Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays, Policy Meeting, Calendar

Year End Reflection: I’d like to take a moment to end 2011 by thanking you all for what you do.  Over the past year, we passed big levies, considered Q-Comp, settled a contract, dealt with a state shutdown, raised test scores, and weathered considerable media attention - all while supporting our students better than ever. That’s quite an accomplishment. On behalf of all of us in the AHEM office, we are honored to have the opportunity to help you in your work.  We hope you’ll take this coming break to recharge, reconnect with the people closest to you, and relax.  You deserve it.  Happy holidays!

Meet January 4th to Respond to Policy Changes:  Proposed changes to district polices, particularly the changes to the Sexual Orientation Curriculum Policy, have gotten plenty of attention over the past couple of weeks.  Many of you checked out the changes at and and gave us your feedback at (the survey is still open).  Early responses indicate that most teachers can find things in the policies that make sense and feel other parts need work.  We invite you to meet on January 4, 4:45 pm, at the AHEM office to help put together our union’s response.  No reporters or TV cameras will be allowed – just educators coming together to ensure district policies support our work and students.

Calendar proposal:  The school board will vote on the proposed calendar for 2012-2013 (below) in early January.  AHEM members were part of the committee that put together the proposal. Balancing teacher, community, and district interests with a myriad of testing dates and other mandates was a challenge.  Thanks to all who responded to our request for feedback.  While we weren’t able to accommodate suggestions like two full weeks for winter break, we were able to protect things like having a full day of planning at the end of each trimester and adding a half day of elementary conferences the second half of the year.

2012-13 Calendar Key Dates for Grades 1 through 12

  • July 4: School District closed
  • Aug 21 – 23: New Teacher Orientation
  • Aug 27 – Aug 31: Workshop Week. Elementary: 3 planning days, 1 building staff development, 1 day  ½  collaboration & goal setting and ½ district staff developmentSecondary: 2 planning days, 1 day ½  collaboration and  ½ planning, 1 day building staff development, 1 day district staff development
  • September 3: Labor Day, School District closed
  • September 4: First Day of School
  • October 8: Elementary ½ Collaboration and ½ Conferences, no elementary students
  • October 17: Staff Development, no students
  • October 18 – 19: Education Minnesota Professional Conference, no school
  • November 21: Conference conversion day, no students
  • November 22 – 23: Thanksgiving break, School District closed
  • November 30: End of Trimester I
  • December 3: Staff Planning Grading, no students
  • December 24 – January 1: Winter break, no school
  • December 24 & 25: School District closed
  • January 1: School District closed
  • January 2: School resumes
  • January 21: Martin Luther King’s Birthday, no school
  • February 18: President’s Day, School District closed
  • February 19: Elementary ½ Staff Development and ½ Conferences, Secondary Staff Development, no students
  • March 7: End of Trimester II
  • March 8: Staff Planning Grading, no students
  • March 11 – 15: Spring break, no school
  • March 15: School District closed
  • March 18: School resumes
  • March 29: School District closed
  • May 27: Memorial Day, School District closed
  • June 6: End of Trimester III
  • June 7: Staff Planning Grading, no students