EDUCATION MATTERS #22
By Dr. Ben Yocom – Milan C-2 School District Superintendent
Greetings friends! Summer is theoretically upon us (although technically not until Monday, 6/20/16) and the weather is warm. It’s hard to imagine that as this is being written, Summer School is on 2nd half of this year’s session. The last day of the Summer School session for 2016 will be on Monday, June 20th, 2016.
Each summer, I always encourage parents to allow their children some time to play and relax – ‘soak up’ the time off. If you can fit some academic practice into those days, go for it! The absences of consistent academic practice can be detrimental to a child’s growth as they enter the beginning of school in August. In short, I’m not asking parents to pressure their children to read or write, but am asking parents to consider reminding their children to practice the skills used during the school year – it will do nothing but HELP your child when school resumes.
I’m sure most of you have noticed the large lifts around the campus over the past few weeks – this is a part of the district’s intent to address our facility needs over the next fifteen years. Specifically, this part of the process is Year One (1)/Phase One (1). Ideally, each phase of the plan will run approximately 3-5 years and we are at the ‘very beginning’ of Phase One (1). This summer, the following renovation tasks are being completed: replacing forty-eight (48) window systems in the HS building, tuck-point various areas throughout the exterior of the HS building, remove the louver/vents under various windows and replace with brick infill, repair many sections on the roof and paint the interior of the gymnasium. The primary goal of Year One of Phase One is to address the building envelope issues. Next year, the focus will be on beginning intense renovations of the building’s interior. At this point, it is unclear exactly which part of the building will be renovated first. This could be done by addressing one (1) floor each summer or specifying the type of renovation (for example: addressing the flooring in the entire school or addressing the interior walls in the halls and classrooms, etc.). The goal is to work on renovating the building throughout the first phase of the Long-Range plan.
The second part of the first phase is the new construction component. The district still has plans to engage in new construction work over the next three (3) to five (5) years. The plan is still to move forward with a new gymnasium and commons area or cafeteria. The entire process will take time. Given our unique funding structure, it is extremely vital that all scenarios are fully vetted and researched. The district has a dire need for additional gymnasium space and an updated, more spacious cafeteria.
At the end of the first phase, I am hopeful the district will have addressed several of the needs – updating the instructional area in the high school, improving the technology opportunities for students, providing a modern and comfortable area for student meals, adding a new gymnasium facility to enhance a multitude of student programs (drama/debate, band/choir performances and practices, sports activities, increased instructional areas for elementary Physical Education students, and improving the Library-Media Center capabilities for the students in grades K through twelve). Patience will be a valuable virtue throughout this entire process; but I can assure you that I will continue to do all I can to ensure the district is working to provide the best possible academic environment for OUR students.
I hope that each of you will never discount your role in the improvement, development and betterment of the school district. As a community, the school district is a great source of pride and a solid barometer regarding the community’s priorities. In two (2) short years, we (all of us) have come a long way in providing a better educational system for our students. We still have a long way and I’m anxious and excited to see where this school goes next! Have a great summer and remember “Every day is STILL a GREAT DAY to be a MILAN WILDCAT!”
Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions, comments or concerns – my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the Central Office number is 660-265-4414 Ext. 5.