ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
We wish the staffs of our six area school districts a great year as classes resume in the coming days. Three districts-Marion, Centre and Goessel-have new superintendents at the helm and elsewhere in this issue we introduce you to 18 new faculty.
Several districts, including Hillsboro’s, have faced tough budget challenges during the summer. At USD 410, the money crunch resulted in both the loss of quality teaching faculty and a mill-levy increase-a double disappointment. Declining enrollment, and the state funding that declines along with it, will be a continuing theme in the foreseeable future unless current trends change in regard to local population or state funding formulas.
But the excitement of beginning a new school year offsets those gloomy projections-at least for a time. This week the slate is clean, everything is new, and a fresh adventure of learning begins.
Effective teachers and administrators are foundational to classroom successful, but this is a good time for parents of students to commit themselves to be supportive members of the team, too. Parental interest and involvement is critical-both at home and in the schools.
This is a big week for all of us. -DR