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Teachers prepare with USD 383 Back to School Convocation

Sophia Comas, Sports Editor

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As the 2018-2019 school year begins, all USD 383 teachers gathered together on Aug. 9 in Rezac Auditorium for the district-wide Back to School Convocation.

With a joke-filled opening by Michele Jones, Director of Communications and School Safety, teachers were able to plan for the new school year and establish goals for themselves and their students.

“We’re going to need input from [teachers] as we get into strategies, objectives, measures to make this meaningful,” Dr. Marvin Wade, superintendent, said in his address. “Then there’s the extra planning and then there’s the execution, which we’re going to be looking at. It’s keeping track of our progress, making sure we’re doing the things we need to do in order for us to succeed.”

The conference was specifically designed to target issues experienced during the previous school year where it was revealed that around 554 elementary students had to transfer to different schools due to overcrowding, a huge issue that the district is trying to combat. It also showed that if this issue were to continue there wouldn’t be enough teachers for students to be properly educated.

According to  Lyle Butler, CEO and president of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, 60 percent of the jobs needed for the current kindergarten class to graduate don’t even exist yet.

Despite this problem, they still plan to work hard for their students through the core beliefs of acceptance, accountability, courage, joy and trust to ensure student success. By establishing pillars of talent, culture and environment, partnership and the well-being of students, USD 383 hopes to create fun and safe surroundings for effective learning.

“I think it’s critical for me and our entire system to convince everybody in this room, everybody in the community that we really can make our vision reality,” Wade said. “… We’re going to have better communication, increased focus, higher expectations and then greater accountability for getting the things done that need to be done.”

After the issues facing USD 383 were addressed, individual awards were announced as well as the accomplishments the district achieved, such as fundraising for renovations in Rezac Auditorium, a key feature to the West Campus.

According to Jim Morrison, president of the Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools Foundation, a non-profit that receives donations to later gift to the district, about $120,000 of the $150,000 goal was made.  

“We still have some projects to continue and complete,” Morrison said. “We hope they will add to the needs of the school and for students and the programs that we have.”

While the Back to School Convocation proved the district still needs to work on a few areas, it was a mostly successful event that prepared teachers for the days to come and ensuring a great school year.

“We’re really just beginning the process,” Wade said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s meaningful work and it gives us the direction, the accountability, the leadership, the vision that… [teachers] want.”

 

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Teachers prepare with USD 383 Back to School Convocation