• Lessons Learned from another Move

    Posted by William Walters on 3/5/2021 4:00:00 PM

         When you take your family place to place over the course of several years moving can become pretty ordinary to a family. My two oldest were Juniors when we came to Alta-Aurelia. Gabe and Ella will both graduate from here this coming May. They have changed schools several times because of my career in school administartion. Anytime I was looking at possibly moving I always asked them and the rest of the famil what they thought of having to potentially move again. They have always been supportive  of our changes. We have four children at home. Gabe & Ella are Seniors, Alisha is in sixth grade, and Kathryn is in third grade. This move has been exceptionally diificult for the twins. Largely because of grade they are in. Friendships have long been established and new faces aren't always naturally welcome. This can be found in most schools. 

         My younger children seem to role with the changes a great deal easier. Younger children are way more accepting to a new face in the class. If you're ever considering a move to a new community, make sure your kids are prepared for what comes next. Especially if you have high school age children. We don't regret the moves we've made over the years. However, my wife Elizabeth and I should of done a better job preparing our children for the realities that come with a major move. We needed to listen more and talk less to our kids. Your children will let you know how they really feel in time, but you have to be ready to listen. As children get older, divisions start to form with peer groups. This is a naturally progression of school age children. Asking your kids to find a new peer group because of a move you initiated is much more challenging then we adults think. 

         Being accepted by your peers in school is something every child wants. For some, it comes very easy. For most it is a challenge everyday. Your children may be telling you one thing, but feeling something completely different. Please be aware of that if your moving or going through any major family change. They need you to listen and ask them how they are feeling. What we as adults think they can handle can in reality be very different. 

     

     

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  • One Year Anniversary of COVID--19 Approaches

    Posted by William Walters on 2/23/2021 4:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon

    A great deal has happened since the last time I was able to Blog with our school district stakeholders. COVID-19 has been in our lives for almost a year now. Much has changed over the course of the last year in regards to the pandemic. Most recently, Our staff has had round one of the COVI-19 vaccine. The second round will be on March 19th. 

         The good news through all of this is we have been in school so far for the entire 2020-2021 school year. We accomplished this by requiring masks and our staff and students remaining diligent with the safety protocols that have been put in place. We will continue these protocols until the end of the school year. It has been stressful and tiring for everyone in our school community. We continue to move forward with student learning our main concern. In April we will have our first standardized tests in two years. Many don't believe we need these tests becausevote of confidence fro they may not be valid. Valid or not, we would like another measure on where our students stand academically. I'm not a standardized test advocate right now. , but a snapshot of where we are in regards to student achievement is needed. 

         If you have an opportunity to thank any of our staff, please make a point of doing that. They have earned a special thanks this year. They have tried new things and worked under stressful conditions. Workinf with kids can be challenging, but the addition of a worldwide pandemc put stress on a different level 

         Student needs will always come first at A-A. That is been a constant this entire year. We are determined to come out of this better than when it began. 

         

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  • Alta Elementary Playground

    Posted by William Walters on 2/28/2020 4:00:00 PM

        I wanted to take a moment to talk about a project that we are undertaking hoprfully by this summer. The Alta Elementary playground is starting to show its years of service. From a distance it looks very noce. As you look closer you can see that the castle shaped structure is showing the 20+ years of service it has given the children of this community. Most of the structure is made of wood. and over time wood cracks and splinters. NW Iowa winters do not help the life of a wood structure as many of you know with your decks off your homes. It is getting to the point that it's going to be unsafe for play. That means the old structure will need to be removed and a new structure built. The cost of a project like that can cost between $250,000 and $350,000. 

         A committee has been formed to to taking on the task of raising money for this project. A dance and silent auction is being held at the Alta Community Center tommorow night with the proceed going to the construction of a new playground at Alta Elementary. This will not be the only event in to raise money for the playground. It certainly sounds like a great deal of fun and I thank our committe and everyone that has helped with this event. Please give generously.

         What makes a school playground in small town Iowa so special? It's really more than a playground for school hours. It's a place for children to play outside of school hours and during the summer. Young parents and grandparents take their children to play there during these times. I here many people talk how our children play to many video games. A nice school playground gives kids a place to play outside!!!! A nice playground sends a message to people looking to relocate to our community. The message is that we care about our children. 

    The new playground is an investment into the present and future of Alta. The old playground setup was an excellent investment. It served this community well. We need to retire it and move on to the next phase. I am proud to be a member of this community. You can only see the possibilities that are out there for our future. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support of this project.

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  • What is Your Purpose?

    Posted by William Walters on 2/21/2020 8:00:00 AM

       I have always tried to have a blog since I became an administrator. It helped me keep people informed and up to date on what was going on in my office during the school year and also during the summer. I tried to write about things that were going on at the state and national level that would be important to the district I worked in. With this blog, I will attempt to do the same for Alta-Aurelia. 

         If you have made the choice to become an educator, I would be interested in what made decide to go that direction with your life. So much negativity associated with becoming a teacher anymore. I think more people try to talk students out of becoming ateacher then ever before. My Niece was a good student in high school and enjoyed working with kids. Her mother was a thirty year elementary teacher. Gues who talked my niece out of being a teacher? My sister, the thirty year teaching veteran. My story is more common now more than ever. This type of thinking has created a teacher shortage in many areas. 

         Many of you got into teaching for various reasons. Never be afraid to share your what or why you decided to become a teacher. I was a special education teacher back in the day. I couldn't believe I was getting paid to teach and coach. I loved working with my students and players. It was a very special time in my life. For once in my life I felt like I was making a difference in this very complicated world. Teaching also revealed my purpose in life. Helping kids succeed! It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Working in education helped me start living my life with purpose. 

         I have many friends working in the private sector when I started teaching. T say the least, they were making a great deal more money then I was. Most of them tolerated the jobs they were in. I loved what I was doing and it showed. Many became envious of me. Sure, I could of used a better paycheck, but to wake up in the morning and do something you love can come with a price. 

    Building relationships with my students was a joy in my life. Seeing them improve and grow was a feeling I will never forget. Few careers in this world give you feedback on the difference you are making inn the world like teaching. I hope thaat you all feel the same way. You have to remmber the what and why you chose the path of educator once in a while. All of you as teachers are making a difference that few get to experience. 

    Why did I leave teaching for administration? Well, that is a post for another day! Have a great day!

     

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