to designing balanced teams and classes according to established criteria that create the optimal learning environment for all our students has always been present. Teams and classrooms are their own communities that must be representative of the greater community in which our students live.
We appreciate your support and understanding as we move toward this new way of sharing information with parents about their child’s placement for the upcoming school year.
Requests for Team Changes
What Comes Next?
We look forward to seeing students next month and to a wonderful 2018-19 school year.
Have a great weekend.