January Message from Superintendent

January 25, 2017

Greetings to Pine-Richland Students, Parents and Community,

As part of school board recognition this week, the “Can’t Stop the Learning” video debuted. Tied to the mission, vision, and values of the district, this video was designed as a fun way to highlight our students, staff, schools, and programs. Special thanks to Mr. Michael Timcheck, EHUE Music Teacher, for his star role as Justin Timberlake. Thank you to all staff and students for participating in the fun activity. There are many great moments in the video. Instilling a love for learning is one of our most important opportunities as educators. Please take a few minutes to watch, listen, laugh, and enjoy as a family.

The annual school board recognition is an important opportunity to thank each member for his or her time, expertise, and service to the schools. In public education, local school board members invest a significant amount of time to serve the community. Board members are expected to stay abreast of a myriad of topics within the district and even broader trends within the state and nation. At Pine-Richland, we have talented board members who help govern the overall operations of the district. Public education works well when all groups – community, parents, students, staff, administration, and board – are working together.

In this month’s letter, I also wanted to provide a very brief update of our six key initiatives this year. Additional information is available on the district website.

  • Instructional StrategiesWe remain focused on building a common language and use of instructional strategies across all classrooms (e.g., clear learning goals; differences between learning goals and learning activities; effective procedures/routines to maximize learning time; and methods to strengthen teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships).

  • In-Depth Program Review In science and health/physical education, the in-depth program review is underway. This process is designed to take a deeper look at the program structure, sequence, and opportunities. Recommendations for program changes are tentatively planned for April.

  • Standardized Assessment/Universal Screener – Beginning in the fall of 2017, we will shift from AIMSweb and Fountas & Pinnell to STAR 360. We will send detailed information about these changes in the upcoming months. This decision will allow us to reduce overall testing time, ensure a range of questions that appropriately challenge a range of learners, and also provide reports that will benefit the student, parents, and classroom teacher. In addition, the district will begin to implement the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to students in grades two and five next year.
  • Technology Integration In the past month, the Technology Department has deployed interactive display boards at Eden Hall and Richland Elementary. Additional Chromebooks - primarily at Eden Hall and the three primary buildings – have also been received and distributed. 
  • Evaluation and Performance-Based Feedback – Through the Human Resources Department, the district is reviewing hiring, onboarding, orientation/induction, and evaluation processes.

  • Long-Range Budget and Capital Funding Plan – In conjunction with school board committees, a long-term budget strategy is being finalized. This plan will also address capital funding needs within our schools. More detailed information will be shared in upcoming months. You may also visit the budget communication center on the district website.    

Thank you again for your support and engagement in the Pine-Richland School District.

Brian Miller