End of the Year Reflection

Can you believe that another year is coming to a close?  We are in the fourth quarter of the school year and High School graduation is less than two months away.  This will be our last newsletter of this school year.

The end of the school year is always a great time to reflect on our successes and recognize those employees that make Hay Springs Public Schools an outstanding school district.

TEACHERS: There is only one group to thank for the high quality education provided to the students of Hay Springs Public Schools – Teachers.  This dedicated group of educators teaches our students everyday, stays after school to assist students, and volunteer to serve on committees and sponsor activities.  They work long hours and weekends checking papers and planning the next day’s activity.  Please take the time to thank one of our professional staff members.

SUPPORT STAFF: We couldn’t function day to day without our support staff.  Paraprofessionals, secretaries, and technology coordinator.  They keep us organized, work with our students, and take care of all of our many needs.  They often work behind the scene to complete their jobs with little fanfare.  We appreciate what they do for us.

FOOD SERVICE: Often food service is judged by the number of complaints we receive. We receive no complaints, only praise! We serve an excellent homemade meal, students can get seconds, and no one leaves the lunchroom hungry.  We welcome parents and the community to come eat lunch with us.  Donna and Susan do a great job.

MAINTENANCE/CUSTODIAL: Our maintenance and custodial employees put in long hours cleaning our buildings, cleaning up after activities, keeping our grounds and football field looking good and addressing continued maintenance and repairs.  They are here from early morning to late evenings and often on the weekends.  Thanks for all you do.

TRANSPORTATION: Driving to school activities is part of life in the Panhandle.  No matter what athletic, academic, or fine art activity we attend we have to drive a long distance.  That’s life in rural Nebraska.  We appreciate our route and activity drivers for getting our children to and from activities safely.

EXTRACURRICULAR PROGRAMS: Coaches, class sponsors, play directors, music directors, ticket takers, clock keepers, concession stand workers, and the list goes on and on.  Most people don’t understand that when you have an extracurricular activity it’s more than just turning on the lights.  Without these individuals to assist with extracurricular activities we would have few student activities.  Thanks to all of you for volunteering.

SUBSTITUTES TEACHERS AND SUPPORT STAFF: People become ill, need to be gone for personal reasons, and are absent for student activities.  When employees are gone we hire a substitute.  No other school employee gets called at 6:00 am to report to work at 8:00 am.  We appreciate their willingness to answer our early morning phone calls and sound reasonably awake and cheery.

SCHOOL BOARD:  The School Board is ultimately responsible for the overall functioning of the school district.  This School Board is exceptional.  They have aggressively focused on quality learning, improved test scores, financial stability, improved facilities and develop school district policies that reflect the community’s beliefs and values.  They volunteer their time, listen to parents and community patrons, and attend many school events.  Thank a School Board Member when you see them.

We appreciate every employee and volunteer.  Our success academically, our excellent fine arts programs and the quality of our athletic programs are the result of our excellent employees.  Please take the time to thank one of our outstanding employees when you see them.

 

Your Input Is Important

In an effort to support continuous improvement in education at Hay Springs, we ask the community for their input on Hay Springs Public Schools.  We are asking all parents and community citizens to complete a short survey.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

Academic Achievement Survey 2012

Substitutes Needed

Hay Springs Public School is taking applications for substitutes in the areas of: kitchen aide, custodian, secretary, and paraprofessional. Call (308) 638-4434 for an application.

Box Tops Update

A great BIG thank you goes out to those who collected box tops. Mrs. Olson just sent in a total of $725.00 worth of box tops.  This money is used to buy supplemental materials for classrooms, new playground equipment, and other non-essentials. Your support is very much appreciated. Way to go and keep on collecting!

You are welcome to drop your Box Tops at the school anytime.  Starting April 2, 2012, you will also be able to drop your Box Tops off at Security 1st Bank in Hay Springs. Look for our “Box Top Drop-Box” in the lobby. Go Hawks Collectors!

Complete List of Box Top Products

 Earn eBox Tops Shopping Online

Kickoff Event for Grades 6-12

FCA is hosting a kickoff event on Thursday, March 15th at 6:00 p.m., or after sports practices, in Lister-Sage. We will have food, a surprise speaker, play some games and more food. Plan to attend and bring a friend!

Summer Fun Camps 2012 – Planning Under Way

The planning of Summer Fun Camps 2012 is under way. This year our Summer Fun Camps are planned for June 4th to 28th. We are expanding our schedule by incorporating full day and half day camps. Camp leaders may also choose from 1 day, 2 day, or 4 day camps.

We are looking for individuals and community groups who are interested in leading a camp this summer. If you would like to put your special talents or interests to use, join us in leading a fun summer camp this year. If you are interested or know of someone who may be, please contact Kim Marx or Shannon Langford here at the school or via email at shannon@panesu.org.

We would like all camp proposals as soon as possible. The camp brochures are scheduled to be published and out to the public no later than May 1, 2012.

Summer Fun Camp 2012 Camp Worksheet

State of the School Report

We continue to hear the rumor that Hay Springs Public School is closing.  Let me make it very clear:

HAY SPRINGS PUBLIC SCHOOL IS NOT CLOSING!

Financially:  We have paid off all operational loans, have adequate month-to-month funds to pay bills, and have increased our ending cash balance the last three years.  Many cost saving strategies have been implemented.  We are fiscally solvent.

Academically: We are one of the top performing schools in the Panhandle and State.  We perform well above the State average on the Nebraska State Assessment and the ACT.  We score at or towards the top of every academic measurement.

Facilities: We continue to improve school district facilities. We put walls in the elementary school, new handicapped doors on the main entrance and lunchroom, replaced concrete as needed, replaced the roof on the High School, and we have addressed other deferred maintenance.

Staff: Across the board we have outstanding teachers and support staff.  They come early, stay late, and work on the weekends.  Our employees are dedicated to helping our students be successful. Every student receives individual assistance if needed.  Every teacher, paraprofessional, secretary, cook, custodian, and bus driver focuses on what’s best for our students.

Students: Our students are exceptional, work hard, and care about learning.  They are taking responsibility for their own learning.  On top of that they are involved in multiple activities.  Without exception we are seeing improvement on our assessment tests.

Parents: Our parents are supportive and want their children to receive the best education possible. We get 100% attendance at our parent/teacher conferences.

We would ask that if you hear this rumor you contact the school and I will personally contact the person who is making these false statements.  Be proud and supportive of your school, students, and staff.  They are the future of Hay Springs.

Stephen Pummel
Superintendent of Schools

Student Attendance Improved

Thanks to all parents for supporting the school to improve student attendance.   So far this school year we have a 96.97% (Almost 97%) attendance rate.  This is up from 94.42% during the 2009-2010 school year.  That’s a great improvement!

Parents be aware, the Department of Education is monitoring all students’ attendance.  We are required monthly to turn in student absences.  Your child’s attendance is monitored along with their State Assessment scores. It’s imperative you send your child to school everyday.

There is a direct correlation between attendance and student success.  Students that have excellent attendance are more successful in school.  Along with that Colleges and potential employers receive attendance information and use that to determine acceptance into college, special programs, or a job.

We would ask parents to assist with the following.

  1. Schedule appointments after school or on Friday whenever possible.
  2. If your child is not running a fever, throwing up, or obviously sick, send them to school.  Often students want to stay home when they have a big test or project due.
  3. Perhaps most important, make certain your child has a regular bedtime.  Plenty of sleep will make it easier to get your child up in the morning for school.
  4. Middle and High School students are notorious for using their cell phones, texting, or using their computer well into the late evening and early morning hours.  An easy solution would be take the cell phone at bedtime and if possible turn the wireless Internet off when kids go to bed.
  5. Monitor the school calendar and schedule vacations and trips when school is not in session.  With the four-day school week students need to be in school everyday.

When your child is ill or has to miss school remember to call the office and report them as sick.

Jump Rope for Heart

2nd through 5th grade students will be participating in Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH).  We will start our JRFH at the beginning of February.  These students will have 2 fundraising packets this year:  one for Jump Rope for Heart and one for Kyler Kelly.  All money in the JRFH packet will go to the American Heart Association.  All money in Kyler’s packet will go to the Kyler Kelly account at Security 1st Bank. Kyler Kelly is the newborn son of Keith and Adriene Kelly of Hay Springs and has recently had heart surgery at Children’s Hospital in Omaha.

Best practices when donating:

  • Please be specific as to which cause you want your money to go to.
  • Make sure your name and the correct amount of money is put on the correct envelope immediately.
  • Checks are preferred. When writing your check, please make it payable to either: Kyler Kelly Account or Jump Rope for Heart.

Cell Phones For Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing deployed and returning troops with cost-free methods to communicate with family while serving in the United States Military. Since the program began in 2004 it has raised more than $7million and provided over 114 million minutes of free talk time. They mail roughly 12,000 calling cards every week. The organization has also recycled over 8.3 million cell phones.
Hay Springs High School is now a designated drop off sight for Cell Phones for Soldiers. There is a box for donations near the main office at the school. Please bring your old cell phones, chargers and iPods to donate. These items will be recycled and the money is use to purchase calling cards for the soldiers. If there are any questions you may visit www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com or contact Zoe Schneider.