Fall is my favorite time of year. As the weather changes so does our school year progress. Fall parent teacher conferences means leaves are changing and cooler temperatures are arriving. Thank you for your continued work in helping us successfully proceed through the school year. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated. You are making a positive impact on student's lives!
New state legislation went into effect this summer that uses hours instead of days to figure the length of a district's school year and the requirement to make up inclement weather days. Based on the number of hours in our current student calendar, Fort Osage will make up the first two days of school missed for inclement weather. The first two days missed will be added to the end of the student calendar just as they have in previous years. Employees who have traditionally not reported to work on inclement weather days will make up the day on the date added to the end of the calendar. Staff who have previously worked on snow days will be expected to report to work on these missed days, as well as the make-up dates.
I will be recommending to the board at the November meeting that upon the third day missed for inclement weather this year (and every day missed thereafter) the day will not be made up by students or staff (with a few exceptions addressed below). Beginning with the third missed day, office and administrative staff who usually work on inclement weather days will not report to work, just as is the case for staff who traditionally don’t work on snow days. The only staff who will report to work on these inclement weather days are those whose job class is determined to be ‘essential’ for the operation of the District, including custodial, maintenance, and Fort Discovery staff. Essential staff will work on these inclement weather days but will be provided a ‘trade’ day when they can take off with their supervisor’s permission on a date prior to July 1, 2020.
This change is being made with the full understanding that every student attendance day is important, but days made up after Memorial Day are of diminished value because of increased absenteeism and and the challenge of sustaining academic rigor at that point in the year. In other words, a day missed in January is not equivalent to a day made up at the very end of May or early June. An additional challenge of extending the regular year beyond Memorial Day is that it makes it more difficult to operate a full summer school schedule and finish by the end of June, which is important to our families and staff.
The District is able to make this change because the updated state law bases both the attendance requirement and state funding on an expected total number of hours in the school calendar, rather than school days. Elementary attendance times were adjusted this year to ensure that all schools would have the same number of attendance minutes each day. Based on the total number of hours in the regular school calendar, Fort Osage is able to miss school for inclement weather without being required to make up every hour, and without losing state funding. As a result, the District is able to pay employees for inclement weather days not worked since overall revenue will remain the same.
If you have any questions about this change or how it impacts you, please contact your supervisor.
We are currently in the middle of our annual Benefits Open Enrollment for the 2020 plan year. Any employee who plans on completing the online self enrollment process must do so by Friday, November 1. After that date any employee who has not completed their enrollment will be required to schedule an appointment with an enroller during the week of November 4-8.
Instructions on how to complete the online enrollment process and the links to schedule one-on-one appointments can be found on page 4 of the Open Enrollment Benefits Guide that was emailed to all staff on October 22. 2020 Open Enrollment Benefits Guide.
A reminder that you can continue to earn Go365 points through the end of the calendar year. ALL Go365 bucks that you have earned must be spent by December 31, 2019 or they will be forfeited.
Please contact Laura Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
In the time since Fort Osage received the Real World Learning Grant from the Kauffman Foundation, we have been making great progress at connecting classroom learning to careers in the metro area.
The overarching goal of the Kauffman Foundation program is for students to graduate high school with a market value asset that better prepares them for life after high school. A market value asset is defined as industry-valued recognized skills acquired in high school that create a more seamless transition from school to postsecondary education or the workplace. Examples of market value assets achieved in high school are internships and apprenticeships; substantive dual college credit; select industry-recognized credentials; completion of authentic, substantive project work for clients; paid work experience in the area of career interest; or entrepreneurial experiences.
A portion of the grant paid for a Business and Community Coordinator, Dylan Peterson, who has been busy helping make connections and will help students with scheduling internships, researching possibilities for dual credit/AP expansion, pairing business partners with teachers to implement client projects. Two real world learning projects in the works for students in the current school year with the Buckner Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity.
To further this work we have formed a Design+Plan Team made up of industry partners, parents and teachers to help develop our Real World Learning Plan. We have held one meeting already, and will be meeting several more times to evaluate our data and develop our plan for the next several years. Members of the team will also be visiting exemplary schools to see what Real World Learning looks like in practice across the U.S. By the end of the school year we will have a three-year strategic plan to present to the Kauffman Foundation, which will hopefully help us to secure additional grant funds to pursue our goals.
We are excited about this opportunity to build stronger programs and systems at the secondary level to ensure that each student graduates with the skills and experiences to be successful in whatever pathway they choose for their future.
A $25.00 gift card to Main Event will be given away to one lucky winner utilizing the RNG. For those of you interested, please send an email to email@example.com with ‘Family Fun' in the subject line. Entries will be accepted until 8:00 am on Monday, November 4.
Give Away prizes are not purchased with District funds. Only Fort Osage employees are eligible to enter the drawing.