January is School Board
Recognition Month and a chance for all of us to say thanks to our school board
members for the important work that they do for our school. The positive leadership of the board members
and their concern for the well-being of the students in our district continue
to make Antwerp a great place to work, a wonderful place to go to school, and a
source of community pride. Our current
Board of Education has 40+ years of experience leading our school
district. Board member Bob Herber is
completing his 18th year, Board member Anita Bok is completing her 14th
year, Board member Dennis Recker is completing his 8th year, Board
President Sara Schuette is completing her 4th year, and Board Vice-President Jayme Landers has served on the Board for the past 2 1/2 yrs.
The school district solar array
has been in operation since January, 2018.
As we approach the 2nd anniversary of the array being fully
operational, it is worthy to note that the district has netted significant
saving with our electricity cost. The
prime reason for the savings involves the cost the district pays for the transmission,
distribution, and consumption of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity from our
public utility provider (11.5 cents per kWh) versus the cost we pay for a kWh
of electricity from our solar array (7.5 cents per kWh). To illustrate this point, consider that prior
to the installation of the solar array (January – December, 2017) the school
building consumed 1,139,400 kWh provided by the public utility at the
approximate rate of 11.5 cents per kWh.
With the solar array operational in January, 2018, the school building
consumed 145,000 kWh (January -December, 2018) of public utility provided
electricity with the remain kWh needs provided by the solar array. The data is even more impressive this year
(January – December, 2019) as the school building has only consumed 136,800
kilowatts from our public utility while harnessing the remainder of our
electricity power from the solar array.
As we finish out the first
semester and move into the second semester of the school year, our teachers
will continue to offer curriculum that meets or exceeds state standards and similarly
prepares our students for the state assessments given to many of our students
during the months of April and May.
These assessments will be computer based and similar to assessments
given during previous years. Furthermore,
our teachers continue to integrate and incorporate technology into their daily
instruction and student coursework.
A reminder to students and
parents that there will be no school Friday, January 17th. This is a change to the original 2019-2020
school calendar. Our staff will have an
In-Service day and receive professional development by Discovery Education in
the area of STEM education. Staff will
also receive information regarding the state’s new teacher evaluation program,
review prior year state testing data, and complete vertical curriculum
alignment from one grade level to another.
In regards to the school
calendar, the Board of Education approved the 2020-2021 school calendar during
their December meeting. Highlights of
the calendar include Open House on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. The first day of school will take place
Wednesday, August 19, 2020. The
Christmas/New Year break will begin Monday, December 21, 2020 with students
returning to class Monday, January 4, 2021.
The school year will come to an end Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
As a means to improve the
efficiency of the drop off of children in the large circle drive, school staff
will be present in the mornings beginning January 6th to direct vehicle drivers
(during high volume time frames), to pull forward and utilize the entire circle
drive as a drop off zone. With the
utilization of the majority of the circle drive, we anticipate an increase in
the number of children dropped off in a shorter amount of time and a reduction
in the back up of vehicles that occurs with high vehicle volume time frames.
At the end of each semester,
state law requires the superintendent to report to the public the number of
bullying/harassment cases in our elementary and middle/high school. We had one substantiated and confirmed
incident in the middle school and no cases in the high school or elementary
school during the first semester.
January brings a new year and a renewed opportunity to work together for the benefit of our students. Community support is necessary for our district to continue to improve. By working together, we will make a difference in the lives of the children in our district.
Dr. Martin A. Miller