EDUCATION MATTERS #12
By Dr. Ben Yocom – Milan C-2 School District Superintendent
September is upon our great community and cooler weather with the leaves changing colors is right around the corner. Personally, the fall season is my favorite time of the calendar year. It’s also hard to fathom that we are nearing twenty (20) days of school for the 2015-2016 School Year. Time is literally flying!
The annual homecoming festivities will take place on September 25th, 2015. The student body will be participating in the annual spirit week beginning Monday, September 21st, culminating on Friday. The theme for this year is “The Wizard of Oz”. The Milan HS Cheerleading team is leading the activities and organizing the various events for the students. The game will begin at 7:00 p.m. on the 25th against Scotland County. The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 9/25/15 and this year, school will release at 12:45 p.m. on Friday as well. This is to lessen the instructional disruptions that typically take place with many of our students participating in the parade. Each building has specific processes for students on the 25th regarding the early release. Please make plans to attend the parade and game – there is nothing like homecoming, it’s truly awesome!
The other sports currently taking place are Middle School softball and football; plus Middle School cheerleading; along with High School football, we have High School softball and High School cheerleading. The Milan Lady Wildcat softball team is performing exceptionally well and if you have not had a chance to watch them play, I encourage you to do so!
The change in the daily schedule has been positive. After researching the issue, it seems the daily schedule at the Middle and High School has not been changed for many years. Any time a change of this magnitude takes place, minor ‘glitches’ are bound to happen. So far, the most positive reception has come from the implementation of the “All Wildcats Accept Rigor for Excellence” (AWARE) Time. This time is designed for students in grades 5-12 to receive assistance in difficult areas, catch up on homework or other assignments and if the students are performing well in ALL classes, they can participate in various enjoyable activities. I am very passionate about a school’s duty to ensure students are learning and providing a structured opportunity for students to receive assistance in the necessary areas, is the best way to address this need. The traditional method of assigning tons of homework and expecting students to figure it out on their own, with little assistance, has proven to be seemingly ineffective. Students will have some homework, but all students will have an opportunity to receive assistance from school staff. Feel free to contact any of the offices with questions about this process.
Last year, the students began the monthly eValuate assessment process and this year, we will continue to utilize this process. All students will take an assessment in Math and Communication Arts each month; the assessments are administered online and teachers can receive quick feedback on the students’ performance – individually and collectively. The students in grades K-2 will be utilizing the Acuity assessment process. This is the same format, but under a different program – it will also serve as a powerful source of feedback for our teachers. I encourage you to speak with your students about these processes and encourage them to give their best effort. This will allow us to know exactly where the learning gaps are located and the sooner we know where the gaps are at, the quicker we can address the students’ needs.
In fulfilling one of our three (3) overarching goals – we are continuing our process to research/review the best course of action regarding the district’s facilities. The district engaged with Facility Solutions Group (FSG) last spring and they have been evaluating our facilities since that time. Again, as the district’s leader – one of my fundamental purposes is to provide the best possible learning environment for our students. This environment must fit within our abilities and resources. On October 20th, during the regularly scheduled monthly board meeting, FSG will present its findings to the Board of Education. At that time, we will seek official direction from the board on how to proceed. Our HS facility presents many challenges and in order to prudently/responsibly address the issues; we must be steadfast in our preparation. Quickly ‘band-aiding’ various issues would not be a wise use of the resources. In an effort to establish the community’s perception of the district’s facilities – an anonymous survey will be distributed; more information will be coming in the future about this situation.
As always, things are definitely ‘hopping’ at Milan C-2. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or at 660-265-4414 with any questions/comments. Remember, every day is a GREAT day to be a Milan Wildcat!