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Superintendent's Notes October 30, 2020

Happy Halloween! Spooky October is coming to an end and November is NEXT WEEK!! Week 10 in the books! Below are some pics of Fall Fun Day at ECEC. These young Sandites participated in a hay ride, petting zoo and a whole lot more of fun activities. Huge thanks to Ms. Susan Wilkerson, our admin assistant at ECEC, for bringing her farm animals to town! My personal favorite was the velveteen rabbit, which up until last week I thought was only a character in a children's story book. Nope! It's a real thing and unbelievably snuggly and soft! By the way, Ms. Wilkerson sometimes doubles as a fire fighter! If you get a chance ask her to tell you her story!

Students at Pratt were on the hunt for ghosts that were hidden throughout the school. Ms. Clawson's class was the first to find a hidden ghost and got to visit the office for a surprise from Ms. Lee!

Congratulations to LDKerns Contractors for their award winning project - our very own Freshman Academy and STEM Center! The Oklahoma Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. delivered the award at a banquet on November 22 at Osage Casino. Of course I am biased, but think the award was spot on!! LDKerns has been a great partner through the whole process! What a great recognition for them and our district! Go Team!

Colby Williamson, Charles Page High School senior shares his story in this video from the Oklahoma State Department of Education on virtual learning. Our team at the Virtual Academy continues to LEAD in the state for virtual learning! #proudsuperintendentmoment #BESandite

McDonald's delivered a $1500 donation to Sand Springs Education Foundation for McTeacher Day this month. We are grateful for the support of the Foundation in supporting teacher grants. Thanks to all who took the time, even in the midst of the pandemic year, to write a classroom grant this year. Grants will be delivered on November 24!

We are sifting through the results of our Parent Survey that was initiated at Parent/Teacher Conferences this month. Likely due to the virtual component of the conferences, the response rate was really low at most of our sites. The link to the survey is here. Please push this out to our Sandite families on your social media sites and encourage our families to participate. This is beneficial feedback from our patrons to help us improve our practices! We appreciate the help on this!

These 4th graders from Limestone are building a safe way to deliver candy to Trick or Treaters this Halloween in light of the current COVID pandemic using only the materials they have on hand. Turns out the Engineering class at CPHS is doing the same thing with a little more sophisticated equipment! #STEMproblemsolving

Congratulations to Mike Carter, Northwoods PE teacher, and Lindsey Sinkbeil, school nurse, for being selected for Project SWITCH. Project SWITCH is an effort by the State Department of Education to form a panel that will help rural-area schools in northeast Oklahoma navigate through the health-related challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the story here. Thank you to these two educators for their willingness to share their expertise and knowledge with our colleagues state-wide!

It is ALWAYS fun to run into Sean Kuehn at CPHS and, of course, Megan Elliot. Sean, one of our outstanding seniors, killed it on the ACT this year. He is sporting a Columbia University sweatshirt in the pic and is looking at Columbia (yes, in NYC) as a potential college choice for the fall of 2021! As Mr. Trout says, "You can go anywhere from here!" #anotherproudsuperintendentmoment

I would encourage everyone to get their flu shot this year! Along with all the precautions we are implementing this year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a flu shot is one more strategy to keep yourself healthy this winter! We are excited to report we had a 50% increase from last year of our staff who took advantage of on site Wellness Checks this year! I appreciate everyone's efforts to stay healthy and safe!!

This is the last day to make a donation to UNITED WAY. If you are so inclined to donate this year, find the Sandite Donation Link here. Remember each site's goal is 75% participation. Folks from those sites who reach this goal will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket! We appreciate your generosity!

Above is Ms. Kelli Stephenson's class at Limestone who recited their favorite poem to me yesterday! You can listen to it here! I also got to hear them recite a poem in Spanish which was quite impressive! Thank you Ms. Stephenson for letting me pop into your classroom. One of the students even emailed me the words to the poem. It was about having a GROWTH MINDSET! What a great way to live!

Ms. Janet Thompson and Mr. Frank Cooper have presented a challenge for the entire district! The BPA (Business Professionals of America) and Student Council are starting their Annual Bedlam Canned Food Drive to collect canned goods for Sand Springs Community Services. They are proposing that ALL sites participate in this challenge so that, IN UNITY, our combined efforts make a significant impact in the amount of GIVING Sand Springs Community Services can do this season! They provide food to our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. What a FANTASTIC idea! The Bedlam Canned Food Drive begins Monday, November 2 and will extend to Friday, November 20! Please consider participating in the worthy cause!

Thank you for a GREAT year in spite of the circumstances of 2020. You all have rocked the first 10 weeks of school with character, strength and tenacity. I'm always and forever proud of this SANDITE TEAM! Have a wonderful weekend! ~Sherry