School district ready for new year with better communication, improved website

— Pastel also invited all BOE members to attend the all-staff meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and to be present in the bus loops on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to welcome students and staff on the first day of school.

“Just your presence means a lot to the staff,” Pastel said. “And you’ll enjoy seeing the kids come in off the bus.” She called it an “energizing” way to start a “great year.” All the BOE members appeared interested in the idea.

Dale Bates, assistant superintendent, business and finance, told the board that the district buildings are in the “best shape” they have been in for a while. He said all the major cleaning is completed, some exterior masonry and stairway repairs are done and minor asbestos removal was achieved during the summer. This last week before school begins will see some street and bus loop paving and topping and a new sidewalk put in, which will all be finished before school starts, he said.

Special Education director Lory Malinowski gave the school board a review of this year’s special education plans, which will focus on expanding the use of technology in the classroom for special education students, exploring new autism-related teaching strategies and working on an integrated co-teaching model for special education teachers. She said the number of special education students and teachers is roughly the same this year as it has been during the past few years.

The board also discussed in-depth how to begin in earnest the search for a permanent district superintendent, starting with the hiring of a professional consultant for the process.

“This is really the most critical question at the very beginning of the process,” said Pastel, who has been involved in two such superintendent searches at other districts in the past few years. “Until the board decides this, nothing happens.”

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