Good morning, afternoon, or evening Knights. I hope you have had a great week up to this point and are looking forward to the weekend ahead. I thought it might be helpful and informative to discuss some of the great work our district has done this year and provide you with a brief update on some of the projects that we will be working on and completing this Summer.
We are wrapping up year two of a three-year school improvement project that involves a comprehensive review of our curriculum, curriculum alignment, and assessment development and alignment to the required state standards. The overarching goal of the three-year plan is to provide our students with the staff, resources, and aligned standards to enable all to achieve educational excellence. The staff has been diligently working and utilizing the designated school improvement time to identify priority standards, build a scope and sequence for each grade level and content area, and develop and align common assessments across the district that are aligned to the state standards. We will be working over the summer to post on our website the results of our work up to this point. We hope that the information posted will be useful for families in identifying what is being taught and when material is being covered. The focus for us as a district next year, the final year in the school improvement plan/project, will be to continue to work on our assessments and analyze those assessment results as a district. This work will ensure us the opportunity to align our curriculum, instruction, and assessment across grade levels and across all buildings. We will also be able to identify what areas we do well and what challenges we need to focus on as a district.
We have also been piloting a new Math curriculum for the district. At the April Board of Education meeting a presentation was made for the potential adoption of a new curriculum for both the grade schools as well as the majority of the high school. We are hopeful that a formal request will be granted for the adoption of the new curriculum at the May Board of Education meeting.
The work that the staff has been able to complete up to this point is incredible and I’m proud of the continued efforts they make to maximize the learning opportunities we provide for all students. It has been refreshing and exciting to witness the levels of collaboration amongst our staff and the passion for creating the best environment for learning.
We also continue to forge ahead with various building projects this year and into the summer. One of the main projects for the Summer is resurfacing the track. We have definitely received the maximum life out of the current surface and we are excited for the new track to be installed. This will be a complete overhaul which will include a new surface and freshly painted lines.
This school year we replaced the gym scoreboard and are scheduled to replace the football scoreboard this summer. Those two items were funded by the newly developed corporate sponsorship program, athletic boosters, and private donations. We are confident that the new football scoreboard will add to the excitement and pride that the addition of the gym scoreboard provided this past winter.
A major project that will begin immediately after school dismisses for the summer is adding air conditioning to Arthur Grade School, replacing a boiler at Lovington Grade School, replacing A/C units at Lovington Grade School, and adding A/C to the gymnasium at Lovington Grade School. The improvements being made in the grade schools will enhance the learning environments for both the staff and the students and we are excited to have them completed.
We have authorized the bidding process to take place for the repair and or possible replacement of some of the parking lots/playgrounds in the district. Many of our parking lots are in need of repair and if the bids are secured we will begin to address some of those concerns this
summer/fall. We will not be able to tackle all of the work needed at once but we will at least start the process of addressing the areas that fall within budget for the first year. As we progress in the years to come we hope to continue to address more and more parking lot and playground concerns.
Finally, we will be diligently cleaning, polishing, and preparing each building this summer for the upcoming school year. The maintenance and custodial staff at Arthur CUSD 305 do an excellent job of collaborating and coordinating their schedules in order to maximize the amount of work that can be completed over the course of the summer. The collaboration and coordination of schedules will be especially important this summer as we have a lot of projects taking place that will ultimately disrupt the normal process of preparing the buildings for students in August.
So you can see there is a lot going on at Arthur CUSD 305. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or are just curious about anything related to the district, please feel free to reach out to the district office at 217-543-2511 and schedule an appointment to visit. I’m also more than happy to schedule a tour of any of our facilities. I really enjoy discussing the district and would welcome that opportunity with any and all of you. I hope you have a great rest of your week and enjoy the upcoming weekend.
Mr. Shannon Cheek
Arthur CUSD #305