Superintendent’s Message

IMG_0363Dear Team,

At last evening’s board meeting we applauded Michael Slechta for his recent recognition from Music for Everyone for his “commitment to cultivating the power of music.” Please join me in congratulating Mr. Slechta for his support with our nationally recognized music and art programs. We have so much talent right here in the SDoL by both our students and staff members. If you have an opportunity, please stop by our Faculty Art Show at Zoetropolis which is open through December 2. The artwork by our teachers is simply amazing.

As we head into the winter season, Human Resources will be sharing our inclement weather memo for this year. Please print it out and keep it close by so you know what to do when bad weather hits our area. There is a new option for this year when it comes to delaying and closing schools. If a two hour delay is necessary on a previously scheduled early dismissal day (2nd Wednesday of the month), we will cancel the early dismissal and professional development that afternoon so that students are released at a regular school day dismissal time.

I wish each of you a fantastic holiday break next week. I have so much to be thankful for, including our great team who inspires me each day.


November School Board Highlights

The following are highlights from the November School Board Meeting:

1. Under the direction of music teachers Mrs. Weil and Mr. Broaddus, the Hand Middle School chorus and orchestra students performed two song selections at the beginning of the meeting. The public is invited to their concert on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Hand Music

2. Dr. Rau shared her Superintendent’s Report which included a recap of a recent visit to Albemarle County Schools, Virginia, as part of the Superintendent’s Study Council. Their district focused on redesigning spaces for engaging students through the use of space, technology and student agency. This included modernized learning spaces, areas for students to congregate, charging stations, and student-built music labs and television stations. Their schools also removed lockers because students in grades 3-12 are part of a 1:1 device initiative, and their high school was featured in the film, Most Likely to Succeed. Overall, Dr. Rau’s trip was both informative and eye-opening to see how other schools accommodate 21st Century learners.

3. Student Board Reps: McCaskey student Hannah Short shared highlights from the Campus.

4. Approval of Board Policies:
626 Federal Fiscal Compliance (New)
626.1 Travel Reimbursement – Federal Programs (New)
808 Food Service (Revision)
827 Conflict of Interest (New)

5. Approval of Contracts and Operations Contracts/Agreements

6. Discussion Items – First Readings/Board Policies (approval/vote next month)
100 Comprehensive Plan (Revision)
322 Gifts (Revision)
324 Personnel Files (Revision)
702 Gifts, Grants, Donations (Revision)
805 Emergency Preparedness (Revision)
819 Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Response (Revision)
824 Maintaining Professional Adult/Student Boundaries (New)

7. Dr. Jessica Sherman, Coordinator of Elementary Literacy and Social Studies, shared an update on the American Reading Company (ARC). ARC provided over 23,000 brand new reading books in our K5 and 1st grade classrooms this year. The initiative also includes professional development, in-class coaching, and a guide for both in-school and at-home independent reading for our youngest learners.

8. Next meetings:
December 6, 2016 at Lincoln Middle School @ 6 p.m. (Board Reorganization Meeting)
December 20, 2016 at Lincoln Middle School @ 7 p.m.


McCaskey Fall Play – this weekend!

Onions in the stew poster revisionOnions in the Stew, this year’s Fall Play, is a family-friendly, delightful and charming comedy based on Betty MacDonald’s book by the same title. Other books Betty has written include The Egg and I, The Plague and I, and the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series.

The story follows Betty MacDonald and her family as they’ve just moved into a home on Vashon Island. Island life proves to be very different from the city life they’ve become accustomed to, and the hardships at times are very challenging. Amidst the laughter, we find at the heart of our story, a valuable lesson in getting something truly worthwhile from life; something money can’t buy! The title appropriately comes from this line – “where hearts were high and fortunes low-and onions in the stew.”

Please support our talented and hard working cast/crew by coming to see this charming production of Onions in the Stew on Friday, Nov. 18th or Saturday, Nov. 19th at 7PM. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students/senior citizens AND can be purchased ahead (399-6400 ext 4/ ) OR at the door.

McCaskey to host 4th annual Hooverville

image1Thanks to the guidance of teacher Mr. Painton, McCaskey will host their annual Hooverville on Monday, November 21 from 8 am – 3 pm. Students will collect food and clothing for local organizations. The event will also include community speakers and involvement from many of our schools throughout our district. Please stop by on Monday to witness our students re-enacting Hooverville.

Holocaust Survivor Visits Wheatland MS

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Wheatland Middle School had a very special visitor on Monday. Marion Blumenthal Lazan, author of Four Perfect Pebbles and Holocaust survivor, came to speak to over two hundred 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.

Marion shared her message of hope, kindness, and celebrating our differences. She asked that we remember that the Holocaust did occur and was a terrible part of our history.

Thank you to LEF for funding this visit and the Wheatland PTO for purchasing 50 books that were signed by Marion and provided to students. It was an experience Wheatland student sand staff will never forget!

McCaskey Music News

Mc MusicThe McCaskey Campus Music Department would like to congratulate the following students who were selected, after a stringent audition, to be a member of the 2017 PMEA District Chorus Festival:


Landry Krebs, soprano 1 placing 5th
Delaney Bigley, soprano 1 placing 6th
Abby Derrico, soprano 1
Sophia Echevarria, alto 1 placing 4th
Hannah Deane, alto 1
Claudia Yingling, alto 2 placing 2nd
Max Heitmann, Tenor 1 placing 3rd
Emil Ramirez, tenor 1 placing 4th
Zuhri Wayman, tenor 2 placing 4th
James Delts, bass 2
Owen Wallace, bass 2