Quick Links

Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Main Navigation

Top

Front Page > breadcrumbs: District Office > breadcrumbs: Superintendent >

Working...

Ajax Loading Image

 

Superintendent News

July 6, 2017                                              Inserted Image

Dear USD 461 Families and Staff:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  This is my first year as part of the Neodesha family and I am excited to meet you in our schools.  To learn more about our schools, your school leaders, and ways you can be involved in our schools, we encourage you to visit our school web pages or stop by our Central Office.      

We plan to focus this next year on student-centered learning, culturally relevant curriculum, and social/emotional supports for students.  Ensuring collaboration for all staff through the “ALL N” process to promote individual growth and success of each student will be critical as we move forward in our learning. We are also committed to enhancing career exploration and preparation opportunities for students at all levels.     

To introduce myself, I have a husband, Kenny, and two daughters, Lindsey Noonan and Kaylee Erickson.  Both of our daughters are educators in Topeka Public Schools.  Lindsey is married to Kenton Noonan and we were blessed with a grandson, Layton, who just turned 2 years old.  I previously worked as the General Director of Elementary Education in Topeka Public Schools for 6 years where I supervised the 17 elementary administrators and buildings and the district truancy process.  Prior to this we lived in Salina, Kansas where I served as an elementary principal in Salina for 11 years. I also worked for two years as a Teacher on Assignment at the Central Office designing and writing curriculum and assessments in Language Arts and Social Studies Kindergarten through 12th Grade.  I also taught 6th grade for 6 years and 1st grade for three years. 

We thank Mr. Potter for his commitment to USD 461 and we are looking forward to building on to the foundation already in place for the future.  Thank you for supporting the students and staff of USD 461.  We look forward to an exciting 2017-2018 school year as we work together to serve our students in USD 461.    

Sincerely,

Mrs. Juanita Erickson

Superintendent

(620) 325-2610

USD # 461 MISSION STATEMENT:  The Neodesha USD 461 Board of Education and professional educators believe that it is our mission to provide all students with the educational opportunity to succeed now and later in life. 

 

 

 

June 6, 2017

As my time winds down, I begin to reflect on many things.  I continually think about all the wonderful people and the several great friendships and relationships which will always be special to me.  I also ponder "where would I be without Neodesha?"  I will forever be in debt to USD #461 and all the people for teaching me many things along the way while being patient and supportive.  I have been blessed to be able to be a teacher, principal and superintendent in the district.  USD #461 continued to believe in me which I will always be grateful and humbled. Neodesha is a special place and a great family!  

"Even on your worst day, you could be a child's best hope!"  

"Keep the main thing, the main thing....KIDS!"  

Thank you for everything!

Sincerely,

Don

 

May 15, 2017

USD 461’s mission is to provide all students with the educational opportunities to succeed now and later in life.  This school year USD 461 reaffirmed this commitment by adopting a new strategic plan, which involves the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  Essentially, PLCs are groups of teachers, staff, administrators, and parents who are committed to working together to help each child be more successful in school.  Under PLCs all staff will provide a standards based curriculum that maintains high expectations while meeting the needs and addressing learning styles of all learners.  Learning will be measured through the classroom, building, district, and state assessments.  Our staff will monitor progress and provide strategies and interventions for all students to help them reach their greatest potential. 

As stated previously, PLC involves everyone so USD 461 has named the PLC process, “ALL N.”  The district plans to fully implement the ALL N process during the 2017-2018 school year.  In order to implement ALL N next school year, USD 461 will begin a late start every Wednesday morning, beginning August 30, 2017.  The school day will begin at 8:45 AM every Wednesday, allowing teachers to collaborate from 7:30-8:30 AM.  The buses will arrive at regular times, schools will open and serve breakfast at the regular times, and the school day will end at the regular times for each building.  Students that arrive to school at the regular time will be supervised and various activities will be provided.  Parents who choose to have their student arrive later will not miss any instruction time nor will they be counted as tardy.  It is the parent’s choice on when to bring their student on Wednesday’s late start, parents may choose what is more convenient.

USD 461 is excited about the positive impact ALL N will have for our students.  Although the district is fully implementing ALL N next school year, teachers and staff have already begun the process this school year showing strong gains in academic performance.  USD 461 is eager to see the continued positive impact ALL N will have for all students starting next year.  Thank you in advance for you support of our teachers, staff and your student’s education.

ALL N FAQ SHEET

What is a Professional Learning Community (ALL N)?

  • A professional learning community is a group of educators who are committed to working together to help each child be more successful in school.
  • PLCs measure their effectiveness on the basis of results for students, rather than intentions or good ideas. It’s about monitoring data, taking action and continually adjusting to meet the needs of students.
  • PLCs are instrumental in achieving Goal Professional Learning Community (ALL N) strategic plan: “Ensure collaboration for all staff through the All N process to promote individual growth and success of each student.”

How are PLC activities different from traditional professional development?

  • Under the PLC model, time for professional learning is more frequent and consistent. Rather than full days of school and district meetings, the focus is on groups of teachers reviewing individual student achievement data, identifying students who need extra help or more challenging work, investigating better teaching practices to help all students, and planning future instruction.
  • The five key questions that will guide the work of PLC teams are:
    • What do we want students to understand after each unit, course or grade level?
    • How will we know if they understand it?
    • What will we do if they don’t understand?
    • What will we do if they already understand?
    • What are the proven best practices we can use in the classroom to benefit all students?

When will USD 461 begin implementing ALL N process district-wide?

  • USD 461 will begin district-wide implementation of ALL N in the 2017-18 school year.

What is the effect of ALL N on the 2017-18 school calendar?

  • Thirty-three 1-hour morning ALL N sessions will replace one 8-hour professional development day.
  • On each Wednesday beginning August 30, 2017, teachers will meet for one (1) hour, beginning at 7:30 AM and ending at 8:30 AM.  All students school day will begin at 8:45 AM. 
  • The ALL N dates are listed on the 2017-18 district calendar.

Don’t teachers already have planning time?

  • Yes, but teachers need that time to prepare lessons and grades, return phone calls and e-mails, meet with students and parents, update websites, etc. There isn’t enough time for collaboration.
  • Many schools have implemented PLCs and try to schedule ways to work together, but additional, dedicated time is needed so that teachers can collaborate around student learning. 
  • District-wide ALL N times also allow teachers from different schools to work cooperatively.

Why can’t the professional development be done before/after school or during the summer?

  • Those times fall outside of our teachers’ contractual agreement. Dedicated time within the school day ensures maximum participation and provides the most benefit for students.

How will ALL N impact teaching and learning time?

  • There is no impact on total instructional time. One full district professional development day is eliminated and the 33 hours are divided among Wednesday mornings ALL N days.
  • Students will have more consecutive learning days rather than missing an entire day.

How do delayed start days impact transportation and student activities?

  • Buses will arrive at the regularly scheduled times and after-school activities will not be affected.

What is the rationale for selecting a delayed start instead of early release?

  • Allows more focused, undistracted study time for teachers before the hustle and bustle of the school day begins.
  • Eliminates unsupervised after-school time during which students are waiting for athletics/activities to begin or are just “hanging out” at home alone for an extended time.
  • Gives students additional time to sleep in the morning.
  • Permits full participation of coaches and after-school activity sponsors.

Did you consider holding ALL N days on Fridays instead of Wednesdays?

  • Yes, however based on the experiences of other districts, student and staff attendance is lower on Fridays. Holding sessions on Wednesdays will maximize learning time and participation in ALL N.

Where can I get more information about PLCs and the ALL N Process?

 

February 24, 2017

As you know the legislature is back in session tackling an issue many of them did not create.  This session is critical to services and public schools across the State.  Both the House and the Senate passed a respectable tax bill which created an opportunity to crawl out of our current financial crisis. However, the Senate did not have enough votes to override a veto by Gov. Brownback.  It has been discussed a significant cut to our district for the 16-17 budget up to $212,000.  This type of cut would be significantly damaging to our district and our community.  We cannot absorb a cut!  Our Representative, Larry Hibbard and Senator, Bruce Givens also understand how damaging this could be and have voted accordingly.  As we move throughout the rest of the session, please be active in contacting legislators.  

 

November 28, 2016

I want to begin by stating my sincere sympathies to the employees, owners and those injured as well as all those directly affected by the Airosol fire. Futhermore, I am so proud and thankful for our emergency personnel as well as other agencies from surrounding cities and counties who assisted.  It cannot be expressed how grateful we are to have such caring and courageous people performing their duties without hesitation to protect our community.  Our city officials and employees were extremely confident and efficient in finding a way to plow through all the obstacles and continue to battle them.  I cannot forget to mention all the volunteers who offered their time, talents and resources.  It is very impressive to me what Neodesha will do to make it happen regardless of the situation.  Once again, thank you to ALL! 

 

November 7, 2016

The first nine weeks flew by!  As I reflect on the nine weeks, I am proud of the many things happening in our district.  I have been pleased with how our activities and athletics have represented our district as well.  Not only the wins and losses, but our kids, sponsors and coaches have handled themselves with class and respect.  

We are embarking a new process in the education of our kids.  There are four critical questions to this process.  

1.  What do we want students to learn?

What items are most essential in each subject/grade?  What is it they must learn to be success at the next             class/grade level?

2.  How will we know if they learned it?

What type of assessments will be used to ensure we know students have learned the necessary intended essential skills?

3.  What are we going to do if they don't learn it?

What are the systematic steps that should be taken when kids do not learn the essential skills to get them the necessary assistance so the material can be mastered?

4.  What are we going to do if they already know it?

What are the activities to be conducted for students who already know the material?  Extension activities? Projects? Etc.

These questions are critical to the success of any district.  These four questions in thier entirety will take some time to implement but we have definitely began the journey.  I am excited to be a small part of this process to ensure each and everyone of our students achieve what we determine as essential skills in their learning.

  

August 18, 2016

Well it is here, the first day of school!  It is an exciting time seeing all the kids in the hallways and classrooms.  We are so fortunate to have such great kids, staff, parents and community.  There are times I believe we take it for granted thinking it is like this everywhere.  There is no doubt, Neodesha is a special place to be!  Thank you to everyone who has a positive impact in the lives of children.  Also, thank you for your continued support of USD #461 and our kids.  Follow me on Twitter for various updates/pictures as the year continues @dwpotter2

 

July 15, 2016

Another school year is approaching quickly.   I cannot be more excited about the upcoming school year. The buildings have fresh paint, carpets cleaned, desks scrubbed and everything ready for the hustle of the daily routines.   I would like to thank all our custodial staff for such a great job getting our schools ready for our kids and staff. 

Below are some of the exciting things to look forward to as we begin our new year.

  • Completed construction at each of the three buildings
  • After School Program for all students grades K-6
  • STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathamatics) Elementary Grant Program
  • Implementation of a 1:1 Chromebook initiative for all high school students. 
  • Our great staff and students!

Although with the excitement of a new year, we cannot forget the great success this past year in many facets that include academics, academic competitions, activity/athletic contests, etc.  We are very proud of our students and staff!  Additionally, we are extremely proud of our parents and community for their support of our kids.  I have never been involved with a community so supportive of education and its’ kids.  I am proud to be a small part of it.

Four C’s that I feel are very important for a successful year for everyone.

Communication

One area most important to achieve working together is communication.  I believe communication is the single most crucial factor in the education of students but one of the most difficult at times.  Whether it is teachers to students, teachers to parents, parents to teachers, administration to parents/community members, etc., I urge all stakeholders to use various types of communication to assist each other in becoming better and understanding situations, circumstances and solutions.  Communication provides stronger relationships, better understanding and overall satisfaction of any circumstance.  Listed below are some keys to effective communication that work for everyone.

  1. Be honest
  2. Be a good listener
  3. Maintain eye contact and use proper body language-showing respect
  4. Do not interrupt
  5. Ask questions
  6. Paraphrase back to make sure you understand
  7. Work to understand the opinion of others
  8. Always think about how I can communicate better

 

Collaboration

The partnership between the school and home involve collaboration among families, educators and community members to support students' educational and mental health needs. 

There are many benefits included in an increased home and school partnership.  When families are involved in education, there are significant benefits for students, educators, and families. Students demonstrate more positive attitudes toward school and learning, higher achievement and test scores, increased homework completion, and improved school attendance. Teachers report greater job satisfaction and succeed at a higher rate.  Parents experience better understanding of schools and improved communication with their children.

Despite these many benefits, family-school collaboration is very difficult to accomplish. Families and educators sometimes differ in their expectations, goals, and communication, sometimes leading to frustration and misunderstanding among all involved. When these differences are not recognized and addressed, a lack of communication between home and school further divides and separates the two most vital support systems available to the student. Open communication is essential in order for educators and families to understand and respect each other's perspectives.

Working together toward shared goals with shared power is the essential characteristic of effective home-school collaboration. The process requires constant planning, development, and evaluation.  Schools must take the lead in providing opportunities for collaborative partnerships to be developed and maintained.  Collaboration is based on the assumption that families, children, and educators are doing the best they can and efforts are made to understand others' intentions.  Promoting a view of education is a shared responsibility.  Together, families and educators can discuss expectations for student achievement and their respective roles in helping students meet these expectations and they can engage in efforts to increase mutual respect, understanding, caring and flexibility among families and the school community. When problems arise, they are addressed jointly by families, students, and educators in a respectful, solution-focused manner.  The roles of the families can include but not limited to these items;

  • Participation at school as volunteers and committee members
  • Encouragement of leisure reading with their children
  • Participation in school functions, athletics, and other extra-curricular activities
  • Monitoring homework completion
  • Regular communication with school personnel about their child's progress
  • Frequent communication with their children about academic and behavioral expectations and progress
  • Participation as fully informed, decision-making members of problem-solving teams (e.g., SIP teams)
  • Active support of the school through communication, sharing and seeking partnership with educators

 

Ultimately, home-school collaboration leads to improved student achievement, better behavior, better attendance, higher self-concept and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. Successful home-school collaboration is dependent upon educators, families and community members working together to understand each other’s perspectives and to develop shared goals.

Culture

Culture has many facets and the pieces that I would like to discuss are respect and character.  All of us have seen and read about bullying in school and cyber-bullying as a problem throughout the country.  Bullying by students to other students affects the victims’ attachment to school, learning, attitude and etc.  We will continue to address the bullying issue each time it is reported with necessary progressive consequences.  Unfortunately, most times bullying goes unreported and things get to a point where it is extremely difficult to correct and deep issues are unavoidable.  It is important to keep the communication lines open with your student to make sure that he/she is not being bullied or being the bully!  Treat others how you would like to be treated.  Overall, if there is an issue with bullying in school, TELL SOMEONE!

Character

Character is another issue that must continually be addressed to ensure the integrity, honesty, accountability, respect, courtesy and overall solid citizenship within our schools and beyond.  It is important how we shape our students for the present and the future.  After all, these students that we educate today are the successes of tomorrow! Character plays a major role in and out of the classroom, it affects teacher instruction, student learning and overall how the class operates.  As we address negative character issues, we have appreciated the support parents have given to result in positive outcomes. 

We value your opinion on ways to improve our district; I encourage everyone to visit with teachers, administrators, teachers or myself concerning any topic.  We would love to hear from you!  As always we appreciate your support of Neodesha and more importantly the support of your child’s education.   We are very fortunate to have such a caring community for the encouragement of our students.  Please visit any of our buildings at anytime to see the positive and productive things happening at USD #461.  Thanks in advance for all your support in assisting us educating our children during the 2016-2017 school year.

 

 

April 26, 2016--Understanding Funding for Public Schools

I will attempt to explain Funding for Public Schools past, present and future...Here goes!  Click here for the presentation.

Inserted Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

Two parts to the old finance formula:  Base state aid and Equalization Aid

Base state aid started at $3600, went up to $4400 in 08-09, now is $3852.

Original formula figured Capital Outlay and Bond and Interest using one method and LOB by a different method.

Capital Outlay and Bond & Interest are basically for capital improvements.  Local Option Budget (LOB) started as a fund for extras but now combines with the General Fund for funding basic operations like salaries, utilities, school supplies, etc.

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

How money flows from the state to school districts has changed significantly over the year and changes periodically.  This graphic shows how it started.

Local taxes collected for General Fund, Supplemental General, Capital Outlay and Bond and Interest.  These dollars are sent directly to the district.

General state aid sent from State into District General Fund.

Equalization aid sent from state to each fund.

Special Education money send directly to Special Education Fund

KPERS retirement money sent directly to State Retirement and not to district.

Federal funds – some flow through the state and some flow directly to the district

Other Operating Funds are funded through transfers from either the General Fund and/or the Supplemental General Fund

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

Block Grant locked funding for two years.  Was promoted as “guaranteed funding” allowing districts to plan.

Block Grant was to allow time for legislature to develop new formula as they did not like the old formula because it was......

1. Too complicated and hard to understand. 2. Cost was unpredictable and they always had surprises of additional cost.

After the Legislature agreed to fund schools using the old formula and the courts approved, equalization aid for Capital Outlay and for Supplemental General was prorated at 75% because the state had financial problems.

Inserted Image

Changes:

Special Ed $ to General then transferred to Special Ed

KPERS sent to General then immediately transferred back to State Retirement Fund

Equalization money for Supplemental General and Capital Outlay sent to General Fund (Optional transfer to C.O., required transfer to LOB)

Local tax of 20 mills sent to state then returned to school district as state aid.

Result: Appearance of increased funding but only shifting of same dollars.

Inserted Image

Equalization aid must be transferred from general fund to LOB. Transfer from general fund to capital outlay is optional.

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

The legislature used the old forumula for Capital Outlay.

Threw out equalization formula for LOB and substituted same formula as Capital Outlay.

Previously LOB districts received equalization $$ if they fell below the 81% on assessed valuation per pupil.  The farther below, the more state aid. 

New formula- Median = 25% state aid.  For each $1000 assessed valuation per pupil below median 1% is added.  For each $1000 above 1% is reduced.  (Example:  $4,000 assessed valuation below median would mean 25% + 4% = 29% state aid.)

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

Inserted Image

Because of restriction on how Capital Outlay funds can be used, the gain in C.O. takes away from $$ for salaries, teaching supplies, utility bills, etc.

Inserted Image

Inserted ImageInserted Image

Inserted Image

If there are any questions, feel free to give me a call.  620-325-2610

 

 

March 23, 2016

Our construction is nearing an end.  We are certainly going to be very pleased with the results.  All areas of construction look very nice and are built with excellent quality.  
 
After completion of all the projects, we will have an open house to showcase these updated/new facilities.  Watch for advertisements in the paper and other areas on the exact dates and times.  We will also be announcing plans very soon on storm shelter procedures.  We have been working with the fire deparment and police department on best procedures to allow patrons into the buildings, when and etc.
 
Please continue to watch various legislative actions and voice your concerns to our Senators and Representatives. The State of Kansas needs us to voice our concerns regarding all issues.  
 
Thank you for your continued support of USD #461.  Your encouragement and support is irreplaceable!
 
 

February 12, 2016

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that S.B. 7 (block grant) did not cure the unequal funding for Kansas Schools.  The legislature must find a way to fund the inequalities before June 30, 2016 or the school doors close.  

What does this inequality mean?  To try to explain as quickly as possible, each mill that is levied in our district raises approximately $28,000.00 dollars compared to another district where a single mill raises $400,000.  A mill is 1% of assessed valuation for your district. Obviously, this is a major impact to poorer school districts.  Under S.B. 7, there is no equalization aid to offset the difference.  Also, the previous formula included weightings for transportation, at-risk students,  low enrollment, etc. which is no longer included.  This has reduced many districts funds including Neodesha.  

With this ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court is stating very clearly it shouldn’t matter where kids live, they deserve a quality education and the resources to support it.  This is great news, not only for the kids of Neodesha, but for all communities and students all across Kansas.  
 
It is very refreshing to know the courts see what we have been experiencing and made a responsible decision for kids in Kansas

 

February 8, 2016

Construction Update:  I have been asked several times "When is construction going to be done?" "Is it on schedule?"  Obviously, these are fair questions.  Construction on specifically the High School addition is behind schedule for various reasons.  However, I am impressed with what we will have at completion.  So when is it going to be done?  After visiting with architects and construction managers we are looking at the beginning of April.  

Essentially, almost everything is done at Heller and North Lawn with a few minor touch ups prior to us taking occupancy.  All of these spaces are great for our kids, teachers and community.  Thanks again to our community for investing in our kids.  

Legislative Update:  The legislative session is in full swing and goodness they are making a splash with various proposed bills related to education.

Fortunately, HB2504 dealing with district realignment will not be pursued again this session.  This bill basically takes all of Wilson County students and creates one district.  This is not the solution to saving money across Kansas.  The state cannot look to save money where it is going to damage the future.  There has to be better solutions out there.  

 

December 14, 2015

As the semester is coming to a conclusion, I begin to reflect back on how quick has gone and all our accomplishments.  It is an honor and a privilege to be the Superintendent of Schools in Neodesha.   

Academically, our students, teachers and paraprofessionals have been working extremely hard to ensure success at all levels.  We continue to push forward striving for excellence! All of our activities and athletics have represented USD #461 with class and character!

USD #461 is so appreciative of our supportive parents and community that make it possible for us to achieve at a high level.  There is no doubt we are not perfect and work everyday to ensure we are doing what is best for kids. 

On another note………

I have been reading, listening and analyzing the current financial situation of our state.  I can tell you I am extremely concerned about the well being of our kids in ALL areas because of this budget crisis.  There are various funds being swept to fill holes. What happens when there is no more to sweep?  I hope this upcoming legislative session is productive and puts Kansas heading in a positive financial direction.

I want to wish each and every one of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Another NEW YEAR is approaching and we will ensure it is our best yet! 

 

November 24, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

I hope you, your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week. Below are some things I am always thankful for.

* The great students we have here in Neodesha...they work hard to represent themselves, their families, our school system, and community in a positive fashion.
* The dedicated staff we have at Neodesha. Our teachers and non-teachers work hard and take a lot of pride in what they do. We have great people.
* The tremendous community support we enjoy in Neodesha. Our parents and patrons truly care about our kids and all of their endeavors.
* Our supportive board of education is another important part of the USD #461 team. They are student-centered and work tirelessly to ensure our district is heading in the right way.
* My two daughters that are my inspiration. I'm hard on them from time to time but always proud of them. There is never a day that goes by that they don't provide me with strength and purpose.
* My wife is truly is the second part of me. Her support and friendship is something I can count on when the rest of my world is turned upside down. I'm lucky to have her as my co-pilot in "life"
* My parents and family who I love so much and wish I got to spend more time with. 

Hope you have the opportunity to recognize and reflect on what you are "Thankful" 

 

November 19, 2015

Below is some information regarding the new vision in Kansas Education.  I believe this is a great start to changing education in Kansas. 
 

It is a new day in Kansas education. 

With the input of more than 2,000 Kansans, the Kansas State Board of Education has set a new Vision for Kansas education where “Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.” 

Kansans are demanding higher standards in academic skills, as well as employability and citizenship skills, and the need to move away from a “one-size-fits-all” system that relies exclusively on state assessments from No Child Left Behind. This new vision for education calls for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success and will require everyone to work together to make it a reality.

The Kansas State Board and KSDE intend to look at every requirement to determine if and how they are supporting or impeding Kansas schools’ abilities to address the needs of each child. During the Community Conversations, Kansans said: 

  • Our children need quality pre-school, including all-day kindergarten.
  • Changes need to be made to address school culture. The student who chooses to pursue a technical education or a two-year college has to be valued and supported as much as the student pursuing a four-year degree.
  • Counselors and social workers need new, dynamic roles. They should be able to focus on helping individual students explore career paths and develop individual plans of study.
  • Businesses should play an integral role in a student’s education. Internships and job shadowing are important.
  • Community service should play a larger role in education.
  • School shouldbe reorganized around the student, not systems. Equity and common sense should coexist. 

  

Link to the Kansans Can webpage  http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1007

Here is a link to the Kansans Can video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IKTm3NdZbo

 

 

October 28, 2015

The first quarter will officially end today and it has been a great start to the school year!  We have had many exciting things happening in our schools.  It is so exciting to see kids growing and learning in our district.  I would like to THANK all our teachers, staff, parents and students for their positive contribution as a BLUESTREAK and a great beginning to another promising year!  

At the HS, we just concluded a two day career fair which was very informative and insightful for our kids.  Thank you to all the local businesses and industry that assisted us to make this a great event.  Also, to our staff who made it happen.

2015 Spring State Assessment scores will be sent to all parents at the conclusion of the first semester in the grade card mailing.  District results will be released by the State Department of Education on December 8th.

Congratulations to our:

  • Football Team who has been crowned District CHAMPS
  • Volleyball Team who are SubState CHAMPIONS and qualified for the STATE Tournament in Emporia
  • Emily Depew for her qualification to the STATE Tennis Tournament in Prairie Village
  • Jesse Quinn for his qualification to the STATE Cross Country Meet in Lawrence
  • Band received a "I" rating at the Andover Marching Competition
  • All of our Fall teams for their great representation of Neodesha and their success
  •  

 

October 5, 2015

ATTEND: Parent teacher conferences are Oct. 6th and 7th from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

There are many benefits included in an increased home and school partnership.  When families are involved in education, there are significant benefits for students, educators, and families. Students demonstrate more positive attitudes toward school and learning, higher achievement and test scores, increased homework completion, and improved school attendance. Teachers report greater job satisfaction and succeed at a higher rate.  Parents experience better understanding of schools and improved communication with their children.

Despite these many benefits, family-school collaboration is very difficult to accomplish. Families and educators sometimes differ in their expectations, goals, and communication, sometimes leading to frustration and misunderstanding among all involved. When these differences are not recognized and addressed, a lack of communication between home and school further divides and separates the two most vital support systems available to the student. Open communication is essential in order for educators and families to understand and respect each other's perspectives.

Working together toward shared goals with shared power is the essential characteristic of effective home-school collaboration. The process requires constant planning, development, and evaluation.  Schools must take the lead in providing opportunities for collaborative partnerships to be developed and maintained.  Collaboration is based on the assumption that families, children, and educators are doing the best they can and efforts are made to understand others' intentions.  Promoting a view of education is a shared responsibility.  Together, families and educators can discuss expectations for student achievement and their respective roles in helping students meet these expectations and they can engage in efforts to increase mutual respect, understanding, caring and flexibility among families and the school community. When problems arise, they are addressed jointly by families, students, and educators in a respectful, solution-focused manner.  The roles of the families can include but not limited to these items;

  • Participation at school as volunteers and committee members
  • Encouragement of leisure reading with their children
  • Participation in school functions, athletics, and other extra-curricular activities
  • Monitoring homework completion
  • Regular communication with school personnel about their child's progress
  • Frequent communication with their children about academic and behavioral expectations and progress
  • Participation as fully informed, decision-making members of problem-solving teams (e.g., IEP teams)
  • Active support of the school through communication, sharing and seeking partnership with educators

Ultimately, home-school collaboration leads to improved student achievement, better behavior, better attendance, higher self-concept and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. Successful home-school collaboration is dependent upon educators, families and community members working together to understand each others' perspectives and to develop shared goals.

 

September 22, 2015

Construction Update

As you notice, construction continues to happen across the district.  Many items are being completed each day as we head toward completion.  We are striving towards completion around the first part of January.  However, I believe that could be a bit optimist.  I would say by February all facilities will be fully operational.   The HS addition foundation footers are being dug today with foundation completed sometime next week.  The North Lawn shelter has the walls completed and the subcontractor is waiting on Heller to be completed so the roof can be completed for both about the same time.  

There are many things that are yet to be completed but the flexibility of the staff, students and parents has been great.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to improve our schools.  Feel free to visit any of the schools to view the progress in the construction areas.  Just check into the offices so we can provide you a tour and show you around.

 

September 10, 2015

ELA and Math Kansas College and Career Ready  Assessments (From KSDE)

Preliminary state-level aggregate data was shared with the State Board of Education and released to the public. 

Emphasis during the Board presentation was placed on consulting the Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) when reviewing and analyzing results for each performance category.  The Performance Level Descriptors can be found at http://www.ksassessments.org.

Included in the September 8 press release on the assessments was information about the four new performance categories.

Because of the dramatic shift in assessment format as well as the increased rigor of the standards, assessment results cannot be compared to any previous assessment.  The 2015 results will serve as a benchmark by which to measure future progress.

Press release is available here  Kansas Schools Raising the Bar on Student Success

Mark Tallman Blog: http://tallmankasb.blogspot.com

 

August 25th, 2015  Good news!  We have just received information the valuation for our district has considerably increased by approximately 8 million due to the Enbridge pipeline recently constructed in our district.  Prior to our current completed budget we did not have any information this was going to occur otherwise we would have included those numbers in our previous calculations.  Before this, it was reported a decrease in valuation by about $815,000 which we based our 2015-2016 budget.  Therefore, we are beginning our budget process all over again.  It is well worth the additional work and organization due to the extra benefits our district and community will receive.  This valuation increase has allowed USD #461 to generate added dollars to the budget while decreasing the mill levy from 4.8 to approximately 2.7.   This increase will still be approximately 6 mills below the 2013-2014 tax rate.

You will notice we have also increased the mill levy in our Capital Outlay fund to 8 mills.  Additionally, we used the extra 3% of the LOB passed in June.  Hopefully, this explains our current budget situation and valuation increase.  However, if there are any questions please feel free to contact me.

 

August 13th, 2015  As the beginning of the year approaches, my mind is preoccupied with excitement on the year to come at Neodesha USD #461. We have an awesome group of students who depend on us to provide a high quality learning environment and curriculum.  We have outstanding teachers, paras and staff who are committed and dedicate their lives to educating young people.  Our custodial staff has worked hard over the summer repairing, cleaning and painting various items throughout the school to make it an excellent environment to learn and succeed. Our community is constantly providing outstanding support to our young people which is irreplaceable. 

 

Construction around the district continues to move forward.  Heller offices are 99% complete with the storm shelters at North Lawn and Heller to follow.  It appears the construction of the shelters will begin in the next few days.  The demolition of the front part of the south gym is going as planned and will soon be completely down and ready for the rebuild.  The main entrance to the high school is also getting a security upgrade and will not be completely done prior to the beginning of school.  As we begin the 1st semester, there will be some inconveniences for everyone due to the construction specifically at the high school around the south gym and the entrances to that part of the building.  We will continue to make this process as least problematic as possible for students and their daily activities.  It is very exciting to see all the progress occuring inside and outside our buildings.

 

We all set a standard of high expectations for our administration, faculty, staff and students.   A combination of these factors has proved to be a positive impact in the educational success of a district. “TOGETHER WE ACHIEVE!”  Come anytime to witness the positive and productive things happening in our buildings.  Thanks in advance to everyone for such a great year!

 

 

July 13th, 2015---The planning and the preparation are nearing an end as we gear up for the start of another exciting school year in USD #461!  We have a few new faces among our staff this year. For you newcomers, I hope you find Neodesha to be a warm and welcoming place that provides professional growth opportunities for you and fosters a sense of pride in all that we are accomplishing.  This is my 9th year total in the district, and I am very proud to be a part in leading our youth to a one of a kind education that only Neodesha schools can offer. 

Each new school year brings a new set of challenges and opportunities.  As we begin this year, we are in the midst of some budgeting issues created by the state’s budget struggles.  However, we always should view those challenges as opportunities to be as efficient as possible while continuing to focus on providing an exceptional educational program for our students and a supportive work environment for our staff.

This year will be filled with extraordinary opportunities to make a difference in the life of a child and that even on your worst day, you are some child’s best hope.  What goes on in your classroom is the single most important thing that goes on in our school district.  It is a powerful moment when a teacher enters his/her classroom.  The result of what happens in that room is what determines our success and we all have an important role to play to ensure high levels of learning for all students.  We cannot underestimate the importance of our classified staff who are instrumental in creating the conditions for success that allow us to continue to be a very high performing school district.  Thanks to all of you for taking good care of our kids. 

USD #461 is a great school district with an exceptional staff, students, parents and community.  It is our continued responsibility to create an environment where respect, support, caring, and trust are all constants in our daily work. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Don Potter, Supt.

 

 

Various pictures and news from around the district and other happenings

Twitter: @dwpotter2

Instragram: dwpii

Also follow Neodesha Schools on Facebook

 
  • RSS Icon

District Office

620.325.2610

Sign up for the News Update.

Back To Top