From the Superintendent’s Desk…
—by Mike Billings
Next week is our Thanksgiving Break, and it’s truly comes at a great time of the year. The kids and staff have been working hard, and a few days away from school in preparation for the last push for the end of the semester and our Christmas break is perfect. It is also a good time for some family fun. For some of our kids, they have been spending more time at school than home, so this short break gives them a chance to be home longer than school. Enjoy the holiday, and rest up for the end of our first semester.
Speaking of calendar, this week starts our “winter sprint.” This is the time of the year that we have activities just about every night (except Wednesday), and that schedule will continue until the end of February. While it can be an exhausting time of the year for students and staff, it is fantastic to see the numbers of students involved in the many things we provide.
On the subject of activities, once again, I’d like to ask for your assistance when you attend our events. At Roland-Story we have prided ourselves in the number of people who attend our concerts, games, meets and programs. It’s always great to perform in front of a full house, but sometimes we need to be reminded of our expectations when you attend. Our directors and coaches have spent a lot of time preparing our students, so please be gracious fans. Cheer the teams and groups, let the coaches and directors coach and direct, and let the officials officiate. Sportsmanship is our expectation at our sporting events, and proper behavior at concerts is our expectation while enjoying our performances. If you bring younger children to our events, please keep them from running around. Thanks for your help, and let’s have a great winter of activities.
The Iowa Association of School Boards’ annual convention started today, and our local Board of Education are taking part. Boyd Brodie (Board President), Marc Soderstrum (Board Vice President), Ted Hammes, Mike Rettalick and Michaela Carlson, your representatives, will be attending several learning sessions, and they will have the opportunity to listen to many nationally recognized speakers. Today’s mini learning sessions focus on school finance, and a couple members will be in attendance. After that learning opportunity, they will report at our next regular meeting. Thursday’s convention will give all of our elected officials the chance to learn about trends in education and the challenge of becoming better board members. As volunteers, our board members spend a significant amount of time planning for our students. Their charge is to develop, review and implement policy for Roland-Story, and they take that challenge very seriously. I have been very fortunate to work for tremendous boards of education, and our current group fit that mold. They are caring, dedicated, hardworking and very willing to go the extra mile for our communities and school.
Monday night, the next step in the succession plan will take place. That step is for each interview committee (Board, Admin. Team, Certified Staff, Support Staff, and Parent/Citizens) will work on questions they will use during the actual interviews. Now that they identified the characteristics they are looking for in the next district leader, each group will need to develop questions they will use to discover if the candidates meet those traits. While that sounds easy, it is critical that the groups are able to evaluate the applicants and provide that data to the Board to assist them in the final selection.
The Board will be advertising for my replacement at the end of this month, and at our last board meeting (Nov. 11th), they set the schedule for the interviews. The actual interviews will be held the first full week of February. Part of the interview days, will include a public reception. That reception will give anyone interested the opportunity to meet and greet the candidates as they visit our district. That reception will be held in the high school commons and will run from 6:30 p.m. until 7:20 p.m. each of the interview days. More details will come in future columns.