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From The Desk of Mr. Dicks - February 2016 PDF Print E-mail

On February 16, Washington Community School hosted its 2nd Annual Tech Talk Day. What is a Tech Talk Day? To put into words doesn’t do it justice, but it is really a “must see” in order to comprehend the impact that it had on our staff. There were 30 sessions available for staff to choose from that fits their particular professional development needs. We started the day with Mitch Kelly, with a keynote titled “The Hawkeye Way”. His story of growing up in a single parent home with 4 older brothers and 2 younger sisters, hitchhiking to University of Iowa and becoming a walk-on wrestler, was inspiring to say the least. Mitch also shared his experiences that enhance his own teaching to produce students who understand how important being a good learner is. You see, the day is called Tech Talk Day, but it is really about the use of technology to improve teaching and learning for staff and students.

Last Updated on Thursday, February 18 2016 15:02
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From The Desk of Mr. Dicks - January 2016 PDF Print E-mail

I attended my first Legislative Briefing on Saturday, January 16 with Jared Klein and David Heaton representing the House of Representatives and Rich Taylor and Kevin Kinney representing the Senate. I appreciated the opportunity to meet all of them and appreciate the work they do not only for Washington Community Schools but all of the other constituents. In times of tough budgets, their work is as challenging as ever.

 

As I look at the Governor’s comments regarding the budget it becomes frustrating that we fail to get agreement on what money is available for budgeting purposes. “Today’s unemployment rate has been cut nearly in half to 3.4%. Which is down from 6.1% five years ago. Iowa has the lowest unemployment rate since 2001. Iowa family incomes have grown 18.3% from 2010. We have seen over $12 billion in private capital investment. We worked in a bipartisan fashion last session to improve both Iowa’s physical and digital infrastructure”.

Last Updated on Thursday, January 28 2016 09:33
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From The Desk of Mr. Dicks - December 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Moving Forward

The deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2016 for next Fall. This is an important issue for those that chose to make an educational decision that is best for their family. There are many reasons for open enrollment, ranging from certain programs a school offers, better fit geographically, participating in sports, or academic offerings. Washington currently has 144 students K-12 open enroll out, with another 8 students who open enroll out who are home school assistance (HSA) for a total of 152. We do have 66 students who choose to open enroll in, with an additional 28 students who open enroll in and are partially funded through HSA. So for our regular education students, we are at a deficit of 78 students. This equates to nearly $500,000 lost funding that is sent to other districts. The good news is, recently, I have received numerous informational calls regarding the opportunities available at Washington.

Last Updated on Tuesday, December 22 2015 14:43
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From The Desk of Mr. Dicks - November 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Now that the “dust has settled” on our enrollment decrease of 52 students, we are formulating plans to address the reduction of revenue of over $325,000 to our budget. In addition to addressing our budget for next year, it is also a good time to attempt an enrollment prediction for the future.

 

“Rolling” your enrollment is simply promoting our 1st grade students to 2nd grade and 2nd grade to 3rd grade until you exit the 12th grade students. We then predict our kindergarten enrollment based on our preschool numbers and also taking into account the history of our actual class sizes.

Last Updated on Monday, November 30 2015 07:56
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