District Administrator Mike Endreas
The second semester of the school year officially began on Jan. 21. The work of our teachers, counselors, staff and students has been outstanding and has made the first half of the school year a great one. Credit should be given to Mrs. Schulz and Mr. Gorst who have worked hard to create opportunities for our students and teachers to excel in.
Now an update for you on our building referendum project. We hope that this long drawn-out process of dealing with the FEMA representatives is nearing the end. We have been asked and we have provided several layers of justifications in our grant application. In discussions with Wisconsin Emergency Management in Madison, they too, are frustrated with the elongated process that we are being put through. We hope the end is near, but we have stated that before and I will continue to update you as we go along!
A few things I know to be sure, we will be moving forward with the dome construction once the details are worked out with the FEMA grant. We have asked for invitations to bid on both the FCS (Family and Consumer Science) room and bathroom renovations. The board will be approving them at a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. Construction in those areas will begin as soon as school is out for the year. In February and March, approval of our excavation work will be brought to the board. The last bid process that will take place is for the dome and the general construction that goes with it. Once we have our answers from FEMA we will be finalizing those as well. I appreciate and ask for your continued patience as we work through the tangled web some refer to as our government.
At the board level our work to realign the format of going from two meetings a month to one has been going well. The committee structure that has been developed allows the board to focus more as opposed to trying to fit everything into a 3-hour meeting. I appreciate the willingness of our board to try something new. Also at the board level, we will have three candidates running for two positions in the April election for our township seats. Incumbents Shawn Lyon and Jodi Hebert along with Joe Burnett will be vying for the spots on our board.
Lastly, I want to emphasize why I think what we have at Spencer is extraordinary. In a school district, success is usually measured in some sort of test scores, school report card or where the district falls in some national average. I prefer to break it down in a different manner. I must preempt this with saying our students have scored well on the ACT and as a district we have met expectations for the state report card, but to me there is so much more to education than a number. A Spencer school district student is so much more than that. I am proud to say that when surveyed a majority of our students have a sense of belonging and connectedness to our school. Our teachers and staff understand the need to build relationships with our kids. Trust and respect is evident amongst our students in the number of behavior referrals and a 90-plus percent attendance rate. When former Rocket students are on winter break from college, there is seldom a day that goes by that I don’t see one here coming back to catch up with their teachers and staff. In many cases it is the same students that complained about how they can’t wait to get out of here as students. To me, this is the sort of data that I want to gauge success on. If we are providing a safe, welcoming environment for kids, which I feel we are, the rest of the numbers will take care of itself.
It is truly a great day to be a Rocket!