Community connections, conferences highlighted at Oct. 24 board meeting

When it comes to community connections and conferences Independent School District 834 has some big plans and good news.

District officials spoke for a half hour about how they plan to create more community connections this year in the district.

The district hopes to expand volunteerism over the next year and create new partnerships with area organizations to create connections throughout the community. One example of this is the Boutwells Landing Homecoming event that the high schoolers put on this year.

They spoke about service learning opportunities that the district and students have done which include: walk for water, Rake a Difference Day, food drives and other events. They also had student Michelle Berg talk about her experiences with service learning and her speaking appearance at We Day recently.

“Service learning creates well-adjusted and compassionate people, I’ve been volunteering since I was five years old and it’s been the best experience,” Berg said. “I think the district can work to make more people aware of all the events that are going on so that more people can get involved.”

Carissa Keister talked about how the district will begin opening up school building facilities like pools and gyms on certain days throughout the year so that a wider audience is able to use these things going forward.

Opportunities available right now are:

• Stillwater Junior High School (SJHS) on select Friday nights will open the gyms and swimming pool for family activities.
• Oak-Land Junior High School (OLJHS) on select Thursday nights, community members can come for Family Swim in the pool, stroll the indoor hall walking route, or use fitness equipment in the school’s new weight room.
• Early Childhood Family Center (ECFC) on select Saturday mornings has open gym activities designed for toddlers and preschoolers and their families. The ECFC gym will be open and staff will offer movement and exploration specifically designed with the youngest learners.
• Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) has indoor walking available most Monday through Thursday evenings.

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Later in the meeting Executive Director of Elementary Education, Malinda Lansfeldt, made a short presentation about the outcome of elementary and middle school conferences that took place last week.

A new conference model was created last year which resulted in parents meeting with teachers two times this year in October and April.

Lansfeldt said that close to 100 percent of parents at the elementary level attended conferences while Oak-Land Junior High School had a 58 percent turnout, which is much higher than last year and Stillwater Junior High School had a 24 percent turnout, though they are one-year behind in the pilot program.

“Both parents and students met with their teachers and it’s been great to see students come and really take ownership of their work,” Lansfeldt said.
Conferences for the High School will take place in November.

Contact Avery Cropp at [email protected]