Lonnie Luepker

LONNIE LUEPKER

Observer Columnist

During the 2018 legislative session, Iowa lawmakers passed a law requiring all school districts to update current response and safety plans. Calamus-Wheatland Community School District, along with other local districts, has partnered with NaviGate Prepared to enhance our school safety plan practices. NaviGate Prepared is a virtual safety preparedness plan designed for K-12 schools. This program helps prepare effective safety programs for staff and students for emergency situations. NaviGate Prepared will have a team in our District April 22-23 to take pictures and video of our classrooms, entrances and danger areas. We take student safety very seriously and this partnership will enhance all of our safety plans.

New website, app nearing

We are also excited to be launching a new district website and smart phone app later this spring. 

The new app will allow us to better communicate with parents and district patrons. We look forward to being able to push out timelier district information to you.

Prom, graduation on the horizon

With spring and warmer weather comes prom and graduation. 

Calamus-Wheatland students will celebrate prom, “A Night in Paris,” on Saturday, April 27 at the Wheatland Community Hall. The Grand March begins at 7:45 p.m. with the dance going from 8- 11 p.m. 

After prom takes place in the Activity Center after the dance. We are all concerned about our students’ wellbeing, and Operation Prom will conduct a mock accident in the high school parking lot on Friday, April 26. Both post-prom and Operation Prom are parent-initiated events.

Once the prom celebration is complete, students turn their attention to commencement. Forty-eight seniors are prepared to graduate and receive their diplomas at 2 p.m. on May 19 in the activity center in Wheatland. This is a very talented group of young women and men and have big things ahead of them.

Board goals for 2018-2019

Every year the Cal-Wheat School Board sets goals in the following three areas: Instructional, Facility and Technology.

The board reviews quarterly to monitor progress. 

Instructional goal: The board will support the continuation of the Teacher Leadership Compensation learning program as well as the Professional Learning Community process, and support the implementation of the ACT pilot program with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency.

Board members will participate in trainings and workshops through the Iowa Association of School Boards to educate itself in better boardsmanship, which includes promoting student achievement, fiscal responsibility and policy.

The board will support the implementation of a pilot program for Standards Based Grading — an instructional strategy that that focuses on learning and helps increase achievement — in grades 5-8, with the goal of full implementation for grades K-12.

Facility goal: Visit area schools to observe facilities in daily use in order to renovate/upgrade classrooms.

The board will continue facility improvements at both the elementary and secondary with recommendations from the community meeting and a district after-school survey. 

Technology goal: The board will continue to make sure technology is utilized by students and staff through trainings and professional development.

It will investigate avenues to update and revamp the district website to utilize apps and user-friendly navigation for website visitors.

Finally, and in conjunction with Teacher Appreciation Week, we would like to celebrate our entire staff. I thank everyone for all that they do for our students every day. 

May is also School Board Appreciation Month, and I want to thank our current board members for all they do for our district, and previous board members for their time and dedication to our district.

Lonnie Luepker is the superintendent of the Calamus-Wheatland Community School District.