Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SIAC/Joint Board Meeting

The public is invited to attend the School Improvement Advisory Committee meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at the high school commons. The administration and personnel from the AEA will share student achievement data, student learning goals, and preview the Powerpoint that will be shared with external visitation team at the Department of Education site visit March 24, 25, and 26.

Also, the public is invited to a joint board meeting of the Hamburg, Sidney, and Farragut boards on March 30 at 7 p.m. at the Hamburg High School Auditorium. The meeting will be facilitated by AEA Chief Officer Glen Grove. Ed Gambs will present the findings of a facilities feasibility study he conducted for the districts. Also, the secondary principals will present a curricular and co-curricular report, based on potential opportunities for students in a high school of 250 - 350 students.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Budget/Community Helpers/Inventors

Governor Culver's proposed budget for 2009-10 maintains 4% allowable growth per pupil. However, the state is going to fund only 2%. What does that mean for Sidney? It means $155.19 less in state per pupil funding based on a certified enrollment of 354.8. That is a $55,061.14 state aid shortfall that will have to be made up through accessing cash reserves or increasing the property tax levy. Sidney has adequate cash reserves to fund the shortfall next year.

The February 7 Valley News has a feature story on Sidney students and staff who are helping out custodians David and Charlene Brownfield. David is undergoing stem cell treatment for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The treatment will take four to six weeks. Family and Consumer Science Teacher Barb Pierce has organized students and staff to perform the Brownfield's custodial duties. The Brownfield's lost wages will be donated by the district to school organizations such as Student Council, National Honor Society, and Business Leaders of America. The school organizations will turn over their donations to the Brownfields. Thank you to all of the students and staff who are helping out the Brownfields during their time of need!

Congratulations to all of the young inventors who participated in the annual Invention Convention! Talented and Gifted teacher Helen Pollock reported that over 20 elementary students participated in the convention. The following students will advance to the regional competition in Council Bluffs: Anthony Kelsay, Dustin Bohlen, Lily Matsuda, Shea Sears, Mackenzie Hulsing, Renata Valquier, Christian Slater, Michael Coates, and Blake Moreland.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The World is Getting Smaller and Smaller

Last week the Valley News featured Mrs. Larsen and her Pre-Algebra class. Mrs. Larsen taught a lesson using a Barbie doll and a bungee cord. The next day Mrs. Larsen received an email from an Alegbra teacher in New York City who saw the story online. She wanted more information from Mrs. Larsen on this lesson and other lessons she utilizes to make math more relevant to students.

Sidney/Farragut/Hamburg Whole Grade Sharing Study

In November 2008 the Sidney, Farragut, and Hamburg boards meant to discuss possible whole grade sharing opportunities. From that meeting the boards agreed to hire an external consultant to do a facilities feasibility study, and instructed the secondary principals of the three districts to study curricular and extra-curricular offerings in high schools of 250 - 350 students.

Ed Gambs was hired by the districts to do the facilities study. Mr. Gambs is a retired superintendent who served the Logan-Magnolia and Tri-Center districts. On February 9 Mr. Gambs will be visiting with each board separately. Mr. Gambs will be visiting with the Sidney Board at 4:30 p.m. at the board room, located at 2754 Knox Road. The meeting is open to the public.

The secondary principals are compiling information from area high schools such as Shenandoah, Underwood, Tri-Center, Clarinda, and Griswold. The facilities and high school program studies will be presented to the three boards at a joint meeting to be held sometime in March.