Thursday, August 27, 2015

York Dukes CRUSH the ACT in 2015

The York Dukes have a long history of performing very well on the ACT. This year is no different!

The ACT assessment has proven to be an indication of the extent of which students are prepared for college-level work. York Public Schools is VERY proud to announce that our 2015 ACT score profile has been released and our numbers are well above the state and national averages!

-- York Dukes had an average ACT English score of 22.6 while the state avg. was 21.1
-- York Dukes had an average ACT Math score of 22.0 while the state avg. was 21.0
-- York Dukes had an average ACT Reading score of 22.7 while the state avg. was 21.9
-- York Dukes had an average ACT Science score of 22.4 while the state avg. was 21.6
-- York Dukes had an average ACT Composite score of 22.5 while the state avg. was 21.5

** The “Composite” score serves as an “overall” score that summarizes your total score in all curricular areas

ACT research has shown that it is the rigor of coursework; rather than simply the number of core courses; that has the greatest impact on ACT performance and college readiness.

1) Students who take more advanced courses substantially increase their ACT scores.
2) York students that took Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry scored an average of 23.5 on the ACT Math test.
3) York students that took Biology, Chemistry, and Physics scored an average of 26.5 on the ACT Science test.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

YPS Excels on State Assessments Again

York Public Schools is very proud to once again share some outstanding results of how our students did on Nebraska State Assessments (NeSA). We realize NeSA is is just a small snippet of what we do but we are excited with how well our district continues to do each year. We look forward to continuing to improve our curriculum and instruction initiatives. We will continue to work hard to provide our students with a top-notch educational experience with or without NeSA or any other accountability measure that comes our way. GO DUKES!

Please view our 2015 NeSA results by copying/pasting the link below into your browser of your choice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Importance of School Activities

The first YHS "activity" of the school year will take place this Thursday evening, August 20, when the JV Softball Team takes on Aurora at home. It will be a double header, with game times at 6:00 and 7:30 P.M. These contests will launch a very busy and competitive fall activities schedule that will have many of us running around the state cheering on our favorite Dukes.

School activities, in my opinion, are extremely important for the culture of the school and the connection with the community. When I say "activities," I mean sports, fine arts, FFA, mock trial, FBLA, band, choir, cheerleaders, etc....ANY activity that requires a young person to interact and work with other young people in a "team" setting. Educational research shows that the students that are involved in the most activities typically do the best in the classroom as well.

Students learn so much when involved in school activities. They have to manage their time and stay organized. They have to deal with pressure and accountability. They have to interact with different personalities of teammates. They have to learn how to handle success and overcome failure. They have to learn that their behaviors and actions impact others.

We are fortunate that over 75% of our YHS students participate in at least one school activity. Many of our students participate in three or more. We hope to increase our student participation rate even higher. We truly see it as an important part of the educational experience.

We hope you get out and support YHS activities again this year. We've always been fortunate to have tremendous support at "home" and "away" activities. Our activity events bring thousands of visitors to town. They provide hundreds of hours of entertainment and excitement. They help mold our young people into great adults. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented participants, sponsors, and coaches. GO DUKES!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

FINDING A WAY to get Better

The YPS Board of Education approved my professional goals for 2015-16. I'm simply trying to find a way to get better. This is going to be a very important school year for us as we have multiple initiatives that we need to implement in a seamless fashion. It's an honor to work for YPS, its students, staff, parents, patrons, and school board.

Here are my goals for the upcoming year:

Communication/Visibility/Public Relations

• Communicate on a consistent basis and at a high level with all employees through face-to-face interaction, e-mail, memos, meetings, and other effective methods

• Be a visible presence in all YPS facilities on a regular basis
o Conduct walk-throughs in each classroom on at least a quarterly basis

• Be visible and approachable at school activities

• Make our staff and community aware of all the good things going on at YPS through guest columns to the newspaper, the use of social media, the YPS website, email, phone calls, handwritten notes, and other pertinent methods of communication

• Continue “Community Coffee” meetings each quarter to reach out to our patrons and heighten communication between the school system and community
o Will have two “Community Luncheons” and two “Coffees” this year in hopes of showcasing LunchTime Solutions over the lunch hour

• Use Twitter (York Duke Power,) Facebook, and the school website to showcase YPS
o 1,509 followers on Twitter in August 2015 compared to 1,199 followers in July 2014
o 1,545 “likes” on Facebook in August 2015 compared to 1,163 “likes” in July 2014

• Interact with local business leaders on a regular basis through service club meetings, luncheons, invitations to school activities, and special occasions

• Continue to strengthen the YPS/City of York working relationship

• Continue to strengthen and broaden working relationships with staff members

• Continue to communicate with patrons and statewide officials about ongoing school finance concerns as they relate to an over-reliance on local property taxes

Instructional Leadership

• Help enhance our new teacher mentoring offerings
o Follow-up professional leave day on September 25th

• Work towards increased academic opportunities for all students

• Continue to work with First Five Nebraska, Buffett Foundation, and others to pursue expanded birth-to-five programming

• Help manage PreK-12th grade School Improvement Plan and Initiatives
o Continue to help expand professional development opportunities for all staff and make sure our professional development plans tie directly to our school improvement goals

• Help improve student achievement scores on local, state, and national assessments
o Percentage of students that met/exceeded proficiency on NeSA-Math tests have increased from 67% in 2011 to 77% in 2013 to 84% in 2015

o Percentage of students that met/exceeded proficiency on NeSA-Reading tests have increased from 69% in 2010 to 82% in 2013 to 87% in 2015

• Continue to help emphasize technology integration across the curriculum to enhance learning with actual lesson objectives as opposed to “just a new, neat app”

• Continue to work with state leaders about our local concerns on the amount of instructional time lost due to what we see as excessive assessment/ranking requirements

• Help ensure that our “instructional model” game plan is highly effective for our students and staff and helps improve our school district

• Help ensure our new work certification programming venture with NCTA, Reinke, and CVA is the game-changer we think it will be

Financial Leadership

• Make sure we end each fiscal year with more money received than spent

• Communicate effectively with board, staff, and community about our budget and how we’re doing throughout the year in regards to receipts and disbursements

• Make sure YPS pursues at least two $10,000+ grants each semester

• Grow Depreciation and Building Fund accounts

• Build up cash reserve so we can better handle state aid fluctuations
o Cash reserve had a negative balance of -$995,591 in 2009
o Cash reserve had improved to a positive balance of $491,041 in 2012
o Cash reserve will grow to over $900,000+ as we enter 2015-16

District-Wide Leadership

• For all employees, be a role model that exhibits honesty/integrity, a strong work ethic, high expectations for self and others, and enthusiasm

• Challenge, support and assist administrative team in their continued efforts to lead their buildings and departments forward

• Continue to solicit input from others as often as possible

• Work on comprehensive post-graduate survey to report how YPS students are doing after high school graduation

• Continue to help YPS broaden its “legislative footprint” through STANCE and active involvement at the State Capitol

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 13th - Back to School Celebration

Thursday, August 13th – 5:00 to 8:00 PM at East Hill Park

Please plan to join us in East Hill Park on Thursday, August 13th as we celebrate the beginning of another awesome school year for York Public Schools, St. Joseph’s, Emmanuel-Faith, and Epworth Village. Come enjoy the bounce houses and photo booth, sign up for various booster clubs, purchase an activity pass, buy some York Duke apparel, devour some delicious food, and enjoy a fun evening in East Hill Park!

5:00-6:50 will be our “Back to School Celebration”
o The Farmers’ Market vendors will be on site to sell their delicious goodies
o We will also have bounce houses and an awesome photo booth
o Local vendors that have indicated they will be on site include:
 Kirby's School of Dance & Kirtsey Dancewear & Gifts
 Urgent Care of York
 Advocare
 York Promotional Products
 Kilgore Memorial Library
 Simply Styled Salon & Boutique
 Perfectly Posh lotions, soaps, and scrubs
 York Printing
 Epworth Village
 York County Head Start & PLAY
 York Public Schools Foundation
 York TeamMates Mentoring Program
 YHS Wrestling
 York Chamber of Commerce
 YHS Band, Fine Arts, and Athletics Booster Clubs
 YHS Flag Squad
 York Youth Soccer Association
 Let’s Move York
 York Medical Clinic - "Your York based Healthcare Providers"
 York High School will be selling activity passes and York Duke clothing

7:00-8:00 PM will be the “Community Pep Rally” inside at the Levitt Football Stadium

o We will formally dedicate the Hub Foster Press Box and Locker Room addition and recognize students from YES, YMS, Head Start & PLAY, Epworth, St. Joseph’s, and Emmanuel-Faith.
o YHS fall sports and activity teams will also be recognized with the help of the YHS Band and Cheerleading squad.