"Supe's On"

10/4/19

We want to thank all the parents and guardians that recently attended our Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences!

Overall, we had an excellent turnout. This is great news, because kids need an adult that is interested and engaged in their education. Research demonstrates an engaged adult is important for a student’s success. Thank you to all those individuals attending conferences and actively participating in our children’s educational process. Your involvement, time, and effort is critical for student success.

With Parent-Teacher Conferences in the rearview mirror, there are some additional engagement strategies parents and guardians can use throughout the school year to promote the importance of education to a child:

·         Discuss your child's academics daily

·         Volunteer in the classroom

·         Model the importance of reading

·         Provide encouragement and positive feedback about your child's studies

·         Complete interactive homework assignments with your child

Engaging in a child’s education and encouraging the importance of learning is powerful. The active participation of an adult in a child's education leads to improved student outcomes, improved school behavior, and reduced absenteeism. Thank you to all our parents and guardians for actively engaging in their child's education. Together, we promote an excellent education for our kids.

 Go Lynx!

9/27/19

As School Attendance Awareness Month has ended, I want to thank our students and families for making school attendance a priority in the Brandon Valley School District.  Quality attendance is linked to increased rates in literacy, graduation, and improved student behavior. Every day – On-time. School attendance matters!    

Annually we need parents and guardians to conduct “Skyward Family Access Updates”. These updates are essential and ensure we have up-to-date contact information in case of an emergency, relevant student medical information, and parent permissions for field trips, off-site educational activities, internet usage, and publications. Please, if you have not completed the “Family Access Update”, do so at your earliest convenience to ensure your child’s information is accurate. Your attention and cooperation on this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you to all those that have successfully completed the update. Our staff appreciates your time and effort.

On October 14, there is no school for students in the Brandon Valley School District.  Our teachers will be participating in professional development. This time is critical as we work to make data driven decisions, build professional capacity, and increase teacher collaboration. In-service and the professional learning opportunities it provides our staff is a critical component of our academic calendar.

Important Calendar Dates

·         October 4 – No School

·         October 14 – No School

·         November 11 – No School

·         November 27-29 – No School

Go Lynx!

9/20/19 

Overall, the Brandon Valley School District’s accountability report card demonstrates the tremendous work being done by students and staff on a daily basis. The three main areas I would like to highlight are district-level data in English Language Arts (ELA) Proficiency, Math Proficiency, and On-time Graduation Rate. In addition to our district data, included within the chart is state level data in those three respective areas.

 

ELA Proficiency %

Math Proficiency %

Graduation Rate

Brandon Valley School District

72

66

96

South Dakota

54

46

84

For more information and to review all publically reported school and district level data, visit https://sdschools.sd.gov/#/home. In addition, a more detailed overview of school accountability data is included in the State of the Schools Address within the September 23 Board of Education Meeting recording available on the district’s website.

We should be very proud of our children and staff for the student outcomes being produced by our education system. In addition to our schools, supportive communities and actively engaged parents and guardians play a pivotal role in student achievement. It takes everyone, at every level to promote student success. As there is always room for growth and improvement, we should be very proud, not satisfied.

Mark your calendar for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held at the Intermediate School and Middle School on Monday, September 30 and at our Elementary Buildings and High School on Tuesday, October 1. We will hold regular days of school on Parent-Teacher Conferences and busses will run the normal schedule. Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences offer parents and guardians an opportunity to engage in critical conversation with teachers about their child’s educational programming. A child with an engaged adult in their academics is more likely to read at grade level, have appropriate school behavior, and graduate from high school. Your active participation in your child’s education is a key to their success. 

Lastly, a quick reminder there will be no school on Friday, October 4 and Monday, October 14.

Go Lynx! 

9/13/19

I would like to thank the Facilities Review Committee and the Brandon Valley Bond Promotion Committee for their efforts throughout our facility planning period.  The Facility Review Committee, a large dynamic and diverse group, reviewed and evaluated the facility needs and developed short and long-range plans for the BV School District.  The BV Bond Promotion Committee and its chair, Dr. Ryan Jepperson, and treasurer Amy Moss are to be commended for their commitment and work in communicating our facility needs to our community.

Further, I would like to thank every BV patron that exercised their civic duty and voted in the Special Bond Election on September 10.  Civic engagement is critical for society.  This is the reason it is an emphasis within our district’s Vision of a Graduate. We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support of our school bond issue.  89.4% of voters present supported the construction of a new elementary school and acquisition of land for a future educational facility, both of which are directly aligned to our long-range facility plan – BV Vision 2040.

The recent flooding event resulted in a unique situation for our district.  I greatly appreciate the Brandon Police Department, City of Brandon, Minnehaha County, and National Weather Service for the collaboration and communication while navigating the challenging situation.

An actively engaged adult is critical to the success of a child in school.  Our upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences provide an outstanding opportunity for parents and guardians to engage in meaningful dialogue regarding their child’s academic performance, progress, and behavior.

Our fall conferences are scheduled early enough in the year to address and plan for any potential concerns. Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held as follows:

·         Monday, September 30 – Intermediate/Middle School

·         Tuesday, October 1 – Elementary/High School

Together, we promote an excellent educational experience for our kids!

Go Lynx!

9/6/19 

In a child’s academic life – Every School Day Counts. To be an “Active Learner” and do it “The Lynx Way” students must have consistent and regular attendance. The benefits of great attendance extend far past a child’s current year of schooling. September is Attendance Awareness Month.

Research studies demonstrate the strong relationship between student attendance and student achievement. Chronic absenteeism, defined as 2 school days per month or 18 days for the year, has been directly correlated to deficiency in student reading. Specifically, Kindergarten and 1st grade students who are chronically absent are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade. This finding holds significant value because 3rd grade reading proficiency is a strong indicator of a student being a grade-level reader throughout their entire academic career.

Additional research findings demonstrate a non-proficient 3rd grade reader is four times more likely to drop out of high school. While further examining the importance of attendance, a recent study found that 9th grade attendance was significantly correlated to high school graduation. 

School Attendance and Student Achievement – Key Research Findings:

·         A strong relationship exists between attendance and achievement

·         Chronic absenteeism is connected to student deficiency in reading

·         K/1st grade students chronically absent are much less likely to be proficient readers by the end of 3rd grade

·         3rd grade reading proficiency is a strong indicator of future reading proficiency

·         Non-proficient 3rd grade readers are four times more likely to drop out of high school

·         9th grade attendance has a significant correlation to high school graduation

To make it as simple as possible, school attendance at every age matters. Every school day counts. Making school attendance a priority today will positively impact your child tomorrow. Thank you for making school attendance a priority!

Go Lynx!

8/29/19

As projected, student growth has occurred and is an extremely positive factor within our district. Our current enrollment is over 4,435 students, with an increase of approximately 185 students from last fall. Our growth projections were spot on and this effective planning allows us to proactively manage our student numbers. Across the board, school enrollments are strong and we have building capacity space for additional numbers in the near future.

In proactive preparation for our future enrollment growth and as outlined within the Brandon Valley Facilities Review Plan, we are seeking our BV Community to approve of a bond for the construction of an elementary school and the purchase of 21 acres of land for a future facility on Tuesday, September 10. Both items included within the bond are directly aligned to BV VISION 2040, our long-range facility plan. The complete report is available on our district webpage.  

Effective communications with the parents and guardians of the Brandon Valley School District requires that we maintain accurate and up-to-date household contact information. In addition to contact information, the Skyward Family Access Update also includes the various parent permissions that are required annually. We are asking all parents and guardians to complete the Skyward Family Access Update prior to Friday, September 6. We greatly appreciate your timely cooperation and completion of this important task.

Go Lynx!

8/23/19

We are off and running. Overall, we have had a strong start to the school year. We greatly appreciate our parents and guardians understanding and patience as we navigate the road construction season and start of school. In addition, a special thank you to the Brandon Police Department for the strong presence and patrol of our school zones during a.m. and p.m. drop-off. Our law enforcement’s presence and assistance in our efforts to keep students safe is greatly appreciated.

Student enrollment in BV is up and further emphasizes our need to build an additional elementary school building. On September 10, we are looking for the Brandon Valley community to pass a bond issue that will fund the building of an elementary school on 41st Street and Sparta Avenue, as well as the purchase of 21 acres of land that will be utilized for a future school site. I would emphasize the following key points to our patrons regarding the upcoming School Bond Election:

·         School District Need

·         No Property Tax Increase

·         Previous Boundary Adjustments To Effectively Utilize Current Facilities

 School District Need. The Brandon Valley School District has and continues to experience manageable student growth. In the last decade, BV has grown by more than 1,000 students. This consistent student growth drives the need for an additional school facility.

No Property Tax Increase. Robert Bennis Elementary will be coming off the tax rolls in July 2020. The proposed bond will have the same, or slightly less, impact on the school tax levy.

Previous Boundary Adjustments To Effectively Utilize Current Facilities. As Fred Assam was quickly approaching capacity, we altered our elementary boundary lines to move some student enrollment from Fred Assam Elementary to Brandon Elementary. This action allowed us to delay the need for a school bond for one year. Stewardship of our patrons’ tax dollars is always a priority and effectively utilizing our available space is critical to our stewardship. 

Informational School Bond Sessions will be held on the following dates / locations.

·         August 27 – Fred Assam PTA Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

·         August 27 – Robert Bennis Elementary @ 6:30 p.m.

·         August 27 - BVHS Community Room – Open House 6:30 p.m.

·         August 29 – Valley Springs Elementary @ 7:00 p.m.

·         September 3 – Fred Assam Elementary Meeting @ 6:30 p.m.

·         September 3 – Costello Apartments @ 8:00 p.m.

·         September 5 – Brandon Elementary @ 6:30 p.m.

Go Lynx!

8/17/19

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! As the start of school is upon us, excitement is in the air and we are thrilled to have our Lynx back in the classroom!

The Brandon Valley School District continues to utilize our district-wide character program “The Lynx Way” to promote positive student behaviors and instill the fundamental traits we want in all students. Creating consistency and common language throughout our schools supports positive behavior intervention systems and promotes easier transitions between school buildings. We encourage all parents, guardians, and patrons to utilize the common language and engage with our kids on the importance of being respectful, responsible, safe, kind, and active learners.

 With students back at school, there is a tremendous increase in pedestrian, bicycle, school bus, and vehicle traffic within our communities. School zones are high traffic areas, especially during the a.m. drop-off and p.m. pick-up. For our children’s safety, please slow-down, take your time, and observe all traffic laws and signage. It is critical that motorists are attentive and exercise extreme caution when in school zones. In addition, speaking with your child about pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle safety rules is an important component of student safety.  

If your child is riding the school bus, please talk with them about bus riding etiquette and appropriate behavior.  When the bus approaches the bus stop, stay back and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop. Once onboard, students are to remain seated at all times and conduct themselves in an orderly fashion. Appropriate behavior on the bus is critical to student safety.  

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in helping keep our kids safe. Together, we promote student safety.

Go Lynx!

 

8/9/19

The bus pass purchase deadline has come and gone. I want to extend a GIANT THANK YOU to all the families that met the cutoff date. Your timely cooperation was critically important to our planning and preparation as we work to transport nearly 2,000 students daily within the Brandon Valley School District. With bus passes purchased, the start of school and student activities are right around the corner.

Parents and guardians are invited and encouraged to attend their child’s open house. The open houses are scheduled as follows:

Brandon Valley Open Houses provide an opportunity for students and parents to meet teachers, tour facilities and classrooms, and ask any questions they may have. In addition, attending your child’s open house can help establish the lines of communication, ease anxiety, and create a positive tone for the school year. We look forward to seeing our Lynx at their respective open house!

Whether it be Marching & Melon Madness on August 23 or an up-coming sporting event, I would strongly encourage our patrons to come out and enjoy a student activity performance. Our students and staff work extremely hard to prepare for performances and competitions. When in attendance, we ask that all spectators conduct themselves in a positive and sportsman-like manner. Little eyes are upon all of us. We must model the behaviors we want to see. We look forward to another great year of Lynx activities. 

Go Lynx!

8/2/19

With August 21 slated as our first day of school, there are a wide variety of improvement and maintenance projects being finalized in the next couple of weeks. Whether they are roofing projects, parking lot improvements, asphalt repair, or ceiling and lighting improvements, we are constantly working to ensure that our children have quality facilities and learning environments. As aligned to the district’s strategic plan in the area of “Facilities and Operations,” maintenance and facility improvements, in addition to larger scale construction projects, are essential as we work to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments.

As summer break is coming to an end, I cannot help but be impressed at the quantity and quality of work done by our Custodial, Building & Grounds, and Maintenance Staffs. Over the last few short months in preparation for the coming school year, these valued individuals have maintained, prepped, and cleaned the over one million square feet of school buildings within the Brandon Valley School District. Their valuable role makes providing a great education possible. Great work and thank you!

As parents and guardians begin to prepare for the coming school year, it is important to engage our kids in the stranger-danger conversation. Engaging our children on the topic is a proactive measure and supports your child’s safe commute to and from school. Kids need to be aware, cautious, and prepared for their school commute. Together, we promote student safety.

Lastly, do not forget to purchase your bus passes by the August 7 deadline. The deadline must be met for your child to be able to ride district transportation the first two weeks of school. Safely and successfully transporting nearly 2,000 children daily requires substantial planning.

Go Lynx!

7/24/19

With the school year approaching, a wide-variety of fall extracurricular activities are beginning or slated to begin in the coming weeks. I would strongly encourage all students to get involved. Participating in an extracurricular activity has tremendous benefits.  Research studies have demonstrated that students involved in extracurricular activities have higher rates of academic achievement and are more likely to graduate from high school.

In addition to the academic benefits, extracurricular activities teach valuable life lessons such as commitment, teamwork, leadership, and the acceptance of a role. Encourage a child’s participation - Activities are a critical component of providing a well-rounded education. 

If you are interested in the coming school year’s activities, the 2019-2020 Master Activities Calendar is a valuable resource for activities and dates. It can be found on our district’s homepage (www.brandonvalleyschools.com). Located under the “Calendar” tab is a centrally located document that outlines the year’s activities. As always, schedules are subject to change, but the activities calendar provides great information on all the district’s activities.

Lastly, do not forget to purchase your bus passes. The deadline to get your child’s bus pass is August 7.  The deadline must be met for your child to be able to ride district transportation the first two weeks of school. Thank you for your timely cooperation as we plan and prepare for the start of school.

Important Up-coming Dates:

·         Wednesday, August 7 – Bus Pass Purchase Deadline

·         Monday, August 19 – Elementary School Open Houses

·         Tuesday, August 20 – Intermediate School Open House

·         Tuesday, August 20 –  Middle School Open House

·         Wednesday, August 21 – 1st Day of School

·         Wednesday, August 21 – High School Open House

 Go Lynx!

 

7/19/19

At the July Board of Education Meeting, the Brandon Valley School Board authorized an election to issue general obligation school bonds for the purpose of constructing an elementary school and acquiring land. With Robert Bennis Elementary coming off the tax roll, we do not anticipate an increase in property taxes with the addition of this bond. Pending a successful bond election, $16.25 million will be utilized to construct an elementary school at 41st Street and Sparta Avenue and $750,000 will be utilized for land acquisition for a future school facility. The school bond election will be held on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Absentee voting begins July 26, 2019 at the Brandon Valley Administration Center.

The long-range facility vision of our district is outlined in BV VISION 2040 and is included within the 2018 Facilities Review Committee Report. It provides a highly viable approach to meeting the needs and future growth challenges facing our district. Recently, the Brandon Valley Board of Education approved two purchase agreements for land acquisitions that are directly aligned to BV VISION 2040. Looking to the future, the location north of Madison and west of Veterans Parkway (Highway 100), will serve as a West Side Elementary. The location, south of 41st Street and west of Sparta Avenue, will serve as a South Intermediate School.

There is a critical deadline approaching that parents and guardians must be aware of. The deadline to get your child’s bus pass is August 7th. The deadline must be met for your child to be able to ride the bus the first two weeks of school. If your child will be riding the bus, please purchase your bus pass on-line at the webmall or at the transportation facility prior to the August 7th deadline. There will be a Transportation Open House at the Brandon Valley Transportation Facility from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30 and Monday, August 5. Contact information for bus pass purchase is provided below:

Brandon Valley Transportation Facility
812 E. Redwood BLVD
Brandon, SD 57005
605-582-3514

https://bv.revtrak.net/ (webmall internet address)

We greatly appreciate your timely cooperation as we work to safely and successfully transport over 2,000 children daily throughout the school year.

Go Lynx!

7/5/19

With the 4th of July gone, the start of another school year is quickly approaching. However, it is not too late for students to set and meet a Summer Reading Goal. Like all goals - If you put it off until tomorrow, it will never come! I want to send a giant shout-out to all our Lynx that have already met their Summer Reading Goal. Great job – Keep reading the rest of the summer!

For all those families new to the Brandon Valley School District – Welcome! Contact Jennifer Swenson at the Central Office for school enrollment information. Our first day of school for the 2019-2020 school year is Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The 2019-2020 Academic Calendar is available on the district homepage under the “Calendar” tab.

There is a critical deadline approaching that parents and guardians must be aware of.  The deadline to get your child’s bus pass is August 7th.  The deadline must be met for your child to be able to ride the bus the first two weeks of school.  If your child will be riding the bus, please purchase your bus pass on-line at the webmall or at the transportation facility prior to the August 7th deadline. Contact information for bus pass purchase is provided below:

Brandon Valley Transportation Facility
812 E. Redwood BLVD
Brandon, SD 57005
605-582-3514

https://bv.revtrak.net/ (webmall internet address)

We greatly appreciate your timely cooperation as we work to safely and successfully transport over 2,000 children daily throughout the school year. Thank you for your timely cooperation on the purchase of bus passes.

Go Lynx!

6/21/19

As hard as it is to believe, nearly a month of the Summer Break has flown by in the blink of an eye. It is not too late for our children to avoid the “summer slide” and meet their Lynx Summer Reading Goal.

Summer reading matters and a few key tips for successful summer reading include:

·         Set a summer reading goal

·         Make it fun – Invite a friend to the library

·         Match interest and ability in selected books

·         Read every day

Make leisure reading a component of your child’s summer routine to help ensure they do not incur summer learning loss and catch a ride down the “summer slide”!

I want to extend a special thank you to Brandon Valley Board of Education member Mr. Cary Schroeder for his effort, commitment, and servant leadership over the past six years. The children of our school district have greatly benefitted from his work, especially in the areas of student safety, buildings and grounds, and personnel welfare. Mr. Schroeder has played a valuable role at the board and committee level within the Brandon Valley School District. Thank you Cary, for all that you have done!

On a special note, our FY20 Budget Hearing and Annual Organizational Meeting will be held on Monday, July 15, 2019. The budget hearing will be held at 6:00 p.m. with the board of education meeting to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Go Lynx!

6/7/19

The Summer Break is off and running! Between ball games, the pool, and bike rides do not forget to find a great book! The “summer slide” for students can be avoided through leisure reading. The Kids and Family Reading Report found that 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they pick out themselves. Brandon Valley students reaching their summer reading goal are eligible for a Pizza Ranch Buffet and County Fair gift card, in addition to the Siouxland Library Summer Reading Program grand prize drawing.

Brandon Valley Summer Reading Goals:

·         Grades JK-4: 600 Minutes

·         Grades 5-12: 5 Books

LYNX: Get to a library – Find a book – Enjoy a leisure read! Students can join us for the Lynx Summer Reading Program at the Brandon Elementary Library on June 12. Story time will be at 10:45 and book checkout from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Reading Logs to document successful completion of a child’s reading goal are available at Brandon Elementary during the Lynx Summer Reading Program or online at the Siouxland Library website. 

In the event you are planning for the up-coming school year, you can find the 2019-2020 school calendar on our district website under the “Calendar” tab. The district’s master activity calendar is scheduled to be released later this summer. In addition, for all those families new to the Brandon Valley School District – Welcome! Contact Jennifer Swenson at the Central Office for 2019-2020 school enrollment information.

Go Lynx! 

5/31/19

As a school district, we utilize summer to deep-clean facilities, perform building maintenance, conduct upgrades, and continue working through construction projects. I would like to thank our custodial and maintenance staff for their valuable work during the summer break. They perform the necessary prep work that helps provide our students with quality learning environments that result in success.

We have a few substantial projects scheduled for the coming months. A large asphalt project is scheduled for the new parking lot adjacent to and behind the Administration Center, which is near BVHS. In addition, Robert Bennis Elementary carpet will be replaced and BVMS will have roof work completed. Along with those major projects, we will have many smaller building maintenance projects taking place this summer. Please, stay out of construction areas and obey all safety signage.  We appreciate your attention to these safety precautions.

The 2019-20 preliminary budget presentation is available on the Business Office webpage. The presentation outlines our projected $47 million dollar budget. In addition to an overview of each fund, the document outlines formula calculations, enrollment information, and relevant historical budget data. A special thank you to Business Manager Paul Lundberg and his staff for their outstanding work on this annual project.  

This spring’s last student activity will wrap-up on June 3 and 4 as our Lynx Girls Golf Team heads to the SDHSAA AA Girls State Golf Tournament in Watertown at Cattail Crossing Golf Course. Best of luck Coach Geerdes and Lynx Golfers.

Go Lynx!

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