Our staff has been hard at work preparing for the new school year! In addition to the busy routine of deep cleaning the building, we are excited to see renovations and construction nearing the end. This will certainly make a difference as we begin our new school year! As always we want to pass along our sincere thanks for your on-going support of our efforts to make updates and improvements to our facilities.
Mark your calendars for Friday, August 19 as we officially welcome all of you for an Open House to tour the facilities that have been under construction and renovation this past year. This will be in conjunction with the Fall Purple & Gold Night, so plan to spend your evening looking around and supporting our student activity groups. Staff will be available between 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. that evening to answer questions or show you around the facilities.
Please note that this is different from our Annual Back-to-School Open House, which will be held on Monday, August 22 from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Reminder to all that you are welcome to visit, call, or email at any time if you have questions or suggestions. We look forward to seeing you at the School & Community Forum that is held on the first Monday of each month from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in the Board Room.
Alburnett proudly welcomes the following teachers to the staff this year:
Joe Amsberry, Instrumental Music Teacher
Brenden Drahn, Special Education Teacher
Joe Fagersten, Vocal Music Teacher
Peter Galloway, Math Teacher
Loxley Grafe, Art Teacher
Ann Jameson, Science Teacher
Samantha Kramer, Special Education Teacher
Brianna Lentz, Math Teacher
Erin Moller, Agriculture Teacher
Mark Nall, Science Teacher
Shelby Patterson, Preschool Teacher
Ellie Vasser, Preschool Teacher
Bailey Wright, Special Education Teacher
What Else is New?
With student learning as our constant focus, we continuously challenge ourselves to improve. To this end, we are excited to highlight two areas of emphasis for the coming school year – new computer science coursework and a deeper integration of real-world and authentic learning opportunities.
The first of these, computer science coursework, is available through Project Lead the Way, a nationwide program that provides a comprehensive approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. All 6th-8th grade students will have introductory computer science coursework, while students in grades 9th-12th will have access to more advanced computer science courses as elective options. Proceeds from the sale of a vintage car and boat given by Keith Elson in honor of his late wife Barbara (Bobbi) McAtee/Elson made this project possible. We were able to repurpose an existing classroom, purchase updated furnishings, and provide all the necessary technology for this program thanks to this generosity.
The second exciting addition for the coming year involves a more focused use of real-world, authentic learning opportunities for all students. We are calling this emphasis Pirate Collaborative. Student projects and simulations have certainly been a part of lesson design already, but this deeper emphasis on connecting what students are learning in school to real-world opportunities, issues, or problems will provide an enriched experience for students.
In addition to these program additions, we are making a few shifts in staff utilization. Some are adjustments due to budget reductions, while others align to changes in programming. The list of new teachers given above highlights some of these changes. In addition, Alburnett PK-5th grade principal Josh Henriksen has been asked to lead the Pirate Collaborative program for students in grades 6-12. Principal Ken Kasper will serve as principal for middle school and high school, and Activities Director responsibilities will now be handled by Mike Mitchell.
As you know, we strive to continuously adapt our communication with families and community. Our work with FusionFarm on marketing and positioning the Alburnett district for the future has continued throughout the summer. In addition, please take a moment to review the information on the new Alburnett app that is included further in the newsletter. We look forward to your feedback on this new opportunity to connect with all of you.