August 21, 2012
It is my pleasure to welcome all students and parents back to school this year! I have enjoyed the summer break and sleeping a little later for the past several weeks, of course, but I am extra-ready to get back to the job of educating your students. Last year was an extremely successful year in which we showed great success on our assessments and great behavior in our classrooms and I’m confident that this year will be even better. I’d like to take this opportunity to bring you all up to date on a few key topics.
First of all, I’d like to thank you parents and guardians for your involvement in and support for our school. Even the world’s best teacher is limited in what he or she can achieve with students if school lessons are not reinforced at home. Nightly planner checks and enforcing good study and life habits help complete the education we offer to your student at school. Nothing has a greater impact on your child’s success.
Second, I’d like to explain just a bit about the new Common Core Standards. In the past, each state has had a collection of learning goals particular to that state. Kansas teachers have been teaching the Kansas State Standards which are determined by the Kansas State Department of Education. However, this arrangement has made comparisons between the performances of each state difficult and there have been questions concerning the rigor and relevance of the Kansas State Standards. Just this past year, Kansas joined forty-eight other states in adopting the Common Core Standards. For the first time, what is taught in Kansas will be the same as what is taught in Texas and in Ohio. Students will also be led into a more in-depth exploration of each goal and will be asked to apply the lessons to real-world situations. Our staff has been very proactive with this change, has attended training, is conducting on-going professional development, and is teaching the new standards already. Please feel free to visit with school staff to understand more fully what part the new standards will play in you child’s education.
Finally, I urge you to thoroughly read the Student Handbook and to get involved with the Parent-Teacher group and Watchdogs program. Reading the handbook helps you to understand our expectations and requirements and becoming involved in these groups gives you a clear idea of what goes on at school. Your insight and advice is always welcome and your involvement directly benefits your students. Again, your child’s success is largely dependent on the time and effort you devote to their education.
Thank you so much for everything you do to support our schools!
Mark R. Staab
Principal, Fontana and Parker Elementary Schools
913-849-3141 (Fontana), 913-898-3160 (Parker)