September 2016

September, 2016-17 School Year

We have had a terrific beginning to the 2016-17 school year. It is essential that each of our students has a positive start each year and I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand the smiles and excitement of our students and staff as they leap into the learning process.  I’d like to publicly thank our teachers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, cooks, bus drivers, and principal for making this such a positive start for our students!

Bus routes typically take a week or two to run efficiently at the start of the year, but this year’s routes have run smoothly for the first week.  Safety is always our priority, both on the buses and throughout the school day. We appreciate our parents understanding that it takes a little longer this time of year to ensure that each of our younger students are either on the correct bus, walking home, or being picked up.

In regards to the recent developments on school finance, Governor Brownback has announced that he wants input from educators, parents, administrators and stakeholders to develop a new school finance plan that empowers teachers, improves student outcomes, and is sustainable and easy to understand. If you would like to give the Governor some feedback, you can submit inputs to StudentsFirst@ks.gov by Nov. 30. His office indicated he would make public the submissions after the deadline.

While seeking comment from a broad spectrum, Brownback wrote letters to 50 organizations to seek their input as well. These include education organizations, such as KASB, USA, KNEA, KSSA, education services centers and a number of specific school districts. It also included groups such as Kansas Policy Institute, Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Chapter of Americans for Prosperity and national “think tanks.  Governor Brownback said it’s up to the Legislature on how much to fund schools and that the question of making tax changes is a matter always open to discussion.  In addition, Brownback softened his rhetoric on schools, saying that the amount spent on schools “rightfully” constitutes half the state budget and that Kansas schools are “among the best in the nation.”

I couldn’t be more excited about learning opportunities that lie ahead of us this year! District 223 teachers, staff, and administrators are grateful to have parents like you as partners in the educational process!  I feel blessed to work in such a great district with caring and dedicated staff, supportive parents, and great students. I'm very proud of what we do here in USD 223. I continue to hear positive comments about our school system not only locally, but all over the state by fellow colleagues! 

Brian Cordel, USD223 Superintendent of Schools