I continue to do COVID testing for staff, students, and their family members at the District Office. It is very unpredictable when it will be busy so every day unfolds differently. We have tested over 200 people with only 16 tests returning positive results. Every negative test allows a student or staff member to return to work quickly and the positive tests allow us to quickly contact trace and quarantine as necessary. Positive results have to be addressed quickly so nights and weekends sometimes can be busy with phone calls.
This time of year I also process retirements and resignations. Contracts to our certificated staff were sent last week and are due back June 1. If a staff member has been hired elsewhere or is moving out of the area this is often the time we see resignation forms returned.
I continue to process FMLA, shared leave requests, and reasonable accommodation requests. I work with employees so they know what options are available to them and communicate with payroll to ensure everyone it impacts is notified.
Lastly, I am involved in helping plan for the end-of-year celebration and the New Educator’s Training in August. Our end-of-the-year celebration has a Hawaiian theme, it will be held outside and staff will be served boxed lunches to limit exposure. It will be wonderful to take a moment to celebrate the hard work so many have put in to make this year a success. We will honor retirees and our employees of excellence. Pins honoring seniority will be sent to the buildings prior to the celebration. We have twelve employees retiring this year and we have eight employees who have worked for the district for 30 years or more!
New Educator Training is an important and intentional part of our welcoming new educators to Woodland Public Schools. Our district participates in the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) program which is led by Malinda Huddleston. As we welcome newly hired certificated staff we recognize that the first part of the year can be challenging especially if this is their first year teaching. The New Educator Training week allows beginning educators to participate in an instructional orientation before their teaching responsibilities begin and this support continues throughout the year with a mentor. They spend several days in their building with their administrators and preparing their classroom.