On Wednesday, March 26, I was in St. Paul for the day. I tend to enjoy my trips to the Twin Cities for a variety of reasons, but I like the annual Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) Regional Legislative Day because it affirms the impact Pine River-Backus Schools has on the Minnesota State Legislature. It demonstrates the impact of our voices on the people we choose to make laws and important decisions — laws and decisions that truly impact our everyday lives!
Strategic planning has always been an important part of the Pine River-Backus School District. The plan – which is the culmination of community, staff and consultative input – guides the district in decision-making and prioritizing. The process is rejuvenating, creative and fun! While we have revised the PR-B Strategic Plan on a fairly regular basis, recent legislative requirements are moving us to look at it a little differently with even more focus on student achievement.
This time of year, it’s important to understand diversity and, even better, to celebrate humankind. While it seems we live in a small, rural and somewhat homogeneous area, we really live in a huge, interconnected, divergent and global world. Just think about your relationships, your family, your friends and you can probably trace connections across the country and around the world.
So much of our culture and life experiences are surrounded by food, sharing meals and celebrating special occasions often with food. Who doesn’t remember their school lunch program? Hot lunch, Cook’s Choice, cheesy bread – the list goes on and on! While school lunch programs – first nationalized in 1946 – were originally created to help struggling farmers with food surpluses, today they have become the main vehicle for ensuring students who live in poverty are able to eat nutritious meals.
Pine River-Backus Schools has received a lot of media coverage in the last few weeks – most regarding controversial and complex issues. As Tim Walker noted at the end of the Oct. 21 meeting, regardless of your position, passion for education and children is good. In order to ensure a fair analysis of the topics, I felt compelled to share some additional information. MCA III – l’ve attached several documents to the district webpage that can be helpful: MCA Parent Fact Sheet and the Interpretive Guide for 2012-2013 Minnesota Assessment Reports.
Pine River-Backus School Board members will kick off the sixth annual Community Read at the regular school board meeting Oct. 21. For the sixth year in a row, we will join as a school community to read, enjoying the opportunities literature provides and modeling for our youth the importance of reading. Every year is a little different and this year, we’re working around a theme – mysteries!
Wow! Our last few weeks of school were packed with learning and fun activities. What better way to celebrate a good year? And, as the year ends and summer begins, it’s important to keep learning on the front burner. The Search Institute gives great pointers for keeping students busy during the summer, and you can find resources by going to their website — www.parentfurther.com/parenting/summer-learning/keeping-kids-busy . We’ll put a link on our school district webpage. Generally, it’s important to be intentional about the following: