Sunday, August 21, 2011

Graettinger-Terril CSD Update

What an exciting time to be a Graettinger-Terril Knight! If you are new to our community, on behalf of the faculty, staff, and board of education I want to welcome you. As Labor Day creeps up on us, it is once again time to get ready for school! I wanted to take a moment and update you on some happenings at G-T.

One of the biggest changes for the 2011-2012 school year will be the new grade configuration for buildings. All elementary students in grades K-5 will be in the Terril building, while all middle and high school students will be in the Graettinger building. It has been a year and a half of planning and preparation for this positive transition that will improve our instruction.

Construction has been the theme for our summer. The Terril remodeling project has been completed, and the teachers are now in their new classrooms! The community is invited for an Open House on August 30th from 5:00-7:00pm to see the completed project. Three brand new classrooms were created while three classrooms were completely remodeled. We are very proud of the finished product and we encourage you to come and check it out. The other project underway is the demolition of the old building in Graettinger. The majority of the project has been completed; crews will be working now to complete the finishing work on the exterior of the building.

At the Board of Education meeting on August 15, 2011, the Board took steps to increase the accountability for students in regards to academic eligibility and the good conduct policy. This year if a student is failing a course at mid-term, they will be ineligible for one week. If they fail a course at the end of a quarter, they will be ineligible for two weeks. If they fail a semester course, the standard state consequences will be applied. Changes in the good conduct policy include increasing the first offense to four events (two if the student and parent participate in substance abuse counseling). Offenses will also be accumulated throughout their high school experience, rather than starting over each year. We believe we need to hold our students accountable for choices they make in an effort to portray a positive image of our school district and our communities.

Graettinger-Terril CSD received final confirmation from the Iowa Department of Education stating we did not meet our Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), in the area of Middle School Reading. Subsequently, we have been put on the "watch list" for the 2011-2012 school year. What does this mean? If we do not meet AYP next year (the state trajectory of how many students should be proficient) in the area of Middle School Reading, we would be designated a ”School In Need of Assistance". If we continue the following year without progress, more consequences follow. The school needs your help! We need our parents to support literacy education and encourage their child to read more. We need our community to believe and support our efforts in literacy. Finally, we need to get better and we need to get focused on the priority of literacy.

I’m very proud of the education that we provide for our students. Graettinger-Terril is blessed to have wonderful communities for our students to grow up and live in. Although we are faced with many challenges, my promise to you is we will continue to improve the way we educate the future generation of students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the school. Thank you for your support, and I hope this year is the best year for our school yet!

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