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Focus on Education

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Welcome to a new year

I hope you are as excited as we are to open the 2010-2011 school year. We have been busy preparing all summer for the arrival of our students and staff. Upon their return they will find old and new friends, upgraded facilities, and programs all designed to make their school experience the best it can be.

From a facility standpoint, a good deal of work has been accomplished this summer under the direction of new Facilities Director, Matt Diel. Most noteworthy are the finishing touches on Kootenai Elementary School, additional space and fresh paint at Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School, a bicycle shelter and rack at Sandpoint Middle School courtesy of Pend Oreille Peddlers, and a host of smaller projects throughout our district.

We are proud of these facility improvements and expect that students, staff, and community members will see a brighter, cleaner and more welcoming learning atmosphere. All of these projects, and those completed last year such as the remodel of Sagle Elementary, were paid for through our Plant and Facility levy supported by voters. We are proud of this community partnership and the successful completion of all projects on time and under budget. All of the projects are paid in full and there is no long term debt.
The health and safety of our students and academic achievement serve as our two most important tasks.

The Plant and Facility Levy has helped remedy the health and safety issues. However, our measure of academic success continues to demand equal focus. I am proud to note that our student ISAT test scores were the highest recorded since testing began in all subject areas; math, reading, language usage, and science. This accountability is important and we will endeavor to help our students improve this performance.
Our recently released ACT scores placed college bound students well above the state average in every tested area. Students are developing four year plans through the support of our counseling department and this goal focus serves as a roadmap for success after graduation. Our goal is to build upon student success and improve the instructional program.

To this end we have added an Upper Quartile science program at Sandpoint Middle School to accompany the advanced math already in place at the school. This program is designed for high achievers from the Upper Quartile programs found in our elementary schools. We are in year two of our new math program district wide, that features a fair balance between application and computational knowledge. Our fine arts programs continue to flourish through dedicated teachers and community members. Over 85 percent of our sixth graders participated in instrumental music last year. No student was turned away if they could not afford an instrument; many community members donated to solve this dilemma.

For the first time in a number of years we welcome approximately a dozen new teachers to our district. We are proud of these new staff members who will replace those who have retired or moved on. We also have new leadership in the district. Perky Hadagone-Smith will be the new Principal at Northside Elementary. Perky has been a highly successful science teacher at Sandpoint Middle School, elementary teacher, volunteer art teacher and classified staff member in her career. Former Northside Elementary Principal Rick Kline has moved to Kootenai Elementary where he will serve as Principal and Title 1 Director. He replaces retired Principal Betsy Walker and Title 1 Director Judy Hull. The two positions were combined as a budget savings strategy. As noted above, Matt Diel is the new Facility Director, replacing the retired Sid Rayfield.
The district continues to keep a close eye upon finances. For the past five years the district has earned an A+ audit prepared by an independent accounting firm. The district was one of the few in the state not forced to declare a financial emergency as a result of state budget reductions to public education. It has taken a team effort led by Business Manager Lisa Hals and the Board of Trustees to make this happen.

In short, we are ready for the school year to begin. I always look forward to the first day as it is an opportunity to start anew. It is filled with opportunity and promise. Please join us as partners in helping to create a world class school system for the children of our community.

Dick Cvitanich, Superintendent

With school started, and winter on its way, don’t forget the school closure hotline number at 208-263-2312. There is a lot of information available to parents on the district’s website at lposd.org, including links to the websites for each individual school.

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Author info

Dick Cvitanich Dick Cvitanich is the Superintendent of Schools for the Lake Pend Oreille School District. He has been an educator for 33 years, and became superintendent for LPOSD in 2006. He was educated at the University of Washington where he earned a BA in History and a Superintendent's Credential. He has been married to Diane for 32 years and they have raised three sons who "taught us as much as we taught them." "I have a passion for public education and the role it plays in our democracy. In my free time I read, ski ... come to think of it, I don't have that much free time."

Tagged as:

education, Lake Pend Oreille School District, Bonner County, Kootenai Elementary School, Plant and Facility Levy, ISAT, SAT, Upper quartile program

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