Fargo is packed with Bison's heading back, or starting up as freshman, at NDSU. The mall is packed with kids eager to get their new school attire (as am I). Last night, downtown Fargo was full of the college partiers, starting up early before their semester officially begins. The weather is already changing, but I am not ready for fall yet. The past few days we have had some cooler temps, during the day and into the evenings. I woke yesterday to the temperature of 54 degrees and was cold. This all is a sure sign that it's that time of year, once again.
Back to school.
This past week has been uber busy with training and staff development. Friday we were finally able to sit down and workout our schedules, trying to group students according to abilities , including cross-grade level groupings. It went way to smooth. Then, we pulled in our ELL (English Language Learners) teachers and discussed the students that receive both ELL services and special education services, making sure our schedules blended. They did. Like I said, it went way to smooth. I would like to stay optimistic and say that no glitch will be found this week, but that's not too realistic.
Just like last year, there is going to be some change, and good change I hope. It is inevitable in the education profession. Our special education department will be taking part in a state-wide pilot that consists of using a web-based program for all of our paperwork. I am very excited, however, as I have probably noted before, I was trained to be the trainer at our school. The go-to person. Some teachers are having a hard time with this change, but I am almost positive that after a couple months they will be bragging about it.
In our ELL department, our district will be implementing a "newcomers" center. This will allow all our newcomers (refugees) to take part in half days at the newcomer center, learning the basics, vocabulary, expectations in the school setting, etc; and then will get to be with their peers for lunch, music, gym, and a some classroom activities the rest of the day. I am excited to see how this helps our new students adjust to the english language and expectations in the school setting.
We have added full-day kindergarten, 5 days a week. Previously, our kindergarten students would attend the Kindergarten Center half days, either in the morning or afternoon, with some of students who needed extra help participating in the extended day program the other half of the day. Our Kindergarten center is no longer big enough to serve all the kindergarteners in our district all day, thus a couple of elementary schools have taken a few classes. It will be interesting to see how these little ones adjust to all-day kindergarten. More and more parents are waiting an extra year to send their kindergarteners off to school. I give them props. It's amazing what an extra year can do for a child prior to starting school.
Monday is just around the corner and before I know it I will be sitting in my room with a group of students, as if the summer had never happened. But, I can honestly say (despite the handful of new students and transfers), I am ready for a new year, new challenges, and new learning. Our school district is growing very fast. A 2-3% increase each year in student population is average and expected. This year we have had a 7% increase, well over 400 new students. How exciting is that?!
Enough about school. I have a feeling the next couple weeks will continue to be busy. I am hoping that I will be able to get online here and there to check some blogs and post every once and a while, but I am not promising anything! I have a wedding this coming weekend and will be playing the role of personal attendant. I look forward to seeing family.
I know I have posted this video clip before (last year at this time I presume), but it is from one of my all time favorite movies and it's just perfect for today!
This morning I was able to get into the pool one last time before they close it up for a week for fall cleaning. It had been almost a week since I got in the pool. I took a few days off when I got my hair cut and colored, as it was starting to look and feel like I had lived in the pool. This was a great swim with a handful of sprints. I was in the pool for 1 hour and 8 minutes, but you could probably knock off 5 minutes for the rests I took between a handful of intervals! It felt great and this has been my longest swim to date!
OSN: 3000M, 1:08:00, 2:16/100M
(longest swim to this date)
Cheers to a wonderful week ahead of us all!