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 Message from the Superintendent

 

Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,  

Welcome to the 2013-14 school year.  We look forward to the return of our students and hopefully they are ready to begin a new school year.  The first day of school is August 22nd.  The oldest student in each family will receive this year’s student handbook.  There will be some updates within the handbook and we ask that parents take the time to review the information and guidelines provided.  The handbook also contains a list of activities for the fall and spring semesters as we currently have them.  Please keep in mind that there are times when these activities may need to be rescheduled due to weather or other issues. 

 If you are new to our district we welcome you and your students.  Please feel free to stop by the school office to register your students and to provide the district with contact information.  If your student or students attended another school last year, we ask that you sign a release form so that we can request educational records from the former school and have that information on file prior to the start of the school year.  New parents are encouraged to contact to the school office and provide telephone contact information as well as e-mail addresses if possible and parents that had students in the district last year are asked to update that information if there have been any changes over the summer.

 The 2013-14 school year will be an interesting year for a number of reasons.  The state of SD is a member of the Smarter Balance Consortium that will begin doing online standardized testing in the spring of 2014.  The testing will focus on the Common Core standards in mathematics and language arts.  The state has used the paper and pencil Dakota STEP exam for the last several years, but the Smarter Balance testing will be a completely new test.  It is important to realize that new test scores will not be able to be compared to the test exams from previous years.  Several things have been done to help make the transition to the new test.  The state of SD has increased the internet bandwidth for all schools to better handle the number of students that will be logged on during the weeks that the test will be administered.  Schools have also upgraded their computer labs and equipment to prepare for this transition.  The Tripp-Delmont School District has purchased new computers for one computer lab and has upgraded software and memory capacity on other computers and our mobile computer labs to prepare for taking the new test online.

 The district has teachers and administrators attending training on ICU which is a program to help students that struggle with completing assignments.  The district will put out additional information regarding this program as it becomes available, but the primary purpose is to have teachers and parents working together to help students complete all assigned work so that they continue to make positive progress in school.  Neither teachers or parents want to see students fall behind or give up.  When students do fall behind, they often fill there is no way to get caught up.  Several schools around SD have implemented ICU and have had good results in helping students stay caught up, gain the required knowledge and stay on track for graduating ready for employment or post-secondary education.

 Each new school year brings new challenges for our students and our staff members. As our seniors graduate, our younger students are asked to step up and become student leaders.  They always come back to school ready to meet those challenges and we truly appreciate the opportunity to work with your students.

 

Mr. Lynn Vlasman, Supt.