By David Schmitt
It is that time of year again. The sun is hot and the lawns are getting brown. Families are planning vacations and summer sports are starting to wind down. The swimming pools are brimming with kids and adults hoping to cool off as temperatures get hot and humid. Isn’t July in Iowa fun? This time of year is a great time of year for educators. Preparing for a new school year brings excitement and optimism. Preparing for a new school year gives all of us a fresh start and a new beginning. Preparing for a new school year allows the opportunity to do self-reflection, work on improving, and making those little changes to make us all better. On behalf of West Burlington Independent School District and the West Burlington ISD Board of Education; welcome. Welcome to our new students and families, and welcome back to our returning students and families.
West Burlington is proud of our academic program, our extra-curricular program, and our athletic teams. We are proud to report a graduation rate of 98.2%. Our ACT composite average score is well above the state average, and our Iowa Assessment results surpass our local Area Agency school district averages in most subjects and grade levels. WBISD continues to provide a quality education for all students. We differentiate instruction and recognize fully that our students learn in many different ways. Our Chromebook initiative had an excellent implementation year and we look forward to incorporating them further into our instructional program. We design programs with kids’ needs as the top consideration. The WBISD Board of Education has decided to offer a Transitional Kindergarten class for the 2017-2018 school year. The purpose of TK ( add another acronym to your list) is to meet the needs of students who have completed four year old voluntary preschool but are not quite ready developmentally for a full day of traditional kindergarten. TK students will spend half of their day in the transitional classroom and spend the other half in a traditional kindergarten classroom.
The custodial department has had another busy summer. The board made the decision to do a full scale upgrade of our JH/HS kitchen. We gutted the entire kitchen and have built an office, increased cooler and refrigeration space, and created a new kitchen layout. We replaced the floor and gave the walls and spaces a makeover. This is a two-year project. Next summer the board will pay cash for new kitchen equipment to complete the renovation. The kitchen is much improved by phase I. WBISD is very proud of our elementary kitchen makeover which we completed last summer. We believe this kitchen renovation will be just as impressive.
We are doing some major plumbing upgrades at the high school. These changes aren’t visible, but very important none-the-less. We believe a solid infrastructure keeps our buildings safe, efficient, and usable for the long term. We are completing upgrades to our locker rooms by the cafeteria as well as painting and changing ceiling tiles in the main hallway at the high school. We have done a few flooring replacements and continue monitoring the condition of our roofs throughout the district. West Burlington ISD has top quality facilities, and we will continue to keep them that way.
There is a big change that I would like to remind you of. Registration this year will be done online. All returning families are invited to do your registration online starting August 1st. Students and families new to us are asked to go to your student’s attendance center to register starting August 7th. We recognize this change could be difficult, but please be patient. If you are having difficulty with on-line registration contact the building which your student(s) are needing to register, and they will assist you. The website will have more information for you as we near the opening of online registration.
The West Burlington Independent School District Board of Education has adopted a new policy in regard to negative lunch balances. We know that sometimes we don’t think about our student’s lunch account, or the timing with our paycheck isn’t good. WBISD wants to work with our families on getting these negative balances paid. If you need assistance, please contact the district office and we can work together. We urge all families to review your student’s lunch account before registering for classes. Please make sure there is money in your student’s lunch account. A copy of this new policy is on page 10 of this newsletter.
We are happy you have chosen West Burlington for your student. The first day of classes is August 23rd. We are dismissing school at 2:15PM every Friday for professional development. I am here to serve our students and our families. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at (319) 752-8747, option #3 or david.schmitt@ wbschools.us. Falcon pride abounds. Kids First!