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From the Desk of Mr. Patrick McKernan

IMO, as the kids say, it is great to see the sun setting later and the temperatures rising.  We have a  busy couple months coming up in the district.  School activities along with the excitement of Spring weather keeps us busy and the time seems to fly by.  Saying that, we are beginning the Kansas Assessment season.  Please make sure your child is well rested on these days and if they don’t leave your house with a good breakfast, they can always eat at school.  The students usually know when the assessments are but if you want a better idea, please contact your child’s teacher and they can send a schedule home.  These are annually mandated assessments and we want our staff and students to give their best possible effort.

 

A couple items that I have written about before are our pending 1 to 1 initiative in the district and the costs associated with that, and student contact time, or the amount of time and days our students are in school.

 

1-to-1 Computer device initiative -  It is our intent to make computer device accessibility easier for staff and students.   This does not necessarily mean all students will have their own device.  And, this might look different in different buildings and grade levels.  We have been having staff discussions about how we want to proceed with this.  It does not necessarily mean every student will have their own device, but we do want staff and students to have access to devices.  There is a cost involved with this.  We will upgrading our infra-structure and upgrading our wireless technology to be able to support the increase in numbers of devices.  There is also going to be a cost of what could be about $150,000 dollars to purchase the devices.  As a district we have been preparing for this major purchase and will purchase the devices and make the upgrades with current funds. 

 

There was discussion at the last board meeting about the school calendar for the 2018-19 school year.  I get the impression from many parents, staff, and your board of education they like the later start date in August.  I am ok with that also.  That does make our school calendar very compact which impacts the number of days we can have off during the school year.  I have been working to develop a calendar that supports teacher professional development, teacher work days, and student contact days.   That is a difficult task.  I am a strong supporter and protector of student contact time.  We had five(5) snow days this year.  At this time we are not making any up.  That can not be a positive impact on student learning.  I have shared these thoughts with staff, teachers, and the board of education.  I will bring a calendar to the board for approval at the meeting which will add a few additional teacher inservice/work days and try to keep the student contact days at the current 166 days. 

 

My personal and  professional goal the next two months is to stay positive and continue to work hard for the kids in the Troy school district.  As stated before, the longer days and warmer weather sure can help with that.

 

Thanks for all your support and especially the support you give the teachers and support staff in this district.  It is appreciated.

 

Patrick McKernan

Superintendent of Schools