Superintendent Updates
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December 2, 2016

Staff Update

Greetings All! Happy Friday! Hope you've settled in after Thanksgiving. Amazing to think the 1st semester is almost over. Time flies.

CONGRATS to Marcia Base, AMS, Kim Hett, eCademy and Amanda Young, AHS for being selected as Andover's Master Teacher nominees for the 2016-17 school year! We are proud of you ladies. Thanks for all you do for our students and for your colleagues! 

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend and offer feedback at the Facilities Master Plan meetings in November. We held 18 meetings, got a lot of feedback. This is indeed an exciting time for Andover!

The Facilities Steering Committee met on Tuesday night to develop a final recommendation for our district’s long range master plan. They had a great conversation, looked at a lot of data and did come to general consensus on the major issues.

The committee unanimously supported the proposed elementary, middle, ACHS and athletic enhancements that were discussed at the various staff/community meetings.

The committee will also recommend that the long range master plan include a NEW AHS and a NEW Meadowlark. Both concepts didn't get unanimous consensus, but they got overwhelming support and in the end, those were solid recommendations.

The committee did not support the swimming pool concept as an immediate need but will include swimming facilities in the long range plan and suggest the BOE get more district input on the concept. We have to remember, the committee was charged with developing a long range plan, not just a list of immediate needs. Some of the items on the list may not be done immediately, but in the future. The good news, we have options and they are all good!

The committee also recommends that the BOE do a formal, scientifically valid survey of the community to determine what the community would support if a bond issue is being considered. The BOE will get a full report and have time to discuss facilities at the December 12 BOE meeting. Might be an interesting one to attend! :-)

Now that the Steering Committee has finalized their recommendation, the conversation will shift to next steps. Some of you have asked about a bond issue. If we want to have a bond issue this spring, the BOE would need to take official action by the end of January. Between now and then, they will review and discuss options, more than likely survey the community and then make a final decision whether to go forward. If they do go forward, they will also need to decide how much to put into the first phase and thus, how much money to ask for in a bond.

I'll keep you and your building administrators posted on progress and would be happy to hold more informal meetings to discuss facilities if you would like, just let me know.

If you want to get in the holiday spirit, I'd suggest you attend the Winter Concert of the Trojan Children's Choir on December 9 - 7:00 pm. at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. This group is made up of mostly elementary students from Cottonwood, Martin and Wheatland. 

Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend! 


November 28, 2016

Staff Update- November 22

Greetings Andover Team,

Another great couple of weeks are in the books and we are looking straight into a long, well-deserved holiday! As Thanksgiving draws near, I can't help to think of how thankful I am to work with all of you. Person for person, we are as talented a bunch as any school district in the country!! Sometimes I don't think we slow down and appreciate how fortunate we are to be part of something as special as Andover! As you prepare for Thanksgiving, I challenge each of you to seek out one of your colleagues and let them know how much you appreciate them! All of us work so hard and recognition from our peers goes a long way to making us feel part of the team! 

Speaking of teams.. I'd like to congratulate the teams at AHS and ACHS for putting together two very nice musicals for us. AHS's "The Drowsy Chaperone" and ACHS's "The Pajama Game" were both excellent! There are so many components to putting on a nice musical and both the adults and students should be commended for their talent, creativity and dedication! Thank you! Just another example of what makes Andover special! 

We concluded our Facility Study community and staff meetings last week, collected feedback from over 400 people and now the Steering Committee will meet on November 29 to finalize their recommendation. It is exciting to hear about the vision and feel the excitement for what Andover can do for our facilities, now and into the future!! No doubt the Andover School District is a tremendous value for the students, parents and patrons of Andover. Our patrons do notice and appreciate what we do!! 

Have a great Thanksgiving. If you are traveling, be safe. If you are staying home, enjoy a peaceful holiday. You deserve it. Come back rested and ready to finish the first semester strong. Thank you for "Adding Value" to our school district and the community of Andover! 


November 14, 2016

Staff Update

Greetings Andover Team, hope you are having a nice Monday and Happy American Education Week!! Our country's founding fathers realized that a successful democracy is based on an outstanding PUBLIC education system and the work we do is so important to not only the individual success of our students but also the success of our community, our state and our country! We have a talented and dedicated group of people working with us in Andover. You are very much appreciated!! Thank you for leading the way in Kansas! 

As a small token of appreciation, this morning, the district office and BOE provided Stadium Bakery cookies to each district facility. I hope you can enjoy one and again, thank you for being a special group of people! It is a pleasure to work with you!

The  BOE is meeting tonight. Several items of note:

  • The BOE will hear the same presentation that we are sharing at the schools about progress with the Facilities Master Plan. For those of you who have attended one of the meetings, thanks for your feedback. This is an exciting time for Andover! We are fortunate to be in this position and I look forward to the future! The Facilities Steering Committee hopes to finalize their recommendation on November 29 and present it to the BOE on December 12. 
  • The BOE will discuss their recently developed "Board Governance and Operating Procedures". It is great to see the Board focused on continuous improvement, just like the rest of us! 
  • Stacy Hudson and Sherame Kneisel will provide an update on the implementation of our new print services/copiers.
  • The process to develop the 2017-18 school calendar is getting ready to start. Brett White will share. 
  • Jill Lachenmayr will share the results of our 1st Quarter Data Dashboard. I've attached a copy of the presentation. 
  • Jill, Traci Holder, Erin Condreay, Kristie Atkins, Meghan Chapman and Shanda Seibel will discuss the proposed K-5 English Language Arts curriculum adoption of Journey's for the 2017-18 school year.

If you haven't had a chance to attend one of the facility presentations in your school, feel free to attend one of the community meetings. 7:00 p.m. Nov. 16 at Meadowlark and Nov. 17 at ACMS

Enjoy your week and as always, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

October 28, 2016

Staff Update

Greetings everyone, I hope your Friday is off to a good start. Sounds like we're gearing up for another nice weekend. Enjoy!

Let me start by saying I'm fortunate to work in such a great school district! There are so many accomplishments that it is hard to keep up. Just this week:

  • Our high school bands were impressive at the band festival
  • ACHS volleyball is going to state today
  • ACHS and AHS cross country qualified for state on Saturday
  • AHS and ACHS soccer won their regional titles
  • eCademy staff and students made an awesome presentation to SuperSAT (my high school student advisory team) 
  • and the list goes on......


We are making good progress with the Long Range Facilities Master Plan Study and it is beginning to get exciting. On Tuesday night the Steering Committee had their last meeting prior to seeking additional feedback. Over the course of the next several weeks you will have an opportunity to learn about the process, the needs, recommendations, costs and provide feedback. Once we have collected all the suggestions, the Steering Committee will finalize a recommendation for the BOE on December 9. I hope you can attend one of the meetings listed below: 

  • November 2 - 3:45 p.m. - WES - Staff 
  • November 3 - 8:00 a.m. - eCademy - Staff 
  • November 4 - 7:15 a.m. - AHS - Staff 
  • November 7 - 7:10 a.m. - ACMS Staff 
  • November 7 - 3:00 p.m. - ACHS - Staff 
  • November 7 - 7:00 p.m. - Community/Staff - AMS
  • November 9 - 3:45 p.m. - CES - Staff
  • November 10 - 7:50 a.m. - MES - Staff
  • November 10 - 3:45 p.m. - PCES - Staff
  • November 16 - 7:45 a.m. - RMES - Staff
  • November 16 - 3:00 p.m. - AMS - Staff
  • November 16 - 7:00 p.m. - Community/Staff - MES
  • November 17 - 3:45 p.m. - SES - Staff
  • November 17 - 7:00 p.m. - Community/Staff - ACMS

Even though not finalized, the Long Range Facilities Plan generally calls for updates/additions/safety related modifications for all schools except AHS and MES. Those two school are more problematic and the Steering Committee wants input on:

  • AHS - Extensive Remodel/Additions OR Build a new school on the same site?
  • MES - Extensive Remodel/Additions OR Build a new school on a NEW site? 

In addition to input on MES and AHS, the committee would like input on:

  • Enhanced outdoor athletic facilities at our secondary schools to allow both the north and south side schools to have their own "home" facilities
  • Tennis courts
  • Swimming pools

I encourage you to come to one of the meetings to see much more detail, with visuals! Even though meetings are scheduled in all schools, feel free to come to whichever one best fits your schedule, including the community meetings in the evening. This is an exciting time for Andover! 

Just a reminder that both high school drama departments are doing shows in November. Mark your calendar for the AHS Musical "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Nov. 12-13 and the ACHS Musical "The Pajama Party" on Nov. 18, 19 and 20. If these performances are anything like previous shows, they will be highly entertaining and professionally done! Just another example of Andover Excellence!

Enjoy your weekend and THANK YOU for all you do to add value to the Andover School District. We are better today than ever and I see nothing but a bright future ahead! 


Regards, Greg

October 10, 2016

Staff Update- October 7, 2016

Greetings Everyone, 

The temperature this morning sure acts as a reminder that fall is here. Looks like it will be a beautiful weekend for high school and college activities. In addition to the Trojans and Jags, I'm sure most of you will be tuned in to the Kansas State football game! :-)

Benefits signup is underway and I'd like to thank those involved with the benefit process, including the Benefits Committee, for their efforts to manage insurance costs. An increase of 12% in health premiums is hard to take but in this day of skyrocketing health care rates, when you consider that our premiums are basically the same as they were two years ago, we are fortunate. 

I'm sure you don't need a reminder but just in case, on October 15 many of you will receive the 1.5% retention bonus in addition to your regular paycheck. As was discussed in August, the Board of Education felt this was a small token of appreciation for the outstanding work you do. 

The BOE is meeting on Monday night. Several items of note:

  • You might be interested in accessing Board Docs to check out our district's ACT and Advance Placement report for 2015-16. As a district we are progressing in many ways but the ACT/AP results are outstanding! We understand that the expectations for being "college/career ready" are higher than ever but our students are also more prepared than ever before! Good job everyone!! 
  • Mark Tallman from the Kansas Association of School Boards will review a comprehensive study entitled "The Kansas Education Report Card." This report compares Kansas to the rest of the United States in the areas of student achievement and school funding. It provides new insight into how we are doing. Check out this link for more information on the report.
  • The Board will discuss the new Board Governance and Operating Procedures booklet. It does a nice job of outlining the BOE's role in the district and how they operates. There is a draft copy on Board Docs if you are interested.

Have a great weekend! Greg

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