Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Summer Greetings & Welcome Back-to-School!
Our 2017-2018 school year will begin Tuesday, September 5 and we’re extremely excited about our many positive initiatives to promote student opportunities and success.  At Wayland Union Schools, we promote literacy, positive relationships, student success, and a broad assortment of fine arts / athletic / extra-curricular activities, plus enhanced academic and technology opportunities throughout the district with our K-12 1:1 iPad initiative.  

We welcome many new families to our wonderful school district this fall, including at least 10 foreign exchange students.  If you have any questions about enrollment, registration, or programs, please contact one of our schools or offices for more information (phone numbers and email addresses are on our website at www.waylandunion.org). We also welcome 11 new teachers and several other staff (including several WUHS alumni!) to join our fine faculty this year as they dedicate themselves to teaching and nurturing your children.  Four of these new teachers have been added due to continued student enrollment growth and to maintain smaller class sizes.

As a reminder to parents of returning students, if you have not gone online to the Parent Portal to register and update information on each of your students, please do so at your earliest convenience (MS and HS students must be registered before they can receive their iPad).

Many school and athletic events have just begun as we gear up for a new school year.  Here is a list of the main activities:

Wayland Union HS Orientation the week of August 21 – Students may get their iPads, make schedule changes, and register their cars to park in the student parking lot according to the following schedule each day from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM:
Monday, August 21 – Seniors
Tuesday, August 22 – Juniors
Wednesday, August 22 – Sophomores
Thursday, August 24 – Freshmen (includes locker assignments)

Wayland Union Middle School Orientation from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM on Tuesday, August 22.  Students will receive their iPads, may get their pictures taken, and 7th graders will get vision tests.

Back to School Open Houses to visit classrooms & meet teachers
Tuesday, August 29:
Steeby Elementary 5:30-6:30 PM
Middle School 4:00-7:30 PM (Student get iPads, class schedules, and locker assignments)
High School 4:30-7:00 PM
Baker Elementary 5:00-6:00 PM

Wednesday, August 30:
Dorr Elementary 5:00-6:00 PM (Pre-school & K) and 6:00-7:00 PM (1st through 4th grades)
Pine St. Elementary 5:00-6:00 PM

Athletic Events may be seen on the Fall Sports pocket schedules or the Athletic website at www.waylandunionwildcats.com

Here’s an update on of some of our recent activities:  Our Strategic Plan Goals & Objectives are moving forward in the areas of Student Achievement, Finance, Facilities/Learning Environments, and Communication/Community Engagement.  Academically, all 6 of our schools achieved Highly Effective status this past school year, which is fantastic!  Financially, we had a larger than anticipated surplus again this past year and another surplus is anticipated at the end of this coming fiscal year.  We recently paid off the loan two years early (!) on the iPads we purchased several years ago.  

We still have many facilities needs and will be putting a bond proposal on the November 7, 2017 ballot that will result in NO millage increase to our citizens.  This $19.25 million proposal, reduced in scope to one third (1/3) of the proposals you voted on last May, would address Security & Infrastructure needs; additional classroom space with a new wing, secure entrance, and renovations at the Middle School; and 12 new tennis courts to replace the 8 unusable courts near the soccer field.  We will be providing detailed information on our website and Facebook pages, plus there will be ample opportunities at school events and bond information nights for you to get information and have your questions answered.  

Bond Information Nights scheduled thus far are:
Thursday, September 7, 6:15-7:00 PM at Dorr Elementary (prior to Dorr PTO meeting)
Monday, September 18, 7:00-8:00 PM at the Middle School Media Center
Wednesday, September 27, 7:00-8:00 PM at Pine St. Elementary Media Center

You are always welcome to contact Superintendent Norman Taylor at (269) 792-2181 (ext. 3010) or by email at taylorn@waylandunion.org with any bond or school questions.

This summer’s maintenance projects are drawing to a successful close, with many of these upgrades funded by our Public Improvement Fund from casino monies.  These include general maintenance, upkeep, & painting; a new fire panel at WUHS; new HVAC controls across the district; new wide-range two-way Motorola radios to enhance communications, installation of window safety film and secure access entry at all school entrances (all part of our MSP Safety grant); and a new VOIP phone system to comply with enhanced 911 regulations.  We also just took delivery of two new 77 passenger busses, including one with undercarriage storage compartments, which allow for music instruments or athletic equipment to be stored there and provide for increased safety for our students.  Our Fun-tastic Summer Meals program and summer school have been a huge success again this year with excellent participation.  Our last meals will be offered this Saturday, August 26 in the Wayland City Park as part of the Kiwanis Kids’ Day, which runs from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM and includes many fun activities.   

We anticipate you will continue your excellent participation with our students again this school year.  Please support and encourage them academically, athletically, and in their many displays of practical, performing, and fine arts.  We have an extremely dedicated, experienced, and caring staff instructing many inquisitive students with a variety of interests, skills, and talents.   These continually need to be guided and nurtured by the positive parental/adult role models and mentors in their lives – including you.  Remember to check out our website at www.waylandunion.org, including my periodic Superintendent’s Blog which may be viewed from the Administrative page of our website, plus school & district Facebook pages on a regular basis to stay current about all school events, athletics, student activities, and bond information.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this latest edition of my Superintendent’s Blog.   Once again, Thank You so much for your continued support of educational excellence as we strive to enhance our Culture of Quality at Wayland Union Schools.  Please contact us with any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions you may have to make Wayland Union Schools the best schools possible as we work to Challenge – Inspire – Contribute.
Best Wishes for a wonderful and very successful school year for all of our students, families, and staff!
Yours in Wildcat Pride,

Norman L. Taylor

Superintendent