17 August 2018
Welcome to our forty-ninth year! We are off to a wonderful start in this 2018-19 school year! The energy and the enthusiasm from everyone are absolutely contagious! Just an example is yesterday’s fire drill; it was the best first fire drill that I can remember in my thirty-five years of education—it was executed perfectly! We opened our doors with 314 students, and with our thirty-eight full time faculty and aides, I am proud to let you know that we have an eight to one student to teacher ratio; it’s even lower when we factor in the part-time faculty!
For those who did not attend open house, please read this newsletter carefully. There is important information and dates of which you need to inform yourself.
First and most importantly. As you may recall from our open house earlier this month, as a school, we communicate with you via e-mail. All communication will come to you via one server, via one e-mail address: email@example.com. This letter is the only hard copy communication that you will receive via US Postal Service. As I promised in our open house, we sent an e-mail message to all of our families last Friday. The message read, “Charger Cards are In.” If you did not receive that message last week, then either we do not have your correct e-mail, or the e-mail went to your junk folder, or your server is not recognized by our server (i.e., nc.rr.com). If, indeed, you did not receive the e-mail, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible so we can resolve the issue.
Our first Parent Staff Association meeting will take place in the Library on Thursday, 23 August at 3.10PM. All parents and staff are invited to attend this meeting. You will find enclosed with this newsletter two communications from the PSA: a volunteer sign-up sheet and an order form for our commemorative 50th Anniversary t-shirt. Our official birth date—when we were incorporated as a school-- occurred on 16 May 1968. We will have celebrations throughout the year, culminating in our official fiftieth birthday, 2 September 2019, fifty years to the date of the first day of classes.
This year we are undergoing our re-accreditation with AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Cathie Hooks has done a marvelous job in keeping us on track for the formal visit on Wednesday and Thursday, 17-18 October. An enormous amount of time and energy has already been dedicated to this self-study/self-evaluation process, and I thank all of you who responded to the surveys and interview requests that we did throughout last year. To that end, we are going to finalize all of our work on Wednesday, 12 September. That day, we will have NO CLASSES. (For those families currently enrolled, Year ‘Round will be held, however.)
Early Years and Lower School, please mark your calendar for our annual Grandparents (and Grandfriends) Day which will be held on Monday, 10 September.
Also mark on your calendar our school’s annual fundraiser, Friday, 12 October. Appropriately for our birthday, the theme will be “Through the Years” and it will take place at the Maxwell Agricultural and Convention Center, just up the road from us.
The last important date to mark during the first semester is the disaggregation work day for teachers in grades 1-8, Thursday, 1 November. That day, students in those grades will have NO CLASSES as the teachers in those grades work with the data from the results of the Iowa Assessments (which will be given in late September and early October) and make adjustments to the individual learning plans of each student.
Finally, I appreciate the many comments I have received from parents (and many others!) about our full-time receptionist. I am so glad we could persuade Ms. Barber out of a premature retirement and have her with us. I hope you’ll tell her, too!
As some of you may know, we have had three Business Managers in as many years. And as many of you know, employee turnover is traditionally extremely low at our school. In their role and duty, with due diligence and as a safeguard—and in no way, shape or form as a concern or suspicion, our Board of Trustees commissioned an accounting firm to do an assessment of the school’s business practices. I am pleased to tell you that we were given high marks and assent in our business practices. (Atta girl, Ms. Schappell!!!) But as in all things, there were some suggestions for improvements, which we plan to implement immediately. One change will occur on Tuesday, 4 September. Ms. Barber will begin to collect all monies: tuition, lunch, athletic fees, PSA monies—in short, everything but admission to our athletic contests. Ms. Schappell will continue doing the billing, so if you have questions or concerns, please see her.
I am delighted to begin my fifteenth year here at Wayne Country Day School. Our partnership together—students, parents, teachers—have crafted one of the finest schools in this state, and, with no immodesty, in this country. It is all of our hard work, time and treasure that have made this happen. Thank you for sharing your most precious possessions with us. Know how honored and grateful we are to work with your children and with you. Happy Birthday, Wayne Country Day School!!!