oct-16-nwsltrMidterm reports are out, parent/teacher conferences at the Junior/Senior High School have come and gone and Homecoming is the weekend of September 30th. The school year is off to a great start. I have had opportunity to be in our classrooms and I’m witnessing firsthand what quality instruction looks like and how engaged students act. I could not be prouder of our student body, PK -12th and staff.

I would like to take this opportunity to catch you up on some of the many great things happening in the West Burlington Independent School District. The elementary drop off/pick-up area is working out well. Everyone has been patient and cooperative. We have reduced the time to get our students into vehicles and on their way home significantly. Thanks to our school personnel and to our parents. I am convinced this system has made students safer at this very busy time of the day.

The new playground is a big hit with our students. The surface is squishy and the equipment is sleek, modern, and colorful. We are glad that students are able to use the playground during recess and after hours. We ask that those who drink soda and eat candy to please clean your mess up. We have garbage cans in convenient places to assist with this. Brain research supports the notion that a child’s mind benefits from physical activity. The playground is an important piece of our instructional program.

Another major change for West Burlington Independent School District is the implementation of the Teacher Leadership Compensation program. Collaboration and teaming are two key components to improving instruction and meeting all of our students’ learning needs. Our early outs on Fridays are dedicated to building teacher leaders and improving instruction through weekly professional development. I can assure you the time is well spent. We are pleased with our initial foray into the TLC program and have seen improved instruction in our classrooms with the TLC model making a significant contribution. I also hope the early outs allow you some additional family time. Please contact me if you have questions, comments or concerns about Friday early outs or any other school matter. (319) 752-8747 or email David.schmitt@wbschools.us.

Certified enrollment will be completed in October. I will provide a report to the public when that data is ready for public consumption. Our kindergarten class currently has 51 students sitting in seats. We have three sections of kindergarten. As a point of reference, we did not hire a teacher to take Mrs. Sherwood’s spot when she moved to the instructional coach position. West Burlington ISD continues to carefully monitor enrollment and class sizes. The board will have discussions on our current grade cap limits in the elementary building and will also discuss the implications of setting grade caps in the junior high as well as Arnold High School. The WBISD Board of Education will be seeking public input on grade caps after the data has been collected.

Thanks for your continued support of our school and students. I am proud of West Burlington Independent School District. I hope our actions match our rhetoric when we say, Kids First!