Talking to your children about the current scary things out there…

After 32 years as a public educator, I never thought that I would be writing a note about clowns scaring people, but I also never thought 32 years ago about being able to type something that thousands of people could read on a computer, or make a phone call that went out to thousands of people at once.

This epidemic of the scariness of the clowns via the news media, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is an issue that the school district takes seriously, primarily because it is impacting the ability of children to focus and learn, which is our core mission here at school.

You can help us by being sensitive to your children’s concerns and assuring them, as you can, that you do all you can to keep them safe at home and that the school district does all it can to keep them safe when they are with us.  Much of these news stories have undocumented rumors and innuendo, and we know that there have been Internet threats made via posts by a Clowny Bobby or under other pseudonyms, in fact, just up the road in Prophetstown.

But please know this– should someone come onto any of our school grounds, dressed in a manner to scare children or adults, or try any type of communication that is threatening, intimidating, or intended to frighten or harm children or adults– we will file whatever formal complaint is necessary to move charges to be filed.  Mr. Haugse and I often talk about how we sometimes hear adults tell us, “They were just students playing a prank.”  Too often these so called pranks are actually vandalism, or in the cases of these clown incidents, blatant intimidation and harassment.

So for those of you with younger students, please talk to your children and reassure them that many adults are vigilant in trying to keep them safe from harm.  And if you have older children, who have access to social media, this is a great time to let them know to exercise good judgment– encouraging this “clownish” behavior or inviting clowns onto our campus will result in consequences for those students inciting such nonsense.

We all want this Homecoming Weekend to be a memorable one for our students and the many alumni who will be returning to our school community.  May we quickly return to a focus of a mission to Teach-Learn-Care; and comforting frightened students at this time fits right into that mission.  We appreciate your engagement with this at home, and we will do our best to do right by your children at our schools.

Should you see or hear any issues of concern, please contact your school office or call the Central Office at (309)-945-0450.

Scott Kuffel, Superintendent

State Board prepares ESSA Draft

In 2015 Congress approved the bipartisan legislation known as the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  This effectively replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.

The Illinois State Board of Education is required to develop an implementation plan to be approved by the Department of Education and this draft plan is to be approved in the spring of 2017 for full implementation by 2017-18.  We will endeavor to provide you with more tidbits of information over the coming months, but you can find more here at this State Board page.

BACK TO SCHOOL UPDATE, AUGUST 17, 2016: FROM SCHOOLMESSENGER

Good afternoon, this is Scott Kuffel, Superintendent of the District 228 schools. Here is the Wednesday, August 17th Start of School Update.

 

We completed the occupancy walkthrough with our Assistant Regional Superintendent.  She was very thorough in her review of the inside and outside of the building and did approve occupancy of Millikin School.

 

All Geneseo Schools will be open for student attendance this Friday, August 19th.  School will be dismissed one hour early on Friday.  School will be dismissed one hour early on Monday, August 22nd as well.  District PreSchool classrooms, both the Ladders and the Early Childhood Education classrooms will begin on Tuesday, August 23rd.

 

There will be a Back to School evening from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, August 18th at Millikin School.

 

While many, many people need to be thanked for their commitment, energy, sacrifice and persistence to bring so many moving parts together to complete work at Millikin School, I want to take a moment to give special thanks to a few—

 

Randy, Mike, and Chad from our Maintenance Department

Karen and Paula who have cleaned and moved so much in such a short period of time

LaNae and Sarah for relocating several times to keep the office and operations at the building moving amidst a myriad of boxes

Jamie and his crew from Hodge Construction

The entire teaching staff from Millikin for their banding together to stay focused, both during inservice time, but also in between daylight and nightfall to get rooms ready for children.

Parent and support staff volunteers from other schools, who helped move furniture, set up bulletin boards, etc

Members of the Green Machine Football team who gave up several hours to do some really heavy lifting.

These are but a few of the many who have saved us from missing several days of attendance and keeping us down to but one day of late starting the year.

 

We are a better district working through some of these challenges, and over the next couple of years, our buildings will be better for these efforts and so will our level of instruction and care for our students.

 

We look forward to seeing buses running, full of students, and many smiling faces on Friday, August 19th.  Thank you all for your patience, understanding and commitment to our mission to Teach, to Learn and to Care.

 

Have a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Construction Update

SchoolMessenger August 16, 2016 Construction Update

Good evening, this is Scott Kuffel, superintendent of the District 228 schools, and here is the most recent construction update from Tuesday, August 16th. This is starting to feel a little like an evening Prairie Home Companion episode, but I’m hoping we don’t have too many more of these!

Progress continues to roll at Millikin School. All flooring and floor trim work should be completed by early this evening and flooring contractors are out of the building. Crews have already been putting furniture back into the remodeled classrooms and teachers are working feverishly to put items back in order to start the year. New library and office furniture arrived and is being assembled and put into place… while it isn’t all in and completely set up, those spaces will be functional by Friday for sure.

We walked through the entire building and outside the grounds with our Assistant Regional Superintendent in advance of our 1 pm meeting Wednesday, and she seemed pleased with the progress. Without putting words in her mouth or any undue pressure, it certainly seemed that she shared our confidence that we will be able to open schools on Friday morning, August 19th. The asphalt playground area and front parking lot still need good cleaning, classrooms will need to be re-cleaned a bit, the hallways, cafeteria and gymnasium need some polish, but all in all the building is buttoning up quite nicely.

So barring something totally unforeseen and out of left field for which we have no control, please plan on sending your children to school on Friday, August 19th. School will be dismissed on Friday and Monday, August 22nd 1-hour early. Millikin School will host their Back to School night on Thursday, August 18th from 5-7 p.m. The Ladders PreK program will not begin until Tuesday, August 23rd. We will continue to update you with any new, breaking information, but for now, we wish you a successful Back to School Night at Southwest and Northside tonight, and at the MS and HS tomorrow evening.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow afternoon’s walk through!