Column: District 518 school year right around the cornerWORTHINGTON — The back-to-school sales have been on for a few months now along with student supply lists being available to parents in preparation for the start of the new school year
By: John Landgaard, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The back-to-school sales have been on for a few months now along with student supply lists being available to parents in preparation for the start of the new school year. At school, meanwhile, we have been busy working to get the buildings in shape so teachers can be in their classrooms. Most of the supplies, desks and other materials are being moved back to the classroom this week with the help of some student organizations (yes we have great kids), led by our adult advisors or coaches. They have proved to be a huge asset in getting ready for the first day of school.
The construction projects at the middle school and high school have reached substantial completion in which we will be ready for the start of the year. There will be items that need further work, adjustment and change, but these will not have an effect on the operation of our school day. Many of the changes will not be noticeable at the high school, since most of the work will be covered by ceiling tile. The middle school changes will be more noticeable with the new additions, but a great deal of work completed will also be above the ceiling tiles with the heating and cooling upgrades. We hope that you will find these changes as a positive experience for our students and continue to promote a quality educational system.
As the school year starts on Monday, Aug. 23, the first day is dedicated to a transitional day at the high school for ninth-grade students and fifth- and sixth-grade students at the middle school, while Prairie will have conferences with parents and students. On Tuesday, Aug. 24, all middle school and high school students will start the first day back, and Prairie will continue with conferences. Wednesday begins as the first full day with all 2,500-plus students back in the buildings, as well as approximately 500 employees. It will be an exciting time for students to express their enthusiasm, and good for everyone to be back to a standard routine. I have heard a number of students and parents express that they feel it is time to start the school year.
I would like to remind everyone to watch for students on the week of Aug. 23, as buses begin to pick up and drop off students. We would like to encourage safety for the students as the new year begins.
Lastly, we have a number of changes in District 518 beyond the facilities, such as the fifth grade being placed at the middle school this year. But I also would like to mention the number of new employees and students to the district this year. The enrollment has grown by approximately 140 students, and we have approximately 50 new employees in new positions that were created either by retirements, resignations or needs due to student enrollment increases. If you have a chance, I would like to encourage you to welcome the new staff to the area and our district. They are an outstanding group of people that will support the tremendous employees we already have in place.
Again, we thank you for your continued support, efforts and expectations for a quality school system. The opportunities that we are able to offer to the students is above what is available in many schools around the state. Thank you!
John Landgaard is District 518 superintendent.