Small enough to care –
BIG ENOUGH TO BUILD DREAMS
The future is bright in Walkerville Public Schools
Fall Update, 2021
Dr. Tom Langdon, Superintendent
Greetings Wildcat School Family and Community!
Thanks to your continued support for our students, staff, and the instructional mission of Walkerville Public Schools, I’m proud to report we’re making excellent progress in a number of areas.
While there will always be hurdles here and there to leap, the Wildcat way is for us to approach every challenge with a focus on doing what’s best for our students, reaching out with caring hearts, and stretching every available resource.
As I enter my 4th year as superintendent, here’s an overview of some key topics as we embark on a new school year.
- School Leadership
Good leadership in schools keeps learning, positive behavior, and operational support on course. It’s been exciting to see Joe Conkle and Ashleigh Droste grow their skills and knowledge and I’m pleased Joe now has the title of Assistant Superintendent & School Principal and Ashleigh has the title of Assistant Principal & Director of Student Services. I hope you’ll congratulate them on their expanded roles in our school.
Additionally, as the Board and I have been able to shift back into meeting in-person once again, we’ve been able to more effectively discuss and establish our district goals and objectives. In fact, we’re even having a Board retreat day to further define and review our plans and expectations.
The Board Retreat is another exciting development in my estimation, as the the WPS Board has been blessed by very capable leadership in the past (thanks to retired members Bob Fisher and Bernie Aiken) which helped build momentum for the excellent leadership we have on the Board currently.
- We have an excellent Staff
A school district the size of Walkerville occasionally deals with a higher level of staff turn-over, but in working with Joe and the rest of the leadership team, we’re using our vacancies as opportunities to attract teachers and support staff fully aligned with our vision. It’s been gratifying to add to our roster of talented and dedicated teachers several new staff members who fit right in and have their own contributions to make. The Board, Joe, and I are excited about our new staff members – and I hope you’ll find time to warmly welcome them.
- Teaching and Learning
Once again, there is more good news. This fall we will do everything in our power to encourage in-person learning, both within our staff and in our classrooms. Remote online learning will only be used as a classroom teacher-directed supplement or as a necessary “back up” should a COVID related mandate come our way from those in authority.
Our school’s PLCs – our Professional Learning Community – will continue for the 4th consecutive year. These weekly meetings enable our staff to have frequent conversations about the learning needs of our students and share teaching strategies and insights with each other. The benefits provided by our PLCs are huge.
Another huge learning benefit for our district this school year will come from our 10-week Project Wildcat summer school that we just wrapped up. More than 110 of our students in every grade participated in a variety of academic challenges as well as several fantastic and fun field trip experiences. I want to thank the Summer Migrant Program and Project Focus for partnering with our district in developing and delivering this first-ever program. I also want to thank Ashleigh Droste for coordinating it. AND… don’t miss the short video of Project Wildcat now on our website. You’ll be impressed!
- Facility Improvements
We’re continuing to make steady progress on this front as well. Definitely, one of our main hurdles is lining up quality contractors – as they are swamped as we come off COVID – but our designated projects are proceeding.
- We’re addressed our major drainage issues, from our softball and baseball fields, to our elementary school area roof
- We have bids out for major asphalting and the expansion of our main parking lot
All in all, by prudently using our Sinking Fund dollars as approved by voters in May, 2020, we will ensure our district’s facilities support quality teaching and learning for years to come.
- I’ll close this message the same way I began – by thanking you!
I believe our 2021-2022 school year has the potential to be one of Walkerville’s best.
I hope this update has helped you see why.
Thank you for all you do to support our school and needs and dreams of each one of our Wildcats.
Dr. Tom Langdon