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Tiger Cub Beat0914113

The school year is off to a great start! It has been a joy to welcome back all the returning students and to say hello to those fresh kindergarten faces and those new to the district.

I will be sharing school happenings in the Morris Sun Tribune on the second Saturday of each month and am grateful for the opportunity to keep you updated on the exciting events occurring in our building. I do want to make it clear that this is your school — and I encourage you to contact us at your convenience so that we may meet your needs in any way possible.

Please be aware that the new school website (same address: is a great spot to gather information and we are working hard to make this a one-stop place. Among many things, you will find:

• Teacher pages sharing lesson plans, schedules, assignments, key events, etc.

• "Tiger Cub News" (published the last day of each month)

• An updated calendar of important events, formal assessments, etc.

• Necessary forms

• School employee contact information

• Information regarding your child's grades and attendance

1. Great news! On July 1 we received word that Morris Area was awarded an ADSIS position for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. The purpose of ADSIS is to provide direct instruction and services to K-3 students who may need additional academic and behavioral supports to succeed in the general education environment and who may eventually qualify for special education if the prevention services were not available. Lori Boettcher will be working in this role — and as a result — you will note we have hired Emily Dalen as a new first grade teacher.

2. The Minnesota Department of Revenue reminds parents to save their school supply receipts. There are two tax options that help Minnesota families pay expenses related to their child's education. See information about the refundable K-12 education credit and the K-12 education subtraction on the Department of Revenue website at Both programs reduce the tax parents must pay and could provide a larger refund when filing a 2013 MN Individual Income Tax Return.

3. Morris Area Schools fully supports military service members and their families. To best provide this support we are asking your help in identifying all military families in our district. Please contact our office by phone or email if you are a current member of the military (active, reserve, or National Guard).

4. A huge thanks for all your support when shopping at Target stores! The elementary school recently received a check for $2406.36.

5. The Morris Area School District has 15 overhead projectors, six TV's, one VCR/DVD player, one VCR player, and 16 wheeled carts -- with power cords attached -- to sell. Please help spread the word or make any offer. Contact Cork at 320-589-1250 at the office if you are interested.

6. Help keep our children safe and stop for school buses. Laws exist to protect children getting on and off the bus AND to protect you from a tragedy.

• School bus stop arm laws for motorists: When approaching a stop the school bus will turn on the yellow warning lights first. That means PREPARE TO STOP. When the bus comes to a stop it will turn on the red flashing warning lights and the stop arm will come out. Motorists coming to a school bus from any direction must stop 20 feet from the bus when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the stop arm. These signals show that children are getting on or off the school bus. Vehicles may not pass until the flashing red lights and signals are turned off. Drivers traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. Never pass on the right side of the bus, where children enter or exit. This is illegal and can have tragic results. Violation of these laws can result in a citation and fines not less than $300. School bus drivers must report passing vehicles!

7. Tyson Foods is offering schools 24 cents for each "Project A+ Support Your School" logo. Please help support Morris Area Schools by collecting these and turning them in to the elementary office. See for more information.

8. This past spring our fourth grade students (current fifth grade), along with music teacher Barb Wilts and musician Mark Kreitzer wrote a song. The song, "Morris is Awesome" was recorded by Mr. Kreitzer and posted online at

9. With the start of a new school year I would like to share our 2013-2014 MAES goals. They are:

• All students will meet or exceed projected growth targets in the areas of reading and math. Concentrating on growth demonstrates a commitment to seeing ALL students learn — regardless of ability. Actions to support this goal include a focus on data analysis, increased staff collaboration, and ongoing reflection regarding effective instructional strategies

• All students and staff will strive for a safe and secure school climate, showing respect for each other and the environment. Actions supporting this goal include ongoing implementation of the MOSAIC and Olweus programs, student leadership support, and consistent staff follow through.

10. Please consider joining the M.A.E.S. Family School Partnership. The Family School Partnership was established by a group of interested parents who were seeking to not only help out more in our school, but also to join together to provide support and encouragement to other parents and our teachers. Email for more information.

11. Data collection is a key part of the educational process. We are constantly monitoring student achievement in an ongoing effort to determine if we are adequately meeting student needs. We want all children to be successful and show growth — so when you hear terms such as AIMSweb, NWEA, IGDI, and MCA — know that they are some of the tools we use to ensure every child is making progress. If you would like more details on any of these assessments, do not hesitate to contact me.

12. Morris Area Schools will be having an evacuation and relocation drill taking place on Monday, Oct. 14, at approximately 1:30 p.m. This will be a structured opportunity for students to practice evacuating off campus and to experience what would happen in the event we were not able to return to school immediately. All students will be walking to the RFC and staff will provide supervision. It is anticipated the drill will last 45-60 minutes. The drill is part of our normal safety planning and helps us sift through potential problem areas in the event of a true emergency. If you would take time to discuss safety planning with your children, it would be greatly appreciated. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Ken Gagner at Morris Area Schools at 320-589-1250.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 16: 5 to 6:30 p.m. -- Elem. Parent Night

Sept. 16: 6 to 7:30 p.m. -- H.S. Parent Night

Sept. 16: Fall NWEA testing begins

Sept. 16-20: Homecoming Week (see school calendar)

Sept. 26: Fifth grade Conservation Day at SWELL

Oct. 9: School Starts 2 hours late / Picture Retakes

Oct.17-18: Fall Break