Hazelwood Honors Central Track Teams; Board Gets Quarterly Reports on Key Plans

By Jeremy Thomas

The recent Hazelwood school board meeting brought together a big crowd of patron and community support to discuss several major topics and events happening around the area.

Special guests were the Hazelwood Central boys and Girls track team.  Both teams captured a State Championship title this year; the boys continued their dominance throughout the track landscape as they won their fourth consecutive state title. The girls, on the other hand, made a bit of a history statement this year as they won their first state title since 1988. Both teams were met with a standing ovation at the meeting.

The meeting continued with Supt. Grayling Tobias presenting a quarterly update from the learning leadership team. He mentioned that team members were a little concerned regarding student achievements throughout area schools, so he described ways to improve student achievement.

The academic achievement focuses on: English Language Arts, Learning Leadership Team Walk throughs, and Assessment Literacy and Compelling Conversations. Tobias added that the remodeling of the three Hazelwood High Schools is well underway and going smoothly.

Following this update was a presentation from the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology by Ed Tate who provided the board with his team’s mission and vision for success.

“We are a collaborative learning community guided by a relentless focus to ensure each student achieves maximum growth,” Tate said. He also mentioned that the team vision is that HSD will foster lifelong learners, productive citizens and responsible leaders for an ever-evolving society.

Tate explained several processes that the HSD envisions for a technology rich environment for all schools. Those processes include having every classroom/instructional unit becoming a high performance center utilizing modern technologies. Along with this, HSD wants every educational professional to be proficient in applying technological skills and integrating technology into the teaching and learning process.

The last process is to make sure the evaluation of technology implementation in the instructional program demonstrates improved student achievement.

A update on Professional Development was presented by Assistant Superintendent for Learning Crystal Reiter. She discussed three areas the district wants to improve on throughout schools. They included English Language Arts, Assessment Literacy and Compelling Conversations.

Julia Thorpe, assistant superintendent for Student Services provided an interesting look into the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Sustainability Plan. The plan consisted of five separate elements, which included steps such as Positive Behavior Intervention and Support, Bully Prevention, Scholastic Reading Inventory, Therapy and Counseling services, Psychiatric Services and Mentoring Services.

Thorpe also presented a school safety update, along with safety changes that will soon take effect around the district. The safety updates were a revised dangerous intruder procedure, revised school emergency operations manual, and training HSD staff on alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate (ALICE) training.

The safety changes that will take effect at the end of this month will include interior classroom door numbering, exterior existing door numbering, and key fobs for teachers. Along with these changes will be window numbering, silent alarm system for intruders, remote locking device for the learning center doors and intruder lock door handles. The total cost for these changes will run close to $450,000 with part of the money being provided by the Safe Schools healthy student grant the HSD received in 2008.

Dwight L. Lindhorst assistant superintendent Finance & Facilities Finance and Margaret A. Koenig director of Accounting & Finance presented a very lengthy budget report. The core of the information mentioned that Hazelwood’s operating fund balances as of the end of June, 2013 will be $76 million. The fund balance for June, 2014 will be represent 35% of the 2013-2014 budgeted operating expenses or about four months of expenditures.

In a message to the board Lindhorst expressed his vision for the funding.

“Sound financial and business management provides the tools to maximize the needed resources to achieve our educational goals without distraction,” Lindhorst said

“We are most grateful for the loyalty and support of our taxpayers, the vision of the Board of Education, the dedication and hard work of our fellow employees, and the success of our students,” Lindhorst and Koeing said

“We promise in return to thoughtfully and prudently spend the funds entrusted to our management and care,” Lindhorst and Koeing said.

The long meeting was packed with a lot of useful information and provided the public with a sense of what is going on around the district. There were no Patron questions at the end of the meeting.


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