Principal's Message—March 19

Dear Rieke Families,

It’s a busy last week before spring break with a PTA meeting tomorrow and a late opening on Weds. We do have a very full lost and found which we are clearing out the end of this week. Please stop by if your child is missing an article or two of clothing.

I have completed the staffing for the next school year. There are some definite positives as well as some changes that mean the loss of some beloved staff. The district allocates staffing based on the number of total students enrolled at each grade level. We are experiencing a loss of two classroom positions due to low enrollment at grades 1, 3, and 4. Staffing is based on the number of sections determined by how many students at each grade. Kindergarten sections are 15-28 students. Grades 1-3 base a section on 15-30 students/class and grades 4-5 base a section on 18-34 students.

This means we will have the following:

  • K teachers, 3 sections – Nelsen, Reddekopp, Walker
  • 1st grade, 2 sections – Smith, Swehla
  • 2nd grade, 3 sections – Baker, Rebholz, Waters
  • 3rd grade, 2 sections – Allen, Waymire
  • 4th grade, 2 sections – Donnelly, Sturges
  • 5th grade, 3 sections – Early, Plein, Pollock
  • Full time art – Mitchell
  • Full time PE – Lancaster
  • Full time Media – Vaughan

Office staff plus our counselor will remain the same as this year.

We will have a half time Educational Assistant (Beth Nelson) and a small amount of technology assistant time (Jani Colasurdo). It is awesome how much money was raised at the Rieke Auction and this has been put towards staffing. However, because it is actually dollars it must also cover fringe and health care costs for any employee being funded which means it does not go nearly as far as we would like. Using that money I was able to increase our media specialist to full time and fund our Educational Assistant, both of whom will be able to help with the relatively large class sizes we will have at 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades. The additional money raised at next month’s Run for Rieke will also be used to increase support for those classrooms. To be able to add back one of the full time teaching positions we would need to raise $120,000-130,000 and this is after the 1/3 match to the All Hands Raised Foundation.

Besides the increases in our specialists we will also be adding an additional half time learning specialist for a total of one and one half learning center teachers. This is a vacancy that I will be interviewing for in the next few weeks.

I will be sending out a form towards the end of April that will provide parents an opportunity to give input on what type of learning environment you believe is most optimal for your child. The teachers will then begin the placement process for grade assignments in mid May. We will find out next October based on the enrollment at that time if there are enough students to warrant an additional section at a particular grade or if the number falls within the criteria of the new teacher contract to possibly add an Educational Assistant.

Next week is Spring Break, with students returning on Monday, April 2. Enjoy the week and hopefully the weather will cooperate!