School District 197 Superintendent Blog
Welcome to my blog! The purpose of the blog is to provide an avenue for communication with parents and community members. I will be sharing our progress in implementing the District Strategic Framework. Periodically I will also post photos and share news of special events that I attend in our schools.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Goodbye to the 2014-15 School Year!

Dear Friends, Families, and Staff of District 197,

It has been a banner year in District 197.  Last Sunday we graduated 298 seniors and sent them off with all the love and support we could muster. What an outstanding group of young people! Our hearts were filled with pride, and they were smiling all the way down the aisle.  

This week we are wrapping things up in the schools.  We are also reflecting on the year, looking back at our work and assessing our progress.  As a school district on the move, we have achieved a number of notable accomplishments that bring us ever closer to our strategic vision of comprehensive, rigorous curricular and co-curricular programs; a safe, respectful, and welcoming community that embraces diversity; and being the leading educational choice in the community.  Below are just a few of the highlights we celebrate with our community:
  • A new early learning center that will open this fall in West St. Paul;
  • A 10-year, $1.2M levy to support technology integration was passed, enabling us to bring personalized, digital learning and 1:1 computing to scale over the next several years;
  • More multi-tiered academic supports are available for students;
  • A new model for gifted and talented programming will be implemented in the fall;
  • Curriculum is being developed in a coordinated, organized way that will lead to a guaranteed and viable curriculum in all content areas over the next several years and renewed on a regular basis;
  • Our collaborative team model has been revamped;
  • A parent academy has been implemented, with more than 150 parents and caregivers participating this year;
  • A comprehensive review of the counseling program was completed; and  
  • An electronic career planning portfolio will be implemented in grades 9-12 in the fall, followed by grades 7 and 8 in the fall of 2016.
All I can say is wow, along with a huge thank you to those who played a pivotal role in making our goals a reality!

Students, staff, and parents face a surge of emotion when the last few days of school are upon us. Excitement and exhaustion are competing emotions that signal a job well done. Students are eager to embrace the freedom of summer but regret the thought of not seeing their friends every day. The energy is amazing!  Kinda makes you want to be a kid again, doesn't it?

Please take full advantage of one of our state's greatest assets:  summer.  Get outdoors.  Unplug. Take a walk. Read a book.  Watch a sunset.  Hug your kids.  Call your family.  We'll be waiting for you in the fall, ready to do it all over again.  Until then, best wishes, and may this be your best summer ever!

Nancy Allen-Mastro

Stay in touch this summer and follow me on Twitter @Supt 197