Superintendent's Message

January 2020 Superintendent's Message

The hustle and bustle of December is coming to a close as we settle in for the winter months and a pattern of unpredictable weather. The Honeywell Instant Alert notification system is a valuable tool to keep you informed of changes in the school day or activities. You may make changes to your account at any time. If you choose to only receive texts, please be aware that we are very limited with the length of texts allowed, so many times it is difficult to put an entire message in text format. If you choose to receive messages via text, but not voice, I suggest also receiving messages through email to ensure you receive the entire message. As always, if you have trouble with your account, please call Kathy Smith at 419-258-5421 extension 3. So far this school year, we have missed 12.4 instructional hours due to weather related issues. When fifty-five (55) or more hours of instructional hours have been missed due to school cancellation and/or delays, a make-up school day will be added to the school calendar.

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.

Go Archers,

Dr. Martin A. Miller

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