“School is just around the corner…”
An apt comparison that people have shared with me lately, and as the first day draws closer, that corner can feel like I am going a little too fast!
After 22 years of teaching and leading, no amount of preparation seems to be enough to feel prepared for the first day. Maybe the curriculum materials arrive one week prior the first day with students. We cannot control this but it can still induce stress.
It’s at these times that I try to remember to pause and tell myself: “We’ve always been ready for the kids.”
Because that is what makes a school: the people who engage in the teaching and learning.
Please review the following expectations and share with anyone who may drop off or pick up child(ren):
- Drop off and pick up is available only in the lower parking lot. The upper parking lot is for staff and school visitors.
- Avoid using Front St for drop-off or pick-up due to high traffic volume and the presence of bussing. If you are dropping off students, go to the lower parking lot.
- In the lower parking lot:
- If you park in the middle of the lower lot in the diagonal parking stalls, you may get out and walk your child to the front doors. We ask that you allow your child to enter school on their own.
- If you park along the perimeter of the lower lot (by the sidewalk), please pull forward as the line moves, stay in your vehicle, and have your child(ren) get out on their own. In this line, please do not exit your vehicle unless you are a student entering the school.
- There is no parking or stopping in front of school along Cothern St for drop off and pick up. There is 20 minute parking on the other side of the street for dropping off an item during school hours.
Following these procedures helps make our school a safer place. Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org of 608-987-0711 if you have any questions or comments.
3 Frequently Asked Questions About Student Attendance
The following three questions come up frequently with families.
- How many days can my child miss school? Wisconsin state statute allows families up to ten (10) days to miss school for any reason. This includes vacation and family/personal time. We do not need the specific reason for your child’s absence. Beyond ten days, you may be asked to produce a doctor’s note or other documentation to excuse the absence. We do our best to work with family’s specific situations while still adhering to attendance policies and rules.
- How can I ensure my child doesn’t get behind in their studies? Please call our attendance line (608-987-0717) to let us know of an unexpected absence, for example an illness. The office will let your child’s teacher know; the teacher will prepare materials to take home for extended absences. For planned absences such as a vacation, please let the classroom teacher know well ahead of time so they can organize upcoming tasks.
- Why did I get a letter for attendance? Our school district sends out letters when a student reaches seven (7) days out. These days may all be excused; the letter is simple to let you know. We also send out a letter for ten (10) days out and for unexcused absences. Unexcused absences can be avoided by calling in and letting us know about their absence and the reason.
For more information about our attendance policies and procedures, please see the family/student handbook here: https://mineralpointschools.org/mpsd/handbooks/
What to Expect the First Week of School
First day jitters are pretty normal – for students and their families!
Here are a few things kids can expect during these first three days:
- Get-to-know-you welcoming activities in the classroom to build community
- Teaching and reviewing schoolwide expectations, such as lunch procedures
- Digging into academics – effective instruction is a great relationship builder!
- Co-developing the learning environment, such as deciding as a group how to organize the classroom library
- Seeing and making friends during recess and other times of the day
We continue to strive to teach the whole child – academically, socially, and emotionally. If you have ideas or suggestions for how we might improve, feel free to reach out to a staff member at school.
PRINCIPAL, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
This is Matt’s 23rd year serving in public education. He started as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After seven years of teaching, Matt served as an assistant principal, athletic director, and building principal all in Wisconsin Rapids. As an elementary principal with the Mineral Point Unified School District, he enjoys working with students, staff, and families in a collective pursuit of continuous learning.