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Superintendent's Message: Staying Busy During The Summer

I hope you are enjoying the summer weather and looking forward to another great school year! 

Summer is an exciting time on campus, as we take the opportunity to reflect on the previous school year and continue preparations for the new one right around the corner. Those preparations contribute to quite a bit of activity on campus, as some of our students work to strengthen their skills in preparation for new academic opportunities, teachers and staff attend trainings and update curriculum, administrators set goals and develop plans to bolster our educational programs and promote student achievement, the technology department updates our infrastructure and sets up our instructional technology, and our facilities department works tirelessly to prepare our buildings and grounds for opening day.

On a personal level, I am grateful for my first summer at Midlakes, as a chance to reflect on all I have learned about this amazing community and witness the tremendous amount of hard work being done to prepare for September. As I look back on 2017-2018, my thoughts center around the character and determination of our students and the dedication of the many adults who support their success on a daily basis. I also have rich memories of the many celebrations and traditions, across grade levels, that marked the final few months of the school year. 

Most notable, of course, was the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2018, where we celebrated 114 graduating seniors. While I was able to witness only a small portion of their Midlakes careers, I am impressed by all they accomplished and excited about their bright futures! This year, 77% of our graduates are moving on to two or four-year colleges, while 23% are entering the workforce. The district is committed to continuing to offer programs and create new opportunities, including career exploration and development, to ensure that all of our students are prepared for success, regardless of which path they choose after graduation.

As we look ahead to the 2018-2019 school year, I am excited to announce a number of exciting and important developments at Midlakes: 

  • First, thanks to the generous support of our community in passing our annual budget, we are looking forward to the addition of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher to provide career development opportunities at the secondary level and a third social worker to deliver increased social-emotional support to students at all grade levels. The hiring processes for these positions is progressing nicely and we look forward to having new staff members in place for September.
  • Second, we have been able to upgrade our security protocols at the main entrance of the Primary and Intermediate Schools, making them consistent with the Middle/High School. Visitors during the school day will now need to be "buzzed" through the outer doors and into both main offices. Security cameras and an intercom system will assist with this process. We are committed to providing for the safety of students and staff, and we appreciate your patience as we implement the new procedures.
  • Finally, we are looking forward to the launch of a new district website this fall. The website will feature a more modern design and will serve as a platform from which to provide students, families, and community members will connect with easier access to valuable information about all aspects of the district. We are especially excited to use the new website as a venue for celebrating our students’ successes and experiences through news stories, photos, and videos. We will start simple and, as the new website evolves into a robust information center, we have plans to introduce a new Midlakes app that will provide more convenient access to district news.  A new mass notification system is similar to our previous School Messenger robocall/email system and will further support our ability to communicate with parents in a thorough and timely manner.

The Midlakes Board of Education, administration, and staff are dedicated to providing all of our students with the most rewarding school experience possible and creating meaningful educational outcomes that promote continued growth and tangible success. We recognize that this is complex work that requires our attention to a wide range of student needs. We look forward to working in partnership with our families and community to do what’s best for our children. 

We appreciate your continued support and look forward to the return of all students on Wednesday, September 5.  In the meantime, we will continue to get ready for a great year!

 

Matthew Sickles
msickles@midlakes.org