Special report from Superintendent Alan Reed:
“We’re in the final stages of getting all of our schools ready for students. Three of our schools—Adair County Middle, Adair Elementary and Col. Wm. Casey Elementary have already held successful and well attended open houses.
“I’ve observed some beautiful floors in our schools and would like to thank our custodial and maintenance staff for their hard work in making our schools very attractive.
“While it may appear to the some that teachers have long summers off, that is not the case. Teachers spend much of their summer receiving additional training on curriculum and new state testing and accountability standards. Our teachers have put in incredible hours this summer developing engaging lesson plans and activities for students, and preparing visually stimulating classrooms. For the past several weeks I’ve seen the school parking lots full of teacher’s vehicles. They’re a dedicated group.
“At ACHS we’ll be offering a “Work Ready” seal for our graduating seniors. We are listening to what employers are telling us and we want our students to demonstrate that they have the skills to be successful as they transition to work or to “grade 13”. We’ll also begin emphasizing that there are many more options than a typical four year college degree. Many of the high tech jobs projected for the next 20 years will require lots of rigorous math and science courses. We’ll be exposing students to high paying jobs that will require industry certificates or specialized training instead of four year college degrees.
“Bus drivers have also received update training this summer and Mr. David Jones, our Transportation Director tells me the fleet is ready to go. We are set to receive a new handicapped bus later on this month through a Crusade for Children grant. Last week principals, central office staff, and board members were taken on a bus tour of some of the most difficult roads in Adair County. I’ll tell you, it was an eye-opener. I think everybody better understands why we simply cannot run buses on many of those roads even when the roads in town appear clear. Our buses run around 2700 miles a day and safety will always be number one for us.
“Our new elementary school is on-track and perhaps even a bit ahead of schedule. I was at ACES late yesterday afternoon and felt a few tremors from the blasting going on just up the hill. If you drive by the site you’ll see a lot of the rock that has been blasted out. We intend to use that to form a good solid base for parking lots and approach routes. When we eventually lay pavement we want it to stay.
“We’ve had some changes in personnel including the selection of Mr. Travis Gay as the new Assistant Principal at Adair County High School.
“We have a very large seventh grade class at Adair County Middle School, but it appears that our preschool student population is way down. Our Director of Student Personnel Services, Mrs. Brenda Mann has projected that we’re down around thirty students across all the grade levels.
“I don’t think you’ll notice any big changes in our school calendar. Our opening day is this Wednesday, August 8, 2012, with our last day of school projected to be May 17, 2012. Of course, the final day of school is subject to change depending of weather and/or illness. Students will receive 173 days of instruction. Opening day for preschool students is August 27, 2012.
“I hope you notice the overall campus spruce-up. There are some projects, including the old football field that will take a while to complete, but we’re getting there.
“I’m encouraging parents to make sure that their children get plenty of rest so that they come to school ready to learn. I’d also encourage parents to drop by their child’s school and get a password so that they can log on to our secure server and keep a close eye on their child’s grades. Parents are encouraged to attend Site-Based Council meetings at their child’s school. Please don’t forget to attend our school board meetings on the third Thursday evening of each month.