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Underwood Community Schools

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From the Desk of the Superintendent...

SEPTEMBER 2021 DISTRICT DISPATCH The 2021-22 school year is off and running with several new employees already hard at work. New faculty and staff members include the following people: Kim Goehring (Middle School Secretary), Wyatt McAlpin (Middle School Mathematics Teacher), Sierra Maguire (Elementary Teacher, Assistant High School Volleyball Coach, and High School Girls’ Golf Coach), Elizabeth Stein (Middle School Physical Education Teacher and Head High School Volleyball Coach), Bud Korver (Interim High School Mathematics Teacher), Sydney Pratt (6-12 Vocal Music Teacher), Mark Guetter (K-12 Gifted-and-Talented Teacher), Joan Becker (Middle School Special Education Teacher), Michelle Soloth (Elementary Special Education Teacher), Lois Waters (School Bus Driver), Randy Darnold (School Bus Driver), Jordan Ford (K-7 Guidance Counselor), Lindsay Gatewood (Elementary Teacher), and Tyler Hamilton (Middle School Principal/7-12 Activities Director). When the opportunity presents itself, please join me in welcoming these new employees into our school community. At the regular school board meeting held on Monday, July 12, 2021, the Underwood Community School District Board of Directors approved the school district’s fall of 2021 On-Site Return-to-Learn Plan and also approved using it to begin the 2021-22 school year. A copy of the approved plan, including policies and procedures, is included in this month’s District Dispatch. School officials are continuing to work closely with representatives from the Pottawattamie County Department of Public Health to monitor COVID-19 data and respond appropriately to situations such as a surge in positivity rates. Working hard to provide an environment free from harm or risk for our students, faculty members, and staff members is our top priority. The summer of 2021 was another busy time in terms of buildings and grounds maintenance improvement projects. I want to extend a special “thank you” to our director of buildings and grounds, Jim Ettleman, and our custodial staff members. They, along with our seasonal staff members, did a great job getting the school district ready for the new school year. Important maintenance tasks that were completed include the following: (1) regrading and reseeding project south of the middle school; (2) sprinkler system repair and replacement on the athletic fields; (3) electrical repairs and the addition of outlets throughout the school district; (4) high school family and consumer science room remodeling project; (5) plumbing repairs throughout the school district; (6) gymnasium floors refinished; (7) removal of carpet and installation of vinyl tile in the elementary nurse’s office; (8) security updates; (9) elementary multipurpose room updates; (10) HVAC updates throughout the school district; and (11) general preparation for the new school year. At the beginning of each new school year, the Iowa Association of School Boards encourages each of us to remember that public education is the foundation of our democracy and a promise we make as Iowans to our children…that a great education helps make dreams come true. Great public schools help children realize that promise and are the key to success in our communities, our economy, and our state. It is up to each of us to embrace that promise. Our investment as Iowans in our public schools matters a lot and is a key difference maker in developing dependable, conscientious, thoughtful, and innovative future generations of Iowa citizens.