Monday, August 31, 2009

School arrival and departure

Elementary students may enter the school building at 8:15 AM. The buses generally arrive between 8:05 and 8:10 AM. Students walking to school should time their arrival to coincide with the bus arrival times. Staff members are on bus duty outside to insure the health of safety of the students prior to entering the building.

Secondary students may come in the building earlier if they have a zero hour class or are meeting with a staff member. They may congregate in the gym foyer or student commons area of the new addition after entering the building. We have limited interior supervision during this time as most staff members are preparing for the start of classes. Students should not be "hanging around" unsupervised.

If you have a preschooler, please do not drop off the child before 12:15 PM. There is no supervision available for these young children prior to 12:15 PM. The preschool room door will be locked and these children should not wait outside or in the hallway without an adult present. Your help with this is appreciated.

Students not involved in study hall, consulting with a teacher or participating in extra curricular activities should depart by 3:20 PM. Staff members are on duty insuring the safe loading of buses until they depart. Students should not be roaming the halls unsupervised. This is the time for teachers to prepare lessons for the following instructional day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

First week of school

The school year has gotten off to a great start. We have 159 students in grades K-6 and 128 students grades 7-12. The secondary staff and students had a great first day with team building activities with an underlying anti-substance abuse message. I heard many favorable comments from students and staff regarding this positive start.

It has been hectic especially trying to fill two roles as Superintendent and Elementary Principal but it has been rewarding thus far. The elementary staff has been very great about acclimating me to this new role and the students are awesome. It has been hot in most of our classrooms but the students and staff have been working hard to make the most of it. I got to serve salad dressing, supervise recess and bus pick up and visit every elementary classroom. I continue to be impressed with the professionalism of the staff and work ethic of the student body.

Our football team takes to the gridiron tonight at Clearwater Valley and the volleyball teams have separate tournaments Saturday. Hopefully the weather will moderate and we will have a beautiful fall. Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

H1N1 (Swine) Flu

It seems all we hear about lately is the swine flu. Our District receives regular updates and information from the local public health department, the state Division of Homeland Security and the federal Center for Disease Control. Sometimes it is hard to process all of the information coming across my desk.

What can you do to protect your child and other household members? Preventing the spread of germs is obviously the most important precaution we can take. At school, we teach students to sneeze into their elbows or a facial tissue, to wash their hands regularly (15 seconds or as long as it takes them to sing the ABC song) and not share water bottles and other utensils. These are the same precautions we take with all illnesses including the common cold and the traditional flu. You can reinforce this behavior with your student at home and school.

If your student does get sick and he or she has a temperature, the student must stay home until free of the fever for 24 hours. This is very important and we would appreciate it if all parents followed this precaution. We realize it can be difficult for working parents to have a sick student at home but, given the potential magnitude of this coming flu season, it is an important step.

As a District we have stepped up our disinfecting schedule for surfaces throughout the school and we continue to educate students and staff regarding the importance of taking such precautions. All staff members are completing online training regarding pandemic flu.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact the school.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Elementary Lunch Entree Option

Beginning next Monday August 31, elementary students will be able to select from the main lunch menu entree or the first entree option listed of the three. Secondary students will continue to be able to select from the main entree or the three options.

Elementary students will indicate their choice (regular lunch, optional entree or no lunch) each morning to their classroom teacher. Once the choice is made it is electronically sent to the kitchen. Students will not be able to change their mind once the selection is made and entered by the teacher.

The menus are posted on the District web site or available by calling the homework hot line. Visit with your student to help him or her make the entree choice. There is no additional charge for the optional entree. We have received requests to allow elementary students some choice and this is in response to patron requests.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Genesee HS enrollment drop and IHSAA Classification

The Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) has a six classification system for high schools in Idaho which is based on student enrollment. This past year was the time that the IHSAA reports out average enrollment numbers based on average daily attendance. Genesee High School's 9-12 enrollment has dropped below 100 students which puts us into the 1A Division 2 classification; the smallest IHSAA classification.

This change does not take effect until the fall of 2010. This coming school year we will still be classified as a 1A Division 1 school. Every two years the IHSAA reclassifies schools to create a level playing field. This has no effect on Whitepine League play because the league has determined that all schools will play each other once regardless of classification. The main change would be in the district tournament or state tournaments. Genesee would be playing against schools it's own size.

It is possible for a school to petition up or down a classification however this must be done for all sports, not sport by sport. The administration feels we should play where our enrollment places us. The petitioning process must be completed by mid-September. If you have an opinion one way or the other, feel free to call or email Mr. Caldwell, our athletic director.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Eleven more days of summer vacation

Genesee school-age children will return to school on Wednesday, August 26, 2009. Ninety-seven years ago students entered a new building which is still in use today. This is a testament to the character and perseverance of the community. That 1912 building housed the entire school population with strategically located lavatories located outside of the building. Today students enter a modernized, safe facility which is conducive to learning in the twenty-first century. For that we thank Genesee for your generosity.

This school year we welcome Kelly Caldwell as our 7-12 Principal and activities director, Kristen McMullin as K-12 music teacher, Casi Allington as secondary science teacher and Robert Johnson as part-time school psychologist. Mrs. Weeks has moved from third grade to Kindergarten and preschool.

In addition to routine summer maintenance, we have several larger projects including the remodeling of the bus shop and garage. If you have driven by the school the past couple of days you will notice some work occurring under the covered entry of the main gym. The precast ceiling system was failing which could lead to a health and safety issue so this has been removed and contractors are in the process of installing a new ceiling. Once that is complete we will be adding a vestibule with a new set of doors to provide an environmentally sound and secure entrance. One other project in the works is the air conditioning of the business classroom which is necessary for student comfort and maintenance of technology hardware.

I am excited to complete my final year here in Genesee with the addition of my new responsibility as K-6 Principal. I hope the weather clears up, harvest gets going again and the students can enjoy a few more sunny days before the 26th.