JANUARY 2020 DISTRICT DISPATCH
Welcome back to the new year and the beginning of the second semester. Students resume classes on Thursday, January 2, 2020. With winter here, the possibility of late starts, early dismissals, or school cancellations is always with us. Please remember to tune in to the following radio and television stations if the weather appears threatening: KMA (960 AM), KFAB (1110 AM), KNOD (105.3 FM), KMTV (Channel 3), WOWT (Channel 6), and KETV (Channel 7). In addition, our school district subscribes to the JMC Instant Parent Contact System. This automated telephone broadcast service enables school personnel to notify all households and parents by telephone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes a late start, an early dismissal, or a school cancellation. If you have not signed up for this service and are interested in participating, please contact the principal’s office where your child or children attend. In addition, if you have signed up in the past but have stopped receiving calls, it may be because you have changed your telephone number and the school district is not aware of that change. If you think this might be the case, contact the principal’s office where your child or children attend and make sure your current telephone number is the one on file.
On November 12, 2019, the long-time director of transportation for our school district, Harold Larsen, passed away due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia. Harold was a trusted, sincere, and hard-working colleague who was committed to making our school district and our community the best they could be. He and I spent many early hours in the winter checking roads and making the decision whether to start on time, start late, or cancel school because of hazardous weather conditions. As a member of the Underwood High School graduating class of 1981, his roots ran deeply throughout our school district. He was a very special person who will be truly missed by his family and friends.
Children typically spend more time out of school than in it. Parents and family members have a major influence on their achievement in school. When schools, parents, and families work together in the right ways there are all kinds of benefits for everyone involved across all social and economic groups. That being said, one of the great complexities now for schools and students alike is the profound change in the nature of the family. What exactly do we mean by parents? There is an obvious biological answer, but as Dr. Ken Robinson notes in his book, Creative Schools, the social answer is often more complicated. In the United States, the number of students who live with both biological parents in a conventional family setting is far less than it used to be. Many students live with only one parent because of divorce or separation or because the parents were not a married couple in the first place. Others live in blended families with more than two parents. Some are raised by siblings or other relatives. Whatever the parental dynamic is, the key to success for students in school is engagement and effective communication between the school and the home. We work hard in the Underwood Community School District to engage with parents and communicate effectively with them. One of the things that helps make our school district successful is that our parents feel the same way.
Please note that there is no school for students on Monday, January 20, 2020. Our teachers will be participating in professional development activities with faculty members form other Western Iowa Conference schools that day.