Austin Packer Bulletin - 0129
Volume 1, Issue 29
This year has been like no other—full of challenges and chances to grow. But we keep going through it all and are stronger on the other side, embodying our mission to inspire, empower and accelerate. As we approach the end of another school year, I'd like to take a moment to recognize everything we're accomplishing together.
I want to extend a big thank you to our APS community for making this year the best it can be.
To our students—thank you for your hard work and commitment. You're showing your strength and willingness to learn in new and sometimes challenging situations (like returning to a more regular schedule). We are so proud of what you are achieving!
To our teachers and staff—thank you for your continued dedication and compassion. Despite a challenging year, you provide our students with the best education possible. Your commitment to our students and community is truly inspiring, and we appreciate everything you do to make APS successful.
To our families, caregivers, and community members—thank you for all your help. Your continued support and contributions have been invaluable, and we could not do without you.
Here are some of the year's highlights related to our strategic plan.
Strategic Priority Number 1: Support and resources to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment
- Developing a strengths-based organization through the StrengthsFinder assessment
- Transitioning early childhood programming to a temporary location
- Improving hiring, onboarding, and retainment procedures; and establishing an employee exit interview process
- Onboarding new school board members
- Creating protocols for reporting a concern and threat assessments
- Completing the Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) application
- Hiring the new Austin High School principal
Strategic Priority Number 2: Packer Profile for all learners
- Developing the Packer Profile with Community Input Sessions
- Articulating the Career Pathways
- Updating the Registration Guide
- Implementing the program in 9th grade
- Achieving curriculum alignment
- Creating the Teaching and Learning resource site
- Launching the APS Instructional Model
- Establishing the K-4 and 5-12 Collaborative Meetings
- Enhancing the Professional Learning Communities
Strategic Priority Number 3: District-wide multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for all learners
- Operationalizing the APS District's MTSS Team
- Training principals to create building-level teams
- Implementing a new assessment platform, Star360, to monitor benchmarks and progress
- Implementing the Early Warning System (a new Artificial Intelligence tool)
- Starting the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) Training
- Completing the Program Review and Curriculum Selection Process
- Performing Math and Gifted and Talented audits
- Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) initiatives, including common Zones of Regulation Components and SEL curriculum 1-4
- Submitting the final application to have all buildings trained in Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS)
Strategic Priority Number 4: Excellence in resource management
- 2022 Operating Referendum SUCCESS!
- Improving fund balance management
- Completing a facilities planning and utilization study for enrollment growth/contraction
- Receiving Federal Grant awards
- Implementing Papercut, a comprehensive print management system
- Expanding facilities, finance, and World's Best Workforce Committees membership
- Partnering with Ameresco for energy efficiency
- Improving the transportation system
With summer approaching and the commencement of a new academic year closer than we think, I am filled with hope and anticipation for what's to come. We're eager to apply what we've learned this year to continue making positive changes in the Austin Public Schools. Together, we are preparing all learners to make a difference in the world.
Thank you again for your support, and we hope the upcoming warmer months are safe and enjoyable.
Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent
Neveln Elementary School Principal
Austin Public Schools is pleased to announce that Lynn Hemann will be taking over the position of Neveln Elementary principal on a permanent basis.
Ms. Hemann started her teaching career with Austin Public Schools over 25 years ago and has worked in numerous positions, most recently as EL Coordinator for the district. She has also served as Neveln's interim principal since January 2023.
"I am honored to serve as the new principal at Neveln Elementary," said Ms. Hemann. "I call Austin Public Schools my home, and I am excited to become part of the Neveln community of learners. I look forward to serving the students, teachers, and families and working to build upon our successes."
"Ms. Hemann brings to her role a wealth of knowledge in education as well as a passionate commitment to student success," said Dr. Joey Page, Austin Public Schools Superintendent. "She will provide exceptional leadership, promote positive relationships, and continue building a dynamic learning environment that will benefit the Neveln school community's students, staff, and families/caregivers."
Facility Services Director
Austin Public Schools is pleased to announce the hiring of Joe Adamson as the district’s new Director of Facility Services.
Mr. Adamson is a graduate of Riverland Community College who holds numerous electrical and maintenance certifications. He has been employed at Austin Public Schools as Grounds Foreman since 2011.
“I’m very excited to be transitioning into this new role,” said Mr. Adamson. “I look forward to collaborating with all staff to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all.”
“We are excited to have Mr. Adamson take on this leadership role in Austin Public Schools,” said Executive Director of Finance and Operations Andrew Adams. “He brings 20 years of experience in public and private project management and construction. We are confident that his commitment to Austin Public Schools will accelerate our strategic priorities around facilities for all students and staff.”
Grants for Energy Improvements at Public School Facilities
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced first-of-its-kind investments to improve clean energy at K-12 public schools. Funds will position school districts to make upgrades to lower facilities' energy costs and foster healthier student learning environments. APS will be submitting a grant application exceeding $10,000,000. Competitive funding will be approved on an application basis, emphasizing those districts with financial needs, energy justice analysis, and assessed facility needs. The project locations include:
- Austin High School
- Ellis Middle School
- Holton Intermediate
- Banfield Elementary
- Neveln Elementary
- Southgate Elementary
- Sumner Elementary
- Woodson Kindergarten Center
Proposed energy improvements and cost:
LED Lighting - $3.3 Million - LED lighting upgrades will reduce electrical demand and consumption, improving the lighting quality and uniformity within the buildings.
Window Replacements - $2.1 Million - The elementary schools and Kindergarten Center windows are old single-pane units, and the double-pane windows at Ellis are also in poor condition. Upgrading these facilities with new windows will reduce envelope loads and improve occupant comfort.
GSHP HVAC System - $3.96 Million - The HVAC systems at Neveln Elementary utilize a steam boiler plant for heating and cooling. The energy needed to meet the building's heating and cooling loads will be met more efficiently by replacing these systems with a new ground source heat pump system.
Ellis Pool Rehab - $5.1 Million - Ellis middle school is home to the district's only swimming pool. Humidity levels are problematic given the lack of mechanical dehumidification in the natatorium, causing indoor air quality issues and degradation of the walls and finishes. The rehabilitation of this facility will extend its useful life and improve ventilation. The project will include a new pool air handling unit to provide an economizer and mechanical dehumidification to ventilate and condition the space properly.
We anticipate hearing the final status of our application to DOE this spring.
Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Art
Two Austin High School students recently competed in the Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp art contest. This contest, which recognizes conservation efforts and supports environmental programs in the United States, is the culmination of students' work and study of waterfowl and wetlands conservation. The contest encourages students to communicate visually what they have learned through nature, wildlife management principles and waterfowl research science.
The judging for the contest was held on Monday, April 3rd. It is with great honor to announce that Alexa Hanegraaf's entry received a 1st place in group 4 and was in the top 3 for Best of Show! Callie Hillman's entry received a 3rd place in group 4!
Additional information will be provided at a later date when the entries are returned to the artists.
Did you know that Workforce Development Inc. provides scholarships to Youth/Young Adults interested in pursuing short term training, up to a two year degree? All WDI services are free! Our services include assessment, career planning, skills training, job search guidance and resources, and preparation for further training and education. We also offer scholarships and connections to many other great programs and resources in Southeast Minnesota. Contact them today!
Impact Austin Speaker Series
The Impact Austin 2023 Speaker Series is a virtual community learning resource as strategic planning gets underway to address future growth, housing, economic development, immigrant support, food access and equity, parks and open space, connectivity and transportation, education, arts and culture, brand/story and tourism, city infrastructure, and public policy and planning.
April 27: Stepping Over a Dollar to Get a Dime: The Impact of Land Use and Community Development Decisions on City Resources – Register here
It’s Almost Here: 25th Annual Packer Classic Gala and Golf Fundraiser
We are celebrating 25 years of the Packer Classic this year in a big way! Join us for an evening gala event the night before the tournament. Register here for this great event!
The Packer Pantry is running low on non-perishable food and personal care items. Please see the list below for high need items. Donations can be dropped off at the AHS Office East Ramp door in the shopping cart. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
• Rice-a-roni / Pasta-roni
• Knorr sides
• Canned meat
• Oatmeal packets
• Pasta / spaghetti
• Macaroni & cheese
• Beefaroni / ravioli / chef Boyardee / spaghetti o’s
• Hormel Compleats
• Taco shells
• Pancake mix
• Canned fruit / fruit cups
• Applesauce cups
• Tuna / chicken / hamburger helper
• Pasta sauce
• Alfredo sauce
• Ranch dressing
• Salt / pepper
• Barbecue sauce
• Ramen (any noodle things in a bowl)
• Sloppy joe mix
• Different culture foods
• Dry beans
• Pizza crust / sauce / pepperoni
The Hormel Institute
On Friday, April 14, The Hormel Institute received the “Industry Partner of the Year” award for the Young Scientist program, a partnership between the Institute and Austin Public Schools to “expose children to the many careers and wonders of science.” Students in the program travel to the Institute for hands-on learning experiences in STEM education.
The “Industry Partner of the Year” award “recognizes those who foster high K-12 student achievement, exhibit leadership and support for continuous improvement, promote career and technical education careers, and demonstrate collaboration among K-12 schools, businesses, trades, and higher education.”
“We are all so excited and honored [to be nominated] for the award,” said The Hormel Institute Community Outreach and Education Manager Kelly Vincelette. “We are excited to partner with Austin Public Schools for this work and to see what we can continue to develop together.”
“The Hormel Institute have been outstanding partners in this collaboration,” said Katie Baskin, Austin Public Schools Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. “We are incredibly fortunate to have his partnership for our students and staff to continue to learn and grow.”
The Hormel Institute was nominated for the award by Dewey Schara, principal at IJ Holton Intermediate School and Ellis Middle School, to recognize The Hormel Institute for their work in helping promote STEM education at Austin Public Schools.
“We are so grateful and excited about the many opportunities provided to our students through our partnership with The Hormel Institute and feel so fortunate to work, live, and learn in a community that makes opportunities like this accessible to all our students,” said Schara.
The award was jointly presented by Southeast Service Cooperative and Workforce Development, Inc. as part of the Future Ready CTE grant program. “CTE programs are a sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge and skills to provide students a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. CTE teaches transferable workplace skills in applied learning contexts to provide opportunities to explore high-demand career options and gives students the technology and skills needed for success in adult life. CTE programs help to connect students with high-skill, high-demand, or high wage careers.”
In this week's Alumni Spotlight, we catch up with alumnus Tehya Kvam.
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 Oakland Education Center teacher Melody Decker.
"Melody is amazingly passionate about her career. She builds amazing relationships with her students and is very caring about their needs. She puts forth so much extra effort to make sure things run smoothly in the classroom. She is one of a kind!"
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
Please consider joining Superintendent Page at the Coffee House on Main, 329 Main Street North, for Coffee and Conversation!
April 24 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
May 22 - 7:00 - 7:45 AM
*Dates are subject to change
Or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-460-1900 to schedule an appointment.
Thursday, Mar 30, 2023, 07:00 AM
329 Main Street North, Austin, MN, USA
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.