Dear Kellison Families,
I wanted to share that our Board of Education recently voted to place a bond issue on the April 4 ballot. Rockwood voters will consider Proposition T (Thrive) to address increasing enrollment and our continued support for STEM/Innovative learning. Prop T will not alter the current Rockwood tax rate.
Funds from Prop T will build a new elementary school in Rockwood. The last time Rockwood built a school was in 2004 in response to growth in the Wildwood area when we built Fairway Elementary School.
We are again experiencing increases to student enrollment. According to Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost, about 2,300 homes are expected to be built in the district in the next five years. Projections of increases in student enrollment led district officials to review current capacity in our schools. We evaluated how much space is available in each school. We also considered our curriculum and the learning spaces needed to meet the needs of instruction.
During the last few years, the district has made a concentrated effort to decrease class sizes at the elementary levels. Our preferred Rockwood class sizes have made a difference in our elementary schools as we move toward the state’s desirable class size numbers. Here is a quick overview of the projects funded by Prop T:
- build a new elementary school in Eureka to address increased student enrollment
- repurpose the existing school for early childhood education and RSD programs
- add classrooms to schools to address increased student enrollment
- create and equip innovative learning spaces in our elementary schools to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in our curriculum
- complete the final phase of high school STEM lab renovations
- expand the implementation of the one-to-one student/technology program
The $95.5 million bond issue requires a four-sevenths (57.14 percent) majority for passage on April 4. I’ll continue to share more information about the bond issue in the coming weeks. You can always contact me with questions or visit the Prop T website for more information.
Thank you for your continued support!
Congratulations to these talented Tigers! Four of our students received a surprise this past Friday. Their artwork has been chosen for the Saint Louis County Health Department's annual calendar as part of the Healthy Living Art Contest. There were 600 entries and 13 were chosen for the calendar, one for each month and one for the cover. We are so proud of our award recipients!
It is an absolute pleasure to have lunch with our students. During the first semester, Mrs. DuPree and I were able to have lunch with every Kellison student. This time allows us to get to know each child better and learn things about them we didn't know before. It is so helpful for us to hear their perspective about Kellison, their ideas for the future, and to get their feedback about the happenings at our school. Each child is truly special and I leave each lunch session feeling like I know them even better than before. I love how our lunches help to build community among our students and form connections with one another to make Kellison the best place it can be! Today, we kicked off our second semester of Adventure Guide lunches! I can't wait to see where the students' ideas take us!
As we near the end of second semester, we'd like to wish all of our Kellison families a happy holiday season. We are so thankful and blessed to be able to work with your amazing children each day and to partner with you on this journey. We are excited and looking forward to what 2017 will bring to us. Enjoy the winter break! May it be restful and memorable. See you in 2017!
Every single morning at Kellison Elementary kicks off with our student-led announcements. Each intermediate classroom is taking a turn leading these announcements for us this year. The most special part of these daily announcements comes at the very end, when we share with our students four important affirmations:
You have a voice.
You are important.
You belong here.
As this is shared with our students, we hope they remember how important each student is to our school community. Kellison is truly a family, and because of that every member is an important piece to our puzzle. We want all individuals to feel welcomed in our school. For our students, Kellison is their school and they belong here.
Thank you to our staff members and families who have taken the time to recognize our students for their leadership and generosity. Staff members have recognized students with Positive Office Referrals when they have gone above and beyond our expectations for following our school's Tigertudes. It has also been amazing to see our families send in Tiger Shout Outs to recognize their children for the awesome things they do outside of school. We love our Tiger Leaders, and we are so proud of the wonderful examples they set for others each day.
Each grade level is leading a service project for our school this year. To begin, Kindergarten is collecting cereal boxes to send to Haiti for the Apparent Project. One cereal box can create 50 beads, which helps create up to 11 jobs for the people of Haiti. Kindergartners have created flyers to publicize their service project and take time to go around the school to collect their donations.
First Grade is working with Crayola ColorCycle to collect used markers, which will be recycled and turned into fuel. First graders have visited all classrooms to explain their project and answer students' questions. They have also created collection boxes for used markers to be placed in every classroom.
Social and emotional learning is a focus for our staff this year. While academic achievement and growth is a priority, we believe social and emotional learning helps establish a solid foundation for every child to be prepared and ready to learn when they come to school. Throughout this school year, our staff will engage in professional development activities to increase our knowledge and practices in this area. Throughout our students' time at Kellison, we hope our students develop in all five core competency areas* of social emotional learning, which include:
Responsible Decision Making
During our most recent staff meeting, staff members engaged in a learning activity to simulate how trauma in early childhood years affects the development of the brain. In addition, it demonstrated how the development of a child's brain prepares children to handle stressors later on in life.
We had an awesome first week of school! Thank you to all of our students, staff members, and families for making it a great week! Walking through classrooms, I saw students participating in a variety of activities to build communities within their classrooms. Highlights of the week included setting classroom expectations, coming together for our school-wide team rally, getting to know one another, and exploring the idea of a growth mindset. We can't wait to dive into week two!
One of my favorite things to see as a principal is our students taking the initiative to help others in need. This summer, one of our fifth grade students, Kami, came up with an idea to help another community member in need, Office Flamion. After the news spread of Officer Flamion's injuries, Kami jumped into action. She held a lemonade stand outside for five days, raising $700 to support Officer Flamion. It touches my heart to see her doing whatever she can to support one of our own community heroes. Thank you, Kami! Your Kellison Family is so proud of you!