Monday, May 1, 2017

2017 Summer School

Dear Danville Supporter,

The Danville Community School District is going to make some adjustments to the 2017 summer school program based on the actions of the Iowa legislature two weeks ago.  When the 2016-17 school calendar was approved, this summer was to be the first year of retention of third graders who were not at level in literacy.  There were requirements for attendance and summer curriculum under the old rules.

Therefore, given that these state requirements were no longer mandated due to lack of funding, the Danville School District is going to make the following modifications to the 2017 summer school program:

1.  Summer school for grades 9-12 will run June 5-30.

2.   Grades 9-12 will have an opportunity for credit recovery on E2020.

3.  Summer school for grades 6-8 will run June 5-16.

4.  Grades 6-8 will participate in a program based on literacy, math, and organizational skills.

5.  Summer school for grades K-5 will run July 31-August 11.

6.  Grades K-5 will focus on a "Jump Start" format for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

The Danville Community Schools believes that extended learning opportunities are critical to the overall skill development of our students.  Despite the state refusing to financially support students who need more opportunities to learn and succeed, the Danville Community School District will provide "what is best for kids."

Thank you for your support of Danville Schools!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Announcement of New Danville Superintendent

Dear Danville Supporters,

The Danville Community School Board would like to announce that Dr. Thomas Ward has accepted to become the new superintendent of the Danville Community School District effective July 1, 2017.

Dr. Ward has received a Bachelor of Science in Education at Northeast Missouri State University in 1975, his Masters of Art in Educational Administration at Lindenwood University in 1999, his Educational Specialist degree at Lindenwood University in 2002, and his PH. D in K-12 Educational Administration at Capella University in 2007.

Dr. Ward began his educational career as a health and physical education teacher in Missouri in 1975.  He became a principal at Iron County in 1999 and advanced to the superintendent position in the same district in 2001.  Dr. Ward is currently in his sixth year as superintendent of IKM-Manning Community School District in Manning, Iowa.

Board President Allan Luers said "Dr. Ward rose to the top of a competitive pool of candidates.  His depth of experience, background of STEM and project-based opportunities, along with his solid financial background and community involvement will continue to move the Danville School District forward with students being the priority."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Danville Superintendent Finalists

Dear Danville Supporter,

At a special meeting held on April 12, the Danville School Board selected four finalists for the next superintendent of Danville Schools from twelve applicants.  Two interviews will occur on Monday, April 24, and also on Wednesday, April 26.  The Board's plan is to decide Danville's next superintendent no later than Friday, April 28.

The finalists are Mr. Larry Achenbach, elementary principal of the Albia Community School District; Mr. John Eyerly, superintendent of the Westfield School District in Wisconsin; Mrs. Stephanie Hubbard, central office administrator of the Bemidji School District in Minnesota, and Dr. Thomas Ward, superintendent of IKM-Manning Community School District.

Thank you for your support of Danville Schools!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Update on Superintendent Search

Dear Danville Supporter,

The application process to find Danville Community School's next superintendent closed last Friday, April 7.  Twelve people have applied and Great Prairie AEA is in the process of screening and background checking the candidates.  The Danville School Board will meet in closed session on Wednesday, April 12, to select three finalists to interview.

The three finalists will be interviewed on April 24-26.  Each candidate will be interviewed by five interview groups: administration, classified staff, teachers, parents/community, and the school board.  The AEA will compile summary reports from each of the interview groups on each candidate and present them to the school board at the end of the process.  The school board's plan is to select the new superintendent no later than Friday, April 28.

Thank you for your support of Danville Schools!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Brightbytes Survey

Dear Danville Supporter,

The Danville Community School District is conducting a Brightbytes survey on technology use by its students at school and at home.  The survey is for students, teachers, parents, and administrators.  The data collected from the survey will be compared the the last three years of surveys and help set the direction of professional development for the 2017-18 school year.  This will be even more important since the school district will have an instructional technology coach to support teachers next year in being more rigorous and effective in the use of technology in teaching and learning.

Danville needs more parents to take the survey to make the data more balanced between the student and teacher responses.  So if you are willing, I would appreciate you taking the time to take this on-line survey.  The link is:

Thank you for your support of Danville Schools!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Clinton Superintendency

Dear Danville Supporter,

Earlier this evening, the Clinton School Board selected me as as their next superintendent effective July 1, 2017 and I did accept.

The opportunity to return to the district where I started 32 years ago and to move closer to my daughters were driving forces in my decision.  I have truly enjoyed my time in Danville trying to make a difference.  

There is plenty of work to do before June 30 to set the table for the 2017-18 school year.  I look forward to setting the table for success in the next 3.5 months.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Update on New London Sharing

Dear Danville Supporter,

I'd like to give you an update on joint sharing opportunities between the Danville and New London School Districts:

1.  Sharing the Transportation Director.  We have held a meeting with John March, the current transportation director, and the New London administration.  Maintenance for the New London school buses and vehicles will be at the Danville Bus barn.  Mr. March will handle the administrative transportation functions for both districts.  The plan is to hire a part time "right hand man" to help Mr. March with the day to day washing, cleaning, and day to day maintenance needs.

Rationale:  Both districts will receive operational incentives from the state that will amount to over $66,000 annually.  This will be a cost saving for the Danville district.

2.  Sharing a new Guidance Counselor.  This position is currently being advertised on Teach Iowa.  It will be shared 50-50 at the elementary schools of both districts.  The interview team will have members of both school districts.  The contract for this position will be held by New London.

Rationale:  The recommended student:counselor ratio is suggested to be 350:1 in the state.  Our current ratio is 650:1 and New London is similar.  This new guidance counselor will focus on grades K-5 for both districts which will allow the current counselors can provide the attention needed to secondary students.  The total operational dollars from the state will be $40,000 annually which will cover majority of salary and benefits for this position.

3.  Sharing some high school courses.  Since the last school board meeting, there have been several meetings between teachers of both districts in areas of proposed sharing.  In Spanish, the teachers concluded that the curriculums are similar enough that sharing can be successful.  In industrial technology classes, New London students will be enrolled in CAD.  Advanced welding classes being shared are at least one year away due to New London starting up their program.  The conversation between the science teachers went well with discussions of Physics being offered at New London and Advanced Biology at Danville.  The literacy teachers met about the option of concurrent SCC enrollment of English Composition.  Danville has several students already taking this exact course at SCC.  Lastly, both districts are still exploring options with Calculus and upper level technology courses.

Rationale:  The driving force behind this sharing is to maintain or enhance opportunities in both districts given tight financial conditions and small class sizes in certain courses.  Both districts are trying to optimize student opportunities by pooling resources.  Also, students from both districts will have opportunities that their home district does not currently provide.  For example, New London does not currently offer Advanced Biology, CAD, Advanced Welding, Networking, Computer Programming, and The Leadership Class.  Danville does not provide Physics and English Composition.

4.  Sharing the Iowa Big Southeast program.  This week, Laura Wood, the 21st Century AEA consultant and lead coordinator for this program, will interview applicants for this program.  I am excited to say 19 students between the two districts have applied for the program.  The cap for next year is 15 students, so we will have a waiting list.  There will be an informational kickoff for all tentatively scheduled for May 3 at the 21st Century classroom in the Burlington AEA for students, parents, the community, and business partners.  More information to come!

Rationale:  Not all students learn the same way.  Some need to see the real life experiences up close.  Also, schools need to have stronger ties to community organizations and businesses and have students involved intimately in their communities.  Iowa Big is an authentic 21st century learning experience that can create an alternative learning option for a variety of students.

If you have any questions about these exciting initiatives, please feel free to stop in at the school and visit.

Thank you for your support of Danville Schools!