Friday, December 21, 2007

Strategic Planning

Please give some serious thought to getting involved with the district’s strategic planning initiative.

We are looking for up to seventy-five members of the school community to join one of five Action Teams. Each team will be focused on one of the five Strategies identified in the draft of the new strategic plan.

Please see the following link for more details:

  • Woodbury Public Schools Strategic Planning

  • I ask that you contact my secretary, Stacy Hoffman, at or at 853-0123 ext. 214, to express an interest. Please notify us ASAP – but no later than January 10th.

    These committees will be comprised of our teachers, support staff, parents, alumni, business leaders, and high school students.

    Thank you – and enjoy the holidays. Happy New Year.

    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Thank You, Mrs. Carr

    As this calendar year comes to an end, so, too, does the tenure of an important Woodbury Public Schools employee. Mrs. Jody Carr, my secretary and a Woodbury employee for the past twenty-five years, is set to retire.

    It is impossible to completely describe here in this blog posting the full impact of the high quality, personalized, dedicated and intelligent work that Mrs. Carr provides on a daily basis. Those who have interacted with the Mrs. Carr know the truth of this statement. She always remembers a name – of an employee, parent or student. Also, it seems like any question that stumps anyone in the organization ultimately works it’s way to Mrs. Carr. We will be forced to find new ways of doing business come January, and Mrs. Carr will be missed.

    Jody, thank you for all that you have done for the Woodbury school community.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Happy Holidays

    I have plans for two additional, specific blog entries prior to the winter break, so let me take time today to simply wish all of you a happy, restful winter break. I hope that you all enjoy time with family and friends while the schools are closed. Today, our lives seem especially hectic – the opportunity to slow down a bit, even for just a few extra days, is a gift unto itself.

    After the next two blog entries, I plan to take a break from posting until the new year.


    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Board of Education Meeting Wednesday Night

    The regular monthly meeting of the Woodbury Board of Education will be held tomorrow, December 19, at 7:00 p.m. The agenda for the meeting is posted on the website:

  • Board Agenda -- December 2007

  • There are two presentations scheduled for this evenings meeting:

    *Walnut Street Elementary School Student Presentation
    *Strategic Planning Update

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Budget Development is a Year-Round Event

    The school year budget year runs from July through June, so this month of December marks the halfway point of the school year. The teachers have been gathering data over the past month or so planning for the 2008-09 school year budget needs. This week, the principals and other administrators will be meeting with me and our business administrator to gather all the budget requests so that the full district budget can be developed.

    The development process continues through January and February. The full budget is further developed, difficult decisions are made, and a budget is finalized once all the state funding issues are known. In the past, the state funding numbers have been provided very late in the process. This year, we are hoping to have information from the state a bit earlier. Just last week, the governor released a proposal for a new school funding formula that would be very favorable to the Woodbury Public Schools. At this time, it is just a proposal; we await final word so that we can begin to factor this state funding into our budget plans.

    Ultimately, the board approves the budget to go to the voters some time in March. We will hold a public hearing. Then, there is an April vote by the residents.

    The Board of Education started planning for this budget development cycle in August. Our administrators met in September to receive the parameters for the 2008-09 process, and teachers received information in October. As you can see, this budget development cycle is almost a year-round event.

    As we get closer to the final, proposed budget – especially as we get more information on possible new state funding – I will provide some updates here on the blog.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Boys, Reading, and Fun

    This school year, two of my sons have become active, interested readers of fiction. I attribute this largely to the fact that they have been provided flexibility in their reading selections – and then were guided to pieces that were of high interest to them.

    At this time, it is my sixth grader who is currently on an extended reading jag. He is my “sports guy.” Anything athletic – whether it involves playing or watching on television -- captures his interest. It is exciting to see him getting up early on a Saturday so that he can read some of "his book" prior to anyone else getting up.

    He is in the fourth book of a seven book series – I think that is what he told me. His mom is reading to catch up to him. I joined in this week. It is not great literature, but it is good reading for him. The series is by Margaret Peterson Haddix – The Shadow Children sequence. The first book in the sequence is Among the Hidden.

    Last month when I went in to read to the Walnut 5th graders, I took in a favorite of my wife’s when she reads to my children – Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. What is interesting about that book – and we talked about it with the Walnut students – is that it was written in 1947. Sixty years later, the stories are still funny – and fun to read!

    This same premise is true for any learning, if it is enjoyable (read – “fun”) then we gravitate to it. Now, I have this sixth grade basketball player who is a reader. Plowing through his 150 – 200 page books, anxious to finish so that he can start the next book in the series!

    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Winter Sports

    Winter sports are underway. The swim team is already into official competition mode, our basketball teams open up this Friday, wrestling is at Gateway on Saturday, and winter track continues to train for meets later in the winter.

    You can catch a boys varsity basketball game at 7:00 p.m. Friday in the Cap Paine gymnasium. We have our new bleachers installed – thanks to the donation from the estate of alumnus Bob Lukens.

    Good luck to all!

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    What's Happening?

    Grant Shivers, our Director of Athletics and Activities, schedules many of the school activities – especially at the Jr.-Sr. High School. There is a relatively new software program that can be viewed from our website under Athletics/Schedules.

    This site also shows both athletic and nonathletic activities that are taking place. It is another resource when trying to keep up and find out what is going on around the schools.

    Here is an example of the schedules “monthly” view for December.

  • December Activities

  • Again, the active feature can be found on our website under Athletics – Schedules.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Jr.-Sr. High School Conferences

    It has been a busy couple of weeks. Here is another reminder:

    The Jr.-Sr. High School will hold the first Parent – Teacher conferences for the 2007-2008 school year on December 5 and December 6.

    Three (3) sessions are scheduled:

    Session I: Wednesday (Dec 5) afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Session II: Thursday (Dec 6) afternoon: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Session III: Thursday (Dec 6) evening: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    No appointment is necessary.

    Monday, December 03, 2007

    School Safety – Everyone’s Business

    Reminder . . . We will have our School Safety – Everyone’s Business meeting tomorrow, December 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium. All are invited.

    The agenda is scheduled to run approximately an hour and a half. We hope to see a good number of those in the school community in attendance.

    Woodbury Public Schools
    School Safety – Everyone’s Business

    December 4, 2007
    7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.


    • Overview/Welcome -- Recent Events/Today's Climate
    Joseph Jones, Superintendent

    • Drug/Alcohol -- Today's Youth and Use
    Donna Lacovara, Student Assistance Coordinator

    • Campus Security -- Crisis Plan and Locked Buildings
    Morgan Meehan, School Resource Officer
    Vince Myers, West End Memorial Principal

    • Internet Safety/Cell Phones -- 24-hours Concerns
    Denise Dunham , Jr.-Sr. High School Principal
    Jeffrey Adams, Walnut Street School Principal

    • Bullying
    Jason Vivadelli, Junior High School Assistant Principal
    Tonya Breland, Evergreen Avenue School Principal

    • Gangs
    Steve Morris, Senior High School Assistant Principal
    Grant Shivers, Director of Athletics & Student Activities

    • WeTip & Gloucester Alert
    Edward Murphy, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

    • Questions & Answers
    Joseph Jones, Superintendent