Superintendent’s Corner …Back-to-School Gears Up!

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over and that the start of the 2023-24 school year is just around the corner. It’s been a busy summer at MAPS as we prepare for the school year. Staff hiring continues to take place as we search for the best employees, our custodial and maintenance staff are working hard getting our buildings ready to go for our students, and bus routes are being finalized. Fall sports teams and the Marching Jays have started showing up for practices and rehearsals and, before you know it, we’ll be back in session.
Last school year presented us with some significant challenges, particularly in terms of our budget. However, I assure you that we will be doing our very best to provide our students with the best learning opportunities we can within the budget constraints in which we operate. Examples include a continued support to provide our students with the necessary technology and resources they need such as classroom BenQ displays and Chromebooks. In addition, we have been aggressive in seeking grant funding to assist with Youth Apprenticeship and Business Co-op staffing. Merrill has very good schools, and we all intend to keep it that way for our students and our community.
Jefferson Elementary facilities study update
As many of you are aware, Jefferson Elementary has remained vacant since the district consolidated elementary schools a few years ago. This consolidation took place to gain efficiencies in our instructional practices while ensuring that MAPS remains good stewards of taxpayer money.
There has been a fair amount of interest in the future of Jefferson school over the past year, so last spring we began a full study of all of our facilities–including Jefferson school–with the goal of making the best use of our best facilities. Throughout the spring and summer, four community focus groups took place to gather input, from anyone who wished to participate, regarding the future of all of our facilities. These focus groups provided a great deal of community insight, and I appreciate everyone who took part in that process. From the work of those focus groups, a number of scenarios were developed, and this fall we will be sending out a survey to everyone in the community to gather your input and feedback regarding the future of our buildings. More information will be coming in a future Superintendent’s Corner, as I feel it is very important that everyone has a say in our community schools. In the meantime, Jefferson will continue to remain closed as an elementary school and will be used, on a limited basis, for community groups, staff training, etc. until the facility study is completed.
Substitute teachers wanted
Many school districts have had challenges finding substitute teachers over the past few years, and MAPS is no exception. If you are looking for interesting work, the flexibility to decide when and where you work, and want to help our young people get amazing learning experiences, consider being a substitute teacher. Subs can work as many or as few days as they wish, get paid a competitive daily salary, and work “parent friendly hours.” If you are interested in learning more about becoming a substitute teacher, please call Rebecca Brown at 715.536.4581, ext. 10019. Our students would certainly benefit from your expertise, and our district and community would be very grateful for your service.
Shannon Murray

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