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Back to School Letter
Brent Garrison
Friday, July 27, 2018

UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT 444
Little River & Windom
Brent Garrison, Superintendent
455 Prairie, P. O. Box 218
Little River, Kansas 67457
bgarrison@usd444.com
620-897-6325
FAX 620-897-6788


Dear Parent and/or Guardian:


After a busy summer I eagerly anticipate the start of a new school year and new beginnings. It has been a very busy and exciting summer at the district office. I, along with many staff members, have worked hard to prepare the buildings for the upcoming school year. Summer is a time for staff members to attend workshops, seminars, or classes in an effort to improve instruction and opportunities for students. This summer was no exception for many teachers in the district attending training to better serve our students. Thanks to the support of the
community and parents, and the excellence of our teachers, administrators, and support staff, I am confident that our schools will continue to be highly successful. Thank you for your support as your Superintendent the past two years. It is an honor and a privilege to serve such a wonderful community and district. I have never been more excited to begin a new school year.I am confident that with the support of you, as parents, it will be an outstanding year.

I would like to take the opportunity to update you about the facility improvements that have taken place over the summer. Every spring the Board of Education and myself look at ways to improve our school facilities over the summer months. I am very excited and proud of the facility improvements that will be in place before schools starts. The board has authorized and been very supportive of all of our board goals and the direction that we are headed in improving facilities. By the time students return to the buildings the following projects will be completed. New carpet in classrooms and hallway at Windom, tile in the commons area at Windom, multiple security cameras in both buildings, a new gym floor at Little River, new playground equipment, fencing, and rubber mulch at Windom, a new sound system at Windom, and an upgrade of the sound system at the Little River auditorium. The board has also authorized an upgrade to the current weight room that will dramatically improve the facility for use by students and community. All of these will serve our students and staff well for years to come. A new activity bus and a new Ford Transit were also purchased this summer for use this school year. I would like to encourage you to stay in touch to the happenings this year as the board, along with my guidance, will be making plans to upgrade and improve our facilities for long term. Although the above improvements are being made, we are in a critical time for making decisions for the future generation of students at Little River and Windom. Our facilities have served the students of Little River and Windom very well for many years, but the aging infrastructure, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing are all in need of upgrades. The board of education is very much interested in sustaining and improving our facilities for future generations. We will be asking for parents and community members input as we look to examine ways to improve and update facilities. We will need your support as parents and the community’s support to make our school facilities something to be proud of now and in the future. It is my hope that we can work as a collective group to make our schools something to be proud of for years to come. 

One other aspect of our schools, that I am very proud of, is that we were selected as a Gemini II school for the upcoming year. We will be one of 47 districts in the state that are formally in the process of redesigning our schools. I am excited about the process of looking at how we can redesign our schools to best serve all of our students. Our goal of post secondary success of students must come with some redesign at the secondary level. We are currently working hard
to give our students as many options as possible to tailor their education to their interest and future employment. It is my goal to have the finest academic program for all students; a program with robust options allowing students and parents a choice. Redesign should grant opportunities to tailor schedules to meet individual needs, interests, and abilities. I feel that over the past two years we have made gains in meeting this goal. The redesign process will only increase the opportunities for our students in a small rural school. If you are interested in more
information, please feel free to contact your building principal or myself.
I want to remind you that our website (www.usd444.com) is available to provide the necessary information to parents, students, and all stakeholders in a quick and user-friendly format. Facebook at (https://www.facebook.com/Littl... and https://www.facebook.com/groups/windomelementary/), Twitter
(https://twitter.com/USD444) and our district app (USD444 Little River - Windom), are also ways to keep up with events at the school. I encourage you to utilize every avenue we provide to maintain a positive level of communication with your district, your respective school and especially with your child’s teacher. As always, we value the input and suggestions of community members, students, and parents. There are many different avenues to communicate with our district and its employees. Contact information and telephone numbers are posted on
the district’s website. Please be sure to keep in touch with us by downloading the USD 444 district app that is available by searching USD 444 Little River - Windom in your app store I urge all parents and guardians to update their contact information on the Parent Portal so you receive the most up to date information.
As we work together toward our common goal of the success and well-being of our children, I look forward to another wonderful school year and the daily accomplishments of our students and staff. As the year unfolds, I will be in touch regarding our progress and asking your input, in the meantime, please feel free to send me an email at any time should you have questions or concerns. My email is bgarrison@usd444.com. I encourage you to be involved in your child’s
education and to be active in the school and community as we work to develop a plan to improve our facilities. Thank you for the opportunity to serve your student and this community. I understand the very important role all of our staff plays in the lives and futures of our children. I also understand that USD 444 has a staff that will assure each student is treated fairly, challenged academically and successfully guided toward the goal of graduation and post secondary success.

Sincerely,


Brent Garrison
Superintendent