• Mark Ward

    Mark J. Ward, Interim Superintendent

    What’s New Around the Building


    We are pleased with the cooperation and teamwork we are experiencing between our families, students, teachers and support staff. It has truly been a “team effort” starting early in the morning with our bus drivers as they sanitize the buses and prepare each day to transport our students. The same steps are taken at the end of the day to ensure the buses are thoroughly clean.

    Our cleaners are working additional time making sure high contact areas are cleaned several times throughout the day. This includes classroom desks, door handles, bathrooms, walls, counters, computers, phone, light switches and office areas. These areas are cleaned again at night by our night cleaners. Many of our teaches also chip in and provide additional cleaning in their rooms throughout the day.

    With respect to wearing masks and social distancing again, I want to compliment all students and staff members for following our Covid-19 Plan. We also appreciate the support that is coming from home as well.

    By the time you receive this newsletter we will have conducted a modified lockdown drill that will allow administration and staff to review our plan and procedures. Shelter-in-place, Lockout and Evacuation procedures will also be reviewed. 


    Board Retreat

    The Board of Education participated in a retreat that gave them an opportunity to learn more about and discuss some of the following areas:

    • Roles and responsibilities of Board and Superintendent
    • Self-evaluation
    • Teamwork enables leadership
    • Governance…success---failure
    • Communication
    • Board/Superintendent relations
    • Efficiency Study
    • Strategic Planning
    • District Mission/Vision
    • Financial Strategic Plan
    • Educational Strategic Plan
    • Making sure high academic standards are met
    • Capital Project
    • Strategies for achievement and sound financial condition
    • Financial analysis and evaluation


    The Board is continuing to work on future financial planning, the development of District goals, the use of some district reserves to lessen the impact of taxes and to explore the need for a capital project.


    Fire Safety

    Mindy Mellon of the West Valley Volunteer Hose Company coordinated an outstanding fire safety program to all our students in grades Pre-K-8. The program was held in three separate locations with the younger students out front and the older students up in and on the track area behind the school. The program was divided into three separate sessions with Pre-K-2 centered around household safety, showing students the ambulance and related equipment. The members of the Fire Company asked questions and interacted with the students who thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. 

    The older students got a chance to roll hose, learn about fire extinguishers, examine turnout gear, wear helmuts, participate in a relay event on the track and spray water at targets. The volunteer firepersons did a great job engaging with the students! I think the fire personnel had as much fun as the students!

    We want to thank all the members of the West Valley Volunteer Hose Company who spent time with our students. The community is very fortunate to have such an active group of volunteers protecting the community from fire and dealing with all kinds of emergencies (ambulance and service calls). Thank you!!

    Modified Instruction Drill

    We soon plan to conduct a practice session for modified instruction. This will be done while students are regularly attending classes. This is only a practice to make sure we are prepared in the event we have to go to remote instruction sometime in the future.

    Future Capital Project

    The Board will be reviewing the District’s most recent Building Condition Survey as well as some preliminary work developed by the District’s architects Young + Wright to determine what the scope of a potential project would look like. There are a number of items that need to be addressed and the Board will be going through the list, securing additional information and determining what will make the final cut.

     I will continue to keep you informed in the newsletter of the Board’s progress on this task. The Board’s intention is to eventually present a project that has no impact on the tax levy (what you pay in school taxes).