New semester begins this week, following a positive one


By Casey Klasna        
Terry Schools Supt.

    
        A successful first semester is in the books as the second semester started Tuesday, January 18. There is a very positive and rewarding atmosphere at Terry Schools and I give credit to the students and the staff for the success. I foresee a great second semester.

The educational program is going well for K-12. The K-6 grades are making great strides in their classrooms.  Teachers are challenging their students and students are engaged. Walking through the K-6 classrooms puts a smile on my face as students are busy and enjoying school.   To measure the progress of the students in reading and math, the K-6 teachers use the AIMSweb system of assessment. This web-based assessment and data-management system enables teachers and administrators to monitor student progress, address deficiencies, and recheck results quickly and often.  The AIMSweb testing is exercised three times a year for grades K-6.
The educational program for the 7-12 is going well.  Being in such a small district, the students are still offered a variety of classes. Walking through the classrooms at the 7-12 level, the educational program looks to be in place.  Again, students are engaged and challenged throughout the day. Walking through the classrooms, and just to name a few, I have seen a great amount of hands on activities from dissecting cats in science, working on motors in automotive, to making specific foreign foods in foods class.  
However, there is always room for improvement. As principal, I am making it a goal for attendance to improve. Students need to be in school, plain and simple. I understand that certain circumstances apply and some absences are excused. Board policy states that students cannot miss more than 8 days per semester. My job is to follow board policy. When a student misses 5 days, a letter is sent to the parents expressing concern. After 8 days a second letter is sent home voicing concern and requests that the parents meet with the attendance board to determine a plan of action.  As stated in board policy, on the 9th absence, the student will be penalized 10 percent of their quarter grade and every absence after an additional 2 percent will be deducted. Attending school is vital for the success and positive direction of the students.   When students are consistently absent, it is very difficult for them to get back on track.  Just a reminder, if your child will be absent from school, please contact the district office stating the reason for absence.
As superintendent, I feel the overall direction of the district is going well.  The Terry Schools Facilities are looking good and are well maintained. The boilers are running well and efficient.   The major facility issues we face currently is monitoring the lead in the High School and Grandey School drinking water. Although the traces were very low, we are taking the proper steps to assure that the problem will be taken care of.  I am keeping in contact with DEQ to make sure that all the appropriate steps are being followed.  
The other facility issue is that Terry Schools is required by the EPA to have an Asbestos Management Plan in place. This is a requirement of all school districts. There was an asbestos inspection on Thursday, Jan 13.  BCI Consulting did the inspection and is in the process of writing an Asbestos Management Plan.  The Asbestos Management Plan will be available to the public at a later date. 
I want to assure you that the Terry School District is taking the proper steps and procedures to make this school a safe and positive learning environment.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 635-5533.  
Published Jan. 19, 2011

 
Article Type: 
Guest Opinion

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