Chalk Talk – October, 2016


The opening of school was busy and eventful at St. Charles Community Schools.  Students were excited to be back with friends and staff eagerly awaited their arrival.  As noted in the Back to School issue, we have some new administrators at St. Charles:

Mark Benson – Principal, St. Charles Elementary School

Shawna Groulx – Principal, Anna Thurston Middle School and Secondary Curriculum Director

Leon Larsen – Athletic Director and Community Center Coordinator

We are extremely excited to have them join the St. Charles Community Schools family.  Please feel free to stop in to see them and dialogue with them about ideas for our district.

Phase II of the bond project is is coming to a close and setting a grand opening date is just around the corner.  As reported this fall, our completion timeline was adjusted to meeting requirements for the warranty of the installation of the wood flooring; this requirement centered on the curing of the cement, which was affected by the humid summer season.  The performance gym floost-charles-performance-gymring has been installed and sealed now and we are now beginning the installation process for the bleachers.

We are also waiting on federal matching funds for some of our technology upgrades; this funding is for our increased wireless capability and infrastructure. Once these funds are received and the upgrades completed, we will move forwarded with the 1:1 technology initiative for high school and middle school students.  As we approach completion of the Community Center, we will schedule an Open House for the community to visit.

A general overview of the project includes:

  • Safety/Security: new security cameras in the hallways
  • Technology: assessing the needs for wireless expansion in all the buildings, and the addition of one-to-one initiative tablets, as well as updates to and/or new classroom projectors, document cameras, mobile carts, updated labs, etc. As for the 21st Century Learner piece, the proposal would help support the district’s current Project Based Learning and Leader in Me initiatives. The one-to-one tablets would be checked out to every student at the secondary level to assist with school studies
  • Athletics: Additional performance gym at the district, and bleachers inside the current middle school gym.
  • Building and grounds improvements:  drainage improvements to the athletic complex
  • Other building/grounds improvements include improvements to and/or adding new windows and doors, building entrance upgrades at the high school and elementary schools, and additional bus purchases
  • Additional projects: a digital sign at the school entrance, music lockers, and a new stage/drama curtain.

We are also excited to continue with the CTE/Math programming that was implemented a year ago.

  • Accelerated math at the middle school
  • Engineering class at the high school
  • Expansion of programming for our Broadcasting class including high definition and green screen technology
  • Robotics Club for secondary students

This fall we are offering a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) class at the middle school that is drawing rave reviews!!

Please resource our Facebook page, as we are highlighting our students and events on this page weekly.

As the trees turn and winter approaches, take time to enjoy the remaining beautiful fall days.  Good luck to our Bulldogs in the classroom and on the athletic fields as we approach the post-season.

With Bulldog Pride,
Michael R. Decker, Superintendent