Good things are going on at Hillsboro USD 410

If you want to see excitement, ask Max Heinrichs what is going on in USD 410. His face will light up and he will talk for awhile about the “exciting things” going on.

“We have some good stuff going on,” said Heinrichs, as he shared on Thursday regarding the Gemini redesign that the district has been working on for a few semesters now.

The district has offered a wide variety of student activities that are presently meeting the needs of students and the community. Participation rates in middle school and high school activities continue to be high.

A “People First” mentality continues to be one of the major strengths of the district.

“USD 410 staff consistently demonstrates a caring attitude toward young people. Teachers are willing to be innovative, make changes designed to improve the learning environment, and to adjust instruction to meet the individual needs of students. Smaller class sizes, especially in the K-2 classrooms are optimal. The district continues to place an emphasis on keeping these class sizes below 20. Because the kindergarten class is smaller this year (2019-20) we have gone back to two sections, but have added a classroom aide to both of our Kindergarten classrooms,” said Heinrichs.

As enrollment numbers at the middle school and high school grow, they will need to continue to adjust staffing levels to reflect student numbers.

“We may need to add a social science teacher in two to three years at the high school, because we currently only have one due to budget cuts several years ago. Efforts to combine our MS and HS schedules have resulted in our ability to maximize our teaching staff while reducing some positions in grades 6 – 12.,” said Heinrichs.

Effective leadership is extremely important in schools that demonstrate a significant amount of success in their educational efforts. USD 410 is fortunate to have such leadership in the building administrative positions.

Technology

“During the 2018-19 school year the district made a significant commitment to move to a 1-1 district for all students in grades 6 –12. While this is proving to be a tremendous educational advantage for our students, it demanded the district add support staff to minimize disruption to the learning environment. The board approved adding an Assistant to the Technology Director to keep up with demand.

More and more emphasis is being placed on computer use for academic learning and student performance. The teachers are growing tremendously in their instructional practices using technology as part of the learning process in all classes.

“We added 1-to-1 Chromebooks to our third through fifth grade classrooms, and moved all of our iPads to Kindergarten through second grade classrooms. This is also an effective way for our teachers to allow these students much needed individual instructional time. The Chromebooks and iPads allows the students to work independently with highly effective educational apps for the iPad. Students are highly engaged as they utilize these instructional tools for learning. We also added 75” touch screen monitors to all of our HES classrooms during the 2018-19 school year,” said Heinrichs.

FACT

Families and Communities Together continues to encourage programs that support children and families outside the traditional school setting. USD 410 provides office space and support for this organization as well as an annual contribution. We have also set up a payroll deduction plan for our employees to give to FACT. In the past two years, USD 410 staff donate nearly $3,500 annually in contributions to FACT through the payroll deduction option.

“Recently, the FACT board approved the hiring of Terry Bebermeyer as its new part time director who began serving our county in January, 2019. Terry works twenty hours a week in this position,” Heinrichs said.

Superintendent Max Heinrichs provided highlights in Hillsboro schools during 2018 and into 2019.

◼ August 2018: New lobby furniture across from HMHS Office; Carnival night to begin a new year.

◼ September 2018: First FAB Family session begins; Big Truck Night brings lots of young kids to school.

◼ October 2018: High School Football team district runner up; State Cross Country- Emersyn Funk

Caleb Diener; KU Honors Banquet Jenna Hinerman, Eva Franz, Jorge Hanschu ; District wide PBL training. Elementary students attend a band concert at Tabor College.

◼ November 2018: Hello Dolly was the High School Musical; 1st-5th graders attend a Thunder hockey game in Wichita; District-wide PBL inservice.

◼ December 2018: NHS Induction Ceremony ;7 students were selected and sang with the SCKMEA District Honor Choir; Sarah Diener auditioned for and performed with SCKMEA District Honor Band; Jill Siebert, a Horizon Award winner; Body Venture at HES; 5th graders to STARBASE in Salina; Imagine 410 meeting at Rhubarb; USD 410 BOE Approved naming rights to the new trap shooting team.“Hillsboro High School Trap Team”

◼ January 2019: Tylee Miller, D’Myia Cox and Sam Sorensen represent HMS at the county spelling bee; 5th grade band to camp at Tabor College;

◼ February 2019: Lane Flaming, Sr, Tristan Rathbone, Fr, & Jordan Bachman, Soph, qualified for the 3-2-1A State Wrestling Tournament. -Bachman placed 4th at 138 lbs;1 student sang in the KMEA All-State honor choir – Jenna Hinerman; MS League Festival: I ratings went to the MS Choir, 3 out of 3 ensembles, 8 out of 9 solos; Sarah Diener auditioned for and performed with KMEA All-State Band; County spelling bee held at HMHS; Elementary kids to Rod’s Tire to see “Big Foot”

◼ March 2019: MS League Festival: I ratings earned by 1 ensemble; Family Reading night;Boil water advisory, no school; 5th graders to the Halstead Health Museum; USD 410 begins work on New Website and App

◼ April 2019: Class of 19 received $516,073 worth of scholarships ;Regional Music Festival: I ratings earned by 2 soloists, 1 ensemble;State Large Group Festival: Band received a I rating; State Solo/Ensemble Festival: I rating earned by soloists Sarah Diener and Grace Major; Regional Music Festival: I ratings went to 6 of 8 ensembles and 5 out of 9 solos; State Large Group Festiva: I ratings went to the Concert Choir, Men’s Glee, Women’s Glee State Solos/Ensembles: I ratings went to Spirit-N-Celebration and 3 soloists (Dillon Boldt, Grace Major, Caleb Rempel); 2nd grade Poetry Read in the GMCC; Approved to be a KSDE Redesign School

◼ May 2019: 2nd place Boys State Track; Trojan Golf Team qualified for the 2A State Golf Tournament; HES LAUNCH presentation in Salina; CHUMS to All-schools parade in McPherson;HES Talent Show in auditorium

◼ June 2019: Dennis Boldt- 2A Boys Track coach of the year; HES & HMHS New Bells, Clocks, and Intercom installed

◼ July 2019: Movie scene filmed at HES under director and HHS graduate Emily Railsback

◼ August 2019: Meet Your Teacher Night signals a new year; HES Carnival a success; Official- Launch Redesign; Thrive Food Management Company takes over food service for USD 410. Adding more choice, and saving the district $45,000; Purchased 72 passenger bus and 10 passenger van

◼ September 2019: Foot Orthosis project for a child with Cerebral Palsy; Big Truck Night brings in kids and a helicopter;

◼ October 2019: KU Honors Banquet- Olivia Jury, Jacob Denholm, Callie Arnold; CTE Advisory Meetings; 75” 4K monitor added to the Wiebe Media Center. This will allow for more programming and presentations in the WMC; Author Talk with NYT bestselling author, Dusti Bowling and HMS students, to discuss her book, “The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus”, which led to an open discussion between author and students on the importance of empathy; WMC Media Center Escape Room based on the hit Netflix series, “Stranger Things”, written by middle school students Annalise Jorgensen, Owen Dalke, Justin Miller, and Teagyn Miller. Teams worked together to solve a series of puzzles using hidden clues to “escape” the room before time runs out. The escape room was created as a feature event promoting the WMC Book Fair; Mr Knoll’s US History students presenting their Progressive Era PBL projects to fellow students and community patrons in the WMC Media Center’s on Thursday, Oct 24th. Mr Woelk’s Creative Writing Class premiered their movie, “Beyond the Oaken Door”, in the WMC Media Center. The movie was written, orchestrated, and directed by HHS students Senora Filipiak, Moriah Jost, and Airen Fay. The black-tie optional event was free to students and community patrons; Tena Loewen nominated for prestigious Horizon Award; Replace failing iPads with Chromebooks for the HES K-2nd grade

Upcoming Events:

November, 2019: Mr. Dalke’s Art Class students PBL “Why Art” projects will be on display in the WMC Media Center (November 19th & 20th); Wizard of Oz musical

February, 2020: Black History Month will be recognized in the WMC Media Center with featured artwork by HMS/HHS teacher, Demetrius Cox, along with other historical and present day African American leaders; Author Talk: NYT bestselling author, Ann Braden, will video conference with our HMS students on Thursday, February 13th to discuss her award winning middle school book,”The Benefits of Being an Octopus”. Students will have the opportunity to ask the author questions about her writing experience as well as discuss some of the social issues the main character experiences in the story including escaping poverty and the prevalence of gun violence.

April, 2020: Author Talk: NYT bestselling author, Veera Hiranan, will video conference with our HMS students on Thursday, April 2nd to discuss her award winning middle school book, “The Night Diary”. Students will have the opportunity to ask the author questions about her writing experience as well as discuss some of the social issues the main character experiences in the story including forced relocation due to war in her home country of Pakistan.