The summer months in the school are quite different than during the school year. The parking lot is usually rather empty and the hallways are full of furniture rather than students. Working in the summer is much more predictable and an opportunity to recharge a little bit after the hectic schedule at the end of the school year. It is hard to believe the month of June has already come and gone. The summer is a great time for professional growth and learning. Our administrative team attended an excellent training for two days in June that will really help our Crisis Management Plan. The training focused on a process and procedures for reuniting students and parents in the event of a crisis situation that required an evacuation of the building or other emergency. The training was excellent and well attended by area schools, law enforcement, fire departments and a host of emergency management workers. Even though I feel like Triton has done a great deal of work on our plan, this training was very helpful and provided some great information that our team will be able to utilize and strengthen the plans we already have. An emergency situation requires a great deal of communication between all of the agencies involved, and I felt that this training was very helpful for our district. It was a great opportunity to work with our SRO and the amazing folks that serve the Dodge County area.
The custodial staff is working hard to prep the building for another year. The building gets cleaned and the floors are waxed and prepared for another school year. A quick walk around the buildings are a good indicator of how far along into the summer we are. Currently, many of the classrooms have already been completed and the furniture moved from the hallway, back into the center of the classrooms. You know the end of the summer has come once all of the classrooms are completed and the hallways are all done. This is a cycle that comes and goes every year. The fourth of July is always an interesting time, because for me it really signifies the start of the next school year. It is the time of year that all of the changes and preparations are for the upcoming school year become the focus of everything we do.
Usually, by this time of year we have a pretty solid understanding of what the legislative changes are, and how they will impact us financially as we prepare our budgets for the upcoming school year. This year has been a bit different due to the large number of items that were passed in the legislature that impact schools and funding. One of the issues that school districts struggle with is when they pass new laws that cost the district money without corresponding funding. School districts refer to these as unfunded mandates. One of the largest unfunded mandates that will impact schools went into effect in for May of 2023 is Unemployment Insurance (UI). All non-teaching staff are now eligible to apply for UI during the summer months. While it certainly seems fair to offer this benefit to non-teaching staff, it is going to be difficult for schools to fund this expense in the years ahead.
Even though the number of changes can seem overwhelming, in time, we will make the adjustments that need to be made and be ready for another school year. For me, it is all about getting things ready so we can do what we do best when the students come back to school. Keeping the focus on the students and the important work we do for them is what makes it all worthwhile.
Please reach out to me with any questions that you may have regarding our school district. You can email me at email@example.com or you can call me at 507-418-7530 to reach me at the district office. I would be happy to set up a time to meet with you or your organization. I believe that communication is an important aspect of my job responsibility, and I welcome the opportunity to learn from your perspective. GO COBRAS!