Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fall 2018

Summer Greetings & Welcome Back-to-School!

We sincerely hope you are having a safe, fun, and fantastic summer!

Our 2018-2019 school year will begin on Tuesday, September 4 with a full day of school. We hope you are as excited as we are about our many positive initiatives to promote student opportunities and success this school year. At Wayland Union Schools, we promote literacy, positive relationships, student success, and a broad assortment of fine arts, athletics, and extra-curricular activities, plus enhanced technology opportunities throughout the district with our K-12 1:1 iPad initiative.

As always, we welcome many new families to our fantastic school district this fall, including ten foreign exchange students. If you have any questions about enrollment, registration, or programs, please contact one of our school offices for more information. Phone numbers and email addresses are on our website at www.waylandunion.org or you may wish to download our new district app, Wayland Union Schools, in the Apple or Google stores. We also welcome at least 10 new teachers, three new secretaries, plus other staff (including several WUHS alumni!) to join our Wildcat family this year as they dedicate themselves to teaching and nurturing your children. Some of these new teachers have been added due to continued student enrollment growth and to keep smaller class sizes. Our staffing changes are highlighted in the Back-to-School edition of the Green & White district newsletter arriving in late August.

Here’s an update on our summer activities: Our Strategic Plan Goals are moving forward in the areas of Student Academic Achievement, Finance, Facilities/Learning Environments, and Communication /
Community Engagement. Academically, we continue to see growth in all schools, with three schools
achieving Highly Effective status this past school year! Financially, we had a larger than anticipated surplus again this past year and anticipate another surplus at the end of this coming fiscal year. We surpassed our 12% fund balance goal in Year 3 of five (!) and will set a new goal soon.

Regarding our Facilities, we are very busy and hard at work with all of the construction and renovation projects approved on the November 2017 ballot proposal. Thank you for supporting our Facilities’ needs! Current projects include roof work at Baker Elementary and WUHS, geothermal work at the Baker pre-school wing, restroom renovations at our elementary schools, and a new student parking lot and 12 new tennis courts at WUHS. All of these projects will be completed by the time school starts with two exceptions: The new tennis courts will not be completed until the end of the fall season and the final coat of asphalt on the HS student parking lot is scheduled for a weekend in mid-October after the tennis courts are completed. Starting in mid-September, we’ll begin construction of a new wing at the Middle School, which will also address our need for more classroom space and improved security with a new secure entrance and other renovations, and is slated for completion around August 1, 2019. Major renovations at Pine Street Elementary and the HS Media Center will commence in the summer of 2019.

In Communications, we are premiering a new mobile app that will enhance communications with parents, students, and citizens. Details on downloading and using this new Wayland Union Schools app are available on our website. You may also check out pictures of our various facility upgrades on our website. This summer’s maintenance projects are also 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; new LED lights throughout the district to promote energy efficiency and cost savings; some new carpeting and exterior doors at the HS; new radios and cameras on all school buses to enhance communications and safety; many new teacher computer work stations; and upgrades to the Cat’s Den (old HS cafeteria) including new furniture and a new School Spirit Store to be staffed by students in our Business classes to gain practical experiences. We also just took delivery of two more new 77 passenger buses, including another one with undercarriage storage compartments, which provides 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 and we anticipate a new record of over 10,000 free meals served after the Saturday, August 25 Kiwanis Kids’ Day in the Wayland City Park.

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 traits need to be continually guided and nurtured by the positive parental/adult role models and mentors in their lives – including you. Remember to check out our new app and our website at www.waylandunion.org, for the lastest school news and information. Please view our schools’ district Facebook pages on a regular basis to stay current about all school events, athletics, and student activities.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this Back-to-School edition of my Superintendent’s Blog. Once again, Thank You so much for your continued support of our facilities and educational excellence as we strive to enhance our Culture of Quality at Wayland Union Schools. It’s a great time to be a Wildcat! As always, I am open to meeting with parents or citizens at any mutual time to hear your ideas. Again this school year, I will hold Community Office hours on most Monday afternoons from 1:30-2:30 PM and Wednesday mornings from 7:30-9:00 AM unless I’m at a conference or it’s a school break week. You may also call my office at 269-792-2181 to make an appointment. Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts, concerns, or suggestions you may have to make Wayland Union Schools the best schools possible as we work together to Challenge – Inspire – Contribute.

Best Wishes for a wonderful and very successful 2018-2019 school year for all of our students, families, and staff!

Yours in Wildcat Pride,

Norman L. Taylor, Superintendent