- New London-Spicer School District 345
- District eNewsletters and Wildcat Chat Blog
Community Update 9/23/2022
Posted by Jamie Boelter, Superintendent on 9/23/2022 5:00:00 AM
Friday, September 23, 2022
Dear New London-Spicer Stakeholders,
Serving as the New London-Spicer High School Principal for the past three years has brought joy to me and my family, and I now look forward to serving the district in a wider capacity. It is a great honor that I am able to reintroduce myself as your new Superintendent.
Last year, New London-Spicer residents passed an operating levy to support our schools. I am beyond grateful and proud of our community for doing so. Part of my role is to keep our community informed on the financial well-being of our district. With that said, I would like to highlight what your investment in our schools has already allowed us to do.
Smaller class sizes at the elementary and middle school levels have been maintained, while the ability to assign high school teachers six classes has stabilized class sizes at that level as well.
Academic Interventionists at the Elementary and Middle School levels were hired to engage students who struggle in reading and/or math.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programming was also added at these levels to engage students in critical skills needed for modern society.
At the High School, we were able to hire another Special Education teacher to service our students with various disabilities as well as, maintain our Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class and add a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class. These classes are pipelines to critical workforce needs in our area.
Due to previous budget cuts, we were not able to keep our Media Centers open full time. With the added funding, we are now able to have our Media Centers open full time, so students have access to resources that help them further their learning.
Deans of Students were hired at the Middle School and High School for added focus on student behavior and attendance. School behavior and attendance are greatly tied to academic achievement, and it’s important that we have a focus on engaging students if they are struggling to behave appropriately and attend school regularly.
Classroom technology has also been updated as new interactive boards have been purchased for classrooms across the district. We will continue to budget for technology as the pandemic proved the need for and advantages of maintaining a 1:1 device to student ratio.
A bus route was added to allow the bus company to strategically plan to have kids riding buses for shorter periods of time. Our unique geography around the lakes can be challenging, but ultimately, more buses equals shorter trips for our students.
Before the referendum was passed, our district cut over a million dollars to avoid deficit spending. At that time, our fund balance was at about 1%. During our yearly audits, auditors encouraged us that our school fund balance should be between 15%-20%, allowing us to operate the district for about two months without any revenue. Part of our plan with the referendum dollars is to build the fund balance by 2%-5% each year until 15%-20% is reached.
Switching gears. In recent years, we had a food service partnership with Willmar Public Schools and Central Minnesota Christian to provide oversight of our program. We were notified last year that, due to retirement, those services would no longer be available to us. From there, the district sought proposals from food service companies and has contracted with Taher Inc. for the 2022-2023 school year. As with any transition, there are bumps along the way and Taher Food Service, like many other companies, has not been immune to staffing shortages. If you or anyone you know may be interested in a Food Service position, or one of the other open positions within our district, please visit: www.nls.k12.mn.us/employment.
Last school year, with input from a variety of stakeholders, we unveiled our Portrait of a Graduate. These stakeholders identified that they value New London-Spicer students ingrained with the skills of Global Citizenship, Leadership, Communication, Responsibility, Problem Solving, and Perseverance. As a district, we are looking at ways these skills are currently being nurtured as well as ways we can improve these types of experiences.
As we look to further improve educational opportunities for our students, we are beginning the process of laying out a new strategic plan and mission statement. Our current strategic plan has expired and we look to you as stakeholders to provide input as we work through this endeavor.
We ask that you take the time to fill out one of the short surveys below and share your feedback regarding New London-Spicer Schools:
I continued to be impressed by this community and our students each day and everyday. I am humbled to work for such a strong school district and community.
As always, Go Wildcats!
Jamie Boelter, Superintendent
BoelterJ@isd345.org | 320.354.2252 Press 0
New London-Spicer Schools