As we near the end of the school year, I would like to share some of the highlights of our progress. We have three staff members retiring soon: Ann Kuhn, Diane Binkley, and Verna Howell. We thank them greatly for their service and wish them well with their future plans! We recently hired a 4th-grade teacher, Anne Dirksen and a playground monitor, Andrea Tucker….WELCOME! All staff will be attending the 3rd annual Employee Banquet on June 2nd at the VFW to celebrate service and special awards, as well as our retiring staff.
Our graduating seniors will also be celebrating their special day on Sunday, May 28th at 2:00. All High School students will have the opportunity to participate in a “Mental Health Day” on May 11th, where they will learn many ways to relieve stress. This break from schoolwork will demonstrate to our students the importance of balancing their studies, extra-curricular activities, and family/friend time, as well as their own personal health. Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Hoback and I will be running a session called “Mindful Movement”, where students will learn breathing and stretching exercises to help them focus, feel relaxed and re-energize. Thank you to the HS Student Council for organizing this day! Also, a BIG thank you goes out to our coaches and advisors for continuing to provide quality programs for our students. The mission, vision and values that were created in the summer of 2020 are consistently exemplified in these programs!
The district set a number of goals for the school year. More Parent Engagement: we have had many opportunities for parents to get more involved in our school district and most importantly, their child’s education. The Back-to-School Fair, Family Fun nights, PTO, evening and weekend programs, volunteering, etc. are just some of the ways we have connected. Safety: new security enhancements are on order for all facilities, which will be paid for with the $150,000 state security grant. A new fence around the K-12 Building playground and the preschool playground will be installed this spring. We continue to practice our safety drills and work with the village police to maximize student, staff, and visitor safety. New radio communications are also coming soon. Transportation: our bus fleet will soon consist of all 84-passenger transit buses. Each bus and van will be fully equipped with maximum safety enhancements. Thank you to our Bus Mechanic and Transportation Management for keeping our transportation safe and efficient. Financial Management: I commend our Board of Education and administration for excellent management of federal, state, and local funds. With the surplus of grant monies, we have been able to fully upgrade our technology in the classrooms, including new staff devices, plan for new flooring in all 4 wings (coming summer ’23), plan for new stadium lighting (coming summer ’23), hire new staff for several new positions: TESOL teacher, aide, tutor, etc. Mobile App: you can download our updated mobile app (directions on our website and in this newsletter) for all the latest school news!
I hope to see all of our Senior Citizens on May 19th from 9:00-10:30 for our last Senior Citizen Day event. We will start with a delicious breakfast, compliments of our kitchen staff. I will give a district update before heading over to the gym for the 4th-grade grade wax museum.
As we close out the school year, I would like to thank all our Bearcat families and community for supporting the school and sharing in the educational and social successes of our students. Like every school, we will always have a few challenges. I believe it is how we react to these challenges that make the biggest difference in the outcome. One of my favorite mottos that I like to share with my Middle School Family is: “Always do your best, do what is right, and always show people you care”. Enjoy the rest of the school year!
Cindy Endsley, Ed.S.