by Superintendent Luke Francois
Happy New Year! The new year is a chance to look back at past accomplishments and look forward to future opportunities.
The final year end holds many recognitions and achievements. The District received the highest state ranking possible as a distinguished five-star District. One news outlet recognized the middle school as the 13th best middle school in the state. The Department of Public Instruction recognized the elementary and high school as exceeding expectations. Co-curricular programs are competitive and contend at the state level. A new principal at the elementary complements new staff members at all three levels. Staff and administration regularly present at state and national conventions sharing practices leading to successful schools. Communication and transparency, as well as staff climate surveys, reported high levels of satisfaction for Mineral Point Schools. Financially, the district maintained a relatively flat tax levy while adding to fund balance and created a new fund for long-term capital needs. The board studied a ten-year facility plan in preparation for maintaining and upgrading facilities. The establishment of an Excellence in Education Endowment Fund complements our schools’ recent successes to secure grants for technology and innovation. Mineral Point oversees a new alternative program for students wishing to graduate in a non-traditional setting that captures personalized learning plans. Meal counts for breakfast and lunch are on the rise following the embracement of nutritious and healthy options for students.
A new year also brings anticipation and hope for what is yet to come. The board will embark on updating the District’s strategic plan that will drive focus areas and goals for school growth along with settling on a long-range plan for facility improvements. Expanded course offerings and opportunities for additional dual enrollment and Advanced Placement course options will be a focus of the high school. All schools will shift from assessments to enhancing interventions for students that did not learn essential concepts as well as enrichment for students that have. Reading and writing proficiency for all students remains at the core of many school initiatives going forward. Upcoming studies will result in recommendations to attract and retain support staff. Following widespread community support, the new stadium will see bleachers added in the spring.
I take great pride and care in Mineral Point Schools and the staff and Board complement my efforts well to make our schools healthy and prosperous. Together we will accomplish much, and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2017.