November 14, 2016
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
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!
October 10, 2016
Staff Update- October 7, 2016
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
September 30, 2016
It's hard to believe that September is over, we've already had the AHS vs ACHS football game and we are closing in on the end of the 1st quarter of school. Things seem to have settled in nicely and that doesn't just happen. It takes everyone, working together, to get to this point. I challenged each of us to "add value" to the Andover Schools, and from all indications, that is indeed happening.
Just like with all of us, the Board of Education is working to do their part to "add value" to the district. Last Monday night, they held a workshop to discuss their role, how they conduct business and what each of them can individually do to strengthen the BOE and district. The end product will be some type of Board handbook. It was awesome to see the BOE be just as committed to excellence as the rest of us. We are fortunate to have them on our team!
Last week the Facilities Steering Committee met to discuss the potential options that David Jackson and I shared at your schools. After an hour of small group discussion, the entire team got back together and appears to have reached consensus on several key points listed below:
- Keep two high schools and not add a third school at this time. The demographic study showing slow growth and the overall operating cost were the primary reasons for making this decision. We anticipate Andover will, someday, have a third school but now is not the time. After that recommendation was made, two options were discussed. Both options call for updates/enhancements to ACHS, keeping AHS on the current site and assume Butler Community College will not stay at AHS for the long term. The variation is what do to with AHS.
- Build a predominantly new AHS on the current site?
- Add space and extensively remodel AHS on the current site?
- There is also some discussion about a specialty program like CAPS in Blue Valley. This is a program and not a separate school. If the curricular recommendation is to move in this direction, then the program could be in a smaller, separate facility or part of our existing high schools.
- Keep two middle schools. Expand and enhance both schools to meet the educational specifications (Ed Specs) developed by the committees last spring.
- Keep six elementary schools and provide space for additional early childhood programing. Expand/enhance five of the elementary schools to meet Ed Specs. There is still uncertainty about Meadowlark. Options being discussed:
- Build a new Meadowlark on a new site within the south side boundary. (No site has been determined)
- Extensive remodel/enhancements to Meadowlark on the current site.
- Provide adequate space for eCademy. It could be located in either the current Meadowlark facility or moved to another, yet to be determined location.
- Extra Curricular Facilities
- Remodel/Enhance District Stadium for AHS to use as a home stadium
- Update the ACHS facility so it can be used as a home stadium for ACHS
- District Office/Support Services/Maintenance
- Use Meadowlark if it is available
- Enhance the current facilities
- Next Steps: (Tentative Timeline)
- October 11 - Next Facilities Steering Committee Meeting - The goal is to finalize several recommendations and get ready to present those to the school community.
- October 12-24 - Obtain feedback / face to face meetings and survey
- October 25 - Pending feedback, the Steering Committee will modify and finalize recommendations.
- October 25-November 13 - More Feedback and/or Steering Team meetings
- November 14 - Facilities Steering Team recommends a "Long Range Facilities Master Plan" to the BOE - At that point, the BOE will decide next steps.
The A-List contains additional information about the Facilities Study so check it out if you are interested. We'll keep you posted as this continues to evolve. Don't hesitate to send me any specific questions.
This weekend is the annual Greater Andover Days! It is a nice celebration for the community and we have a lot of school groups participating including some nice musical performances last night in the park. I know all of our groups will represent the district well. If you would like more GAD information, follow this link.
Enjoy the rest of your Friday and have a wonderful weekend! We Are Andover!!
September 13, 2016
Staff Update- September 12, 2016
Greetings All! Hope this finds you well and settling into the school year. Hard to believe we are already three weeks into the year! We've had a great start and that doesn't happen by accident. Thanks for all your planning and hard work!
On Saturday night Janie Hachen, CES 2nd grade, and Nicole Kallenbach, ACHS Social Studies, represented our district at the regional Kansas Teacher of the Year celebration. I'd like to thank Janie and Nicole for their professionalism, dedication and passion for students! Andover is proud of you ladies! Thanks for representing us in such a positive way.
We have a Board of Education meeting tonight. As always, BOE meeting information can be found on BoardDocs. Several items of interest:
- The Board will recognize Nancy Kirkendoll for her many years of service to the district as part of the BOE, Educate Andover and other various district committees.
- We will hear about some new Career Technical Education programs at the middle and high school levels. Tim Hayden will share about "Project Lead the Way" classes at the MS level. These classes focus on medical discovery, engineering and computer programing. Brian Gregoire and Amanda Grier will share about a new program called "Ramp Up to Readiness" that started in our secondary schools this year. Ramp Up focuses on the "soft skills" students need to be successful both in school and in the work force. All staff members are working with small groups of students on a weekly basis to promote: Academic Readiness, Admissions Readiness, Career Readiness, Financial Readiness and Social Emotional Readiness. More information about Ramp Up can be found at this link.
- David Jackson and representatives from SJCF Architects will give the Board a brief update on the progress of the district's Facilities Study. This is much like what David and I have shared during our visits to your schools.
- Brett White will share that student enrollment is projected to be up 73 in brick/mortar schools and up 120 for eCademy. Slow, steady growth is nice to see!
As always, please don't hesitate to let me know if you have questions or comments. Have a great week!! Thanks again for all you do to make Andover a special place for our students!