The other day, while getting a haircut, I was asked if I worked in the summer. I used to get a little annoyed when people would ask me that.
Eventually I came to understand that although everyone has gone to school, their experiences generally have been limited to those that fall roughly between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Seems like they all assume that we all go home for the summer like the students and the teachers.
Not so. There is much to be done in the summer that compels school offices and district offices to remain open year round.
At the school level there is summer school; registering new students; organizing special summer learning experiences; interviewing new teachers; ordering supplies; breaking down end of year test results for planning purposes; scheduling; training and all sorts of planning for the coming year.
At the district level there is summer school; busing for some summer students; construction to manage; summer maintenance; vacancies to be posted and applications collected; closing out last year’s budget; opening this year’s budget; training programs; textbooks to order; vendors to be selected; and planning of all kinds for the coming year.
This summer in particular, we have some major remodeling going on at Lake Forest High School and W.T.Chipman Middle. Those places are torn up and the contractors are committed to a deadline to get out of the buildings before Labor Day.
This summer in particular, we have had some major administrator positions to fill. We’ve hired a new Supervisor for Child Nutrition who will manage the breakfast and lunch program. We’ve hired a new assistant principal for Lake Forest High School. We’re in the process of interviewing for a new Principal for East Elementary and a new Supervisor of Transportation.
This summer we had the additional burden of preparing a district plan for Race to the Top a multi-million dollar federal grant won by Delaware that will bring another $1.6 million into Lake Forest over the next four years. As you might imagine, we don’t get that money without a lot of planning, budgeting and paperwork.
So, there is much to do in any school district during the summer. We don’t all go home as soon as the last bus pulls out of the lot. Sure, it is the better time for year round employees to take some vacation. But we are spending each day getting ready for the first full day of school, which this year will be September 7. We are always open for business