October was a very busy month for the school and it ended on a high note for the Walsenburg families who had the notification that the “Wheels on the Bus would be going Round and Round.” The proverbial start of school “honeymoon” period is over and the teachers and students are all heavily engaged in the teaching and learning process. Our recent Northwest Educational Association (NWEA) standardized local testing results of the mid-term survey indicated overall student progress since the original the August baseline test.
On October 26 most of our professional staff attended a workshop through the NO Bully, ESPN grant which everyone thought to be quite exceptional. The focus was on forming support teams to help victims be treated with kindness. It gave us a united language and resolve around ending bullying. On December 6, the facilitator, Sara Sato will host a parent night to help the adults join forces and follow the language and systems that we are using at the school. The goal will be to build community where all youth feel safe, valued and supported in their efforts to learn. We thank Ms. Sato for conducting this thought-provoking day-long event. She presented a rather serious subject with good humor and real-life stories that helped engage the teachers that were in attendance.
I would like to give a shout out to MS Hanlon and her 5th and 6th graders for taking part in a program called AmericaYoung AmeriTowne which is an award-winning educational program offered to 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade teachers to help students learn about business, economics and free enterprise in a fun and hands-on way. The curriculum includes lessons in eight themes which are mapped to Colorado Content Standards. All of this learning prepares students for the culminating day where they will run Young AmeriTowne. The class will go to Pueblo in January for the event.
We continue to conduct monthly fire drills but have moved our evacuation spot to in front of the county shop where there is easy access to escape. The drills have taken between two and three minutes to empty the building completely. In addition, we held the first lockdown of the school year. The students and staff members performed in an exemplary manner during this drill. The procedures differ from a fire drill and all staff members know what to do to keep our students safe. One safety concern is to get some locks updated and some keys in the hands of teachers who use multiple locations in the building.
Our annual bookfair was successful and we gave a book to each child who could not purchase one. When we reached our goal we were able to receive 50% of the profits. Our PTSA will host a T-shirt and sweatshirt sale. Order forms will be going out in the next few weeks. The student council has taken charge of the concessions during home sports’ events and they are doing a fine job.
Basketball is underway and the teams are building foundational skills. The teams are extremely enthusiastic. It will be very exciting to see our students in new uniforms which we were able to purchase last spring.
Thank you for your commitment to our school and community. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions regarding this report or the school in general.