Tricounty News

September 7 Update

By Mark Messman, Superintendent, Eden Valley-Watkins Schools

Building Project:

I have less to report each week as various phases of the construction process reach completion. With the exception of a few details and the completion of our punch-list at the elementary buildings, those projects have been completed. We'll continue to work on balancing the HVAC system and monitor the climate control system to accommodate our students and staff.

The secondary site has some minor areas of demolition that will take place to make way for doors and exits in the stage area. Contractors continue to work on the wheel-chair lift station and complete the additional steel structures for the stage ceiling. We will complete the exterior block on the lobby and office complex by the end of the day. When completed, the Masons will move back into the gymnasium to complete the mechanical walls and rooms located in each corner. You will probably notice more activity on the gymnasium roof next week as we begin to prepare for the vapor barrier, insulation, and rubber membrane.

Please stop in for a visit with your questions and comments, and be sure to exercise caution when you're in the proximity of the construction zone.

Ten Things to Know about Principal and Teacher Evaluations in Minnesota:

As part of the NCLB Waiver and recent changes in Minnesota Statutes, the state and school districts must adopt new guidelines for principal and teacher evaluations. Districts must begin annual evaluations of principals with the new models beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, and teachers in school year 2014-15.

1. Minnesota teachers have been providing recommendations to various work groups that are piloting programs in 17 Minnesota districts.

2. Trained evaluators will continually observe practices and review evidence of performance.

3. Stakeholder feedback may be included as a component of the new model.

4. Evaluations are based on school improvement, planned priorities, and progress toward student achievement. MCA results and other assessment measures will be used in the model.

5. Based on the final performance rating, one of three professional growth plans is developed-self-directed, jointly-developed, or an improvement plan.

6. The evaluation work group is made up of appointed stakeholders, teachers, principals, district leaders, parents, and business partners.

7. The design and adoption of an evaluation model is a local decision and responsibility. Districts and their local teacher unions must reach "agreement" on a model or adopt the state default model.

8. Districts will receive a survey in the fall regarding current practices and implementation plans. District informational meetings are set for the fall, winter, and spring.

9. As part of the NCLB Waiver, the state must adopt new guidelines for principal and teacher evaluations.

10. Districts will assess current evaluation practices to identify strengths and determine their level of compliance with requirements of legislation.

School Spirit:

The Eden Valley-Watkins School District has a strong reputation throughout Central Minnesota for demonstrating school pride, support, and spirit. Staff has traditionally displayed their school pride each Friday when they wear their school colors. Be sure to get involved by showing your students and community your school spirit.