|This blog features the Superintendent Message by Dr. Dan Dozier found in the district newsletter "Riverspointe News", the official newsletter of the Orchard Farm School District. Please subscribe or bookmark this page to stay updated!|
I want to take a moment and recognize the staff members that are retiring from the District at the end of the year. Mrs. Belinda Joseph will be retiring from her public education career of 24 years with last 13 in the Orchard Farm School District. Dr. Rene Yoesel will be retiring from her public education career of 32 years with the last 24 in the Orchard Farm School District as an elementary counselor at Orchard Farm Elementary and Discovery Elementary School. Mrs. Jennifer Bolt will be retiring from her education career after serving 31 years in education at Orchard Farm as the music teacher at Orchard Farm Elementary School. Mrs. Karen McCollom will be retiring from her public education career of 32 years with the last 31 at Orchard Farm Elementary School, most recently as a kindergarten teacher. I too will be retiring from my public education career of 31 years in the Orchard Farm School District, most recently serving as the Superintendent of Schools since 2003. The service of Mrs. Belinda Joseph, Dr. Rene Yoesel, Mrs. Jennifer Bolt, and Mrs. Karen McCollom to the community and students of the Orchard Farm School District is commendable. Together we have collectively served children for 150 years with 130 years dedicated to the children of the Orchard Farm School District. On behalf of the students, patrons, faculty and Board of Education, I want to wish each of our retirees good health and happiness as they proceed into a well-deserved world of retirement.
The close of the 2012-2013 school year has been quite eventful with the promotion and graduation ceremonies at the elementary, middle and high schools. The outstanding parent and community attendance at the many activities was greatly appreciated by the students and staff. I would like to thank Dr. Chris Nicrasto, Missouri Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, for delivering the keynote address at commencement and congratulate the graduates of the class of 201, wishing them the best of luck in their careers and academic adventures. The 103 students in the graduating class of 2013 were awarded over $2,200,000.00 in academic and athletic scholarships.
Research has shown that students who are involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities have a greater connection to their school and perform better academically. I am proud of our students at Orchard Farm High School that perform in the classroom and in our clubs and athletic programs. The following groups have been recognized by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) as achieving the Distinguished Scholastic Achievement Award with a combined grade point average of 3.0 to 3.24: JV Softball, 9th Volleyball, Varsity Softball, Varsity Dance (fall), 9th Boys Basketball, JV baseball, JV Quiz Bowl, Band, and Concert Choir. The following groups have been recognized by MSHSAA as achieving the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award with a combined grade point average of 3.25 to 4.0: Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Volleyball, JV Volleyball, Varsity Cheerleading (fall), Varsity Girls Basketball, JV Girls Basketball, Varsity Boys Basketball, JV Boys Basketball, Varsity Dance (winter), Varsity Soccer, JV Soccer, Varsity Girls Track, Varsity Golf, Varsity Boys Track, JV Boys and Girls Track, Varsity Baseball, Varsity Quiz Bowl, and Women’s Choir. Congratulations to all the students who helped make this recognition possible.
In closing, I would like to wish each and every one of you a safe and fun summer break. Wednesday, August 14, 2013 will be the first day of classes for the 2013-2014 school year in the Orchard Farm School District. You can keep track of the important school dates throughout the summer on the district website. As always, it is an honor to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
During a regular Board meeting held on April 16, 2013, Mr. Kenneth Biermann and Mr. Donald “Joe” Bushdiecker were sworn in as members of the Board of Education for a three year term. Mr. Biermann is returning to the Board after serving in the Missouri Legislature and will begin his fourth three year term as a Board member and Mr. Joe Bushdiecker is serving in his second consecutive three year term. Officer elections for the Board of Education were also held during the April 16 meeting (see related article). Mr. Elmer Dwyer was elected President of the Board for the 2013-2014 term and has served as the president for 22 consecutive years. Mrs. Nancy Goeke was elected as the Vice President, Mr. Fred Semke was elected as Secretary and Mr. Casey Otto will serve as the Treasurer of the Board. Additional information about the Orchard Farm Board of Education can be found on the District website. I am proud to serve with such a fine group of individuals on our Board and thank them for their countless volunteer hours dedicated to serving the children and community of the Orchard Farm School District.
I would like to invite everyone to several events in the month of May as we wind down the 2012-2013 school year. Keep in mind this is a busy time for students and staff as we focus on preparing for our final exams and graduation programs at the elementary, middle and high schools. You will find the dates and times of the graduation programs in a related article and the calendar section of this newsletter.
In closing, I would like to thank the parents for their support of their students as we finish the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing cycle. I know the students performed at their best efforts and abilities on this very difficult and lengthy task. Your support is critical to reinforce the importance of education for our children. As always, I am honored to the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
If you review the calendar on the last page of the newsletter you can see that April is a very busy month here at school. All students in grades three through eight and students in grades ten and eleven are participating in the state wide MAP program. Please help your student be prepared for these exams by encouraging each child to do their best and get plenty of rest the night before their testing sessions. These exams take several days to administer and are very important to the students and the district. The scores each student earns on the MAP become a part of their permanent record. The spring sports seasons and related activities are also in full swing. Please stop by the campus and support your favorite team or building level activity in April and May.
April 2nd is Election Day. This year, the Orchard Farm School District will not have an election as two candidates filed for the two open terms to the Board of Education. The Board of Education will be reorganized on April 16th at which time Mr. Kenneth Biermann and Donald “Joe” Bushdiecker will be sworn into office.
In a separate action at the March meeting, the Board approved $4.7913 as the non-binding estimated tax levy for 2013 in compliance with SB711 (operations $4.0613, debt service $0.73). This estimated levy was calculated using the State Auditor’s tax calculation forms taking into consideration the requirements of the Hancock Amendment and incorporating the most recent data the District has received from the St. Charles County Registrar’s Office. The Hancock Amendment requires taxing jurisdictions to adjust the tax levy during reassessment cycles to flatten operating revenue from local taxpayers.
The estimated levy will be used to notify taxpayers of their anticipated tax liability for 2013. You should receive the notice from the county in late April. Many pieces of information remain incomplete at this time to provide a finalized tax levy. The District has yet to receive an estimated value of personal property or locally assessed railroad/utilities. Therefore the rate the Board approved in compliance with SB711 to compute your anticipated tax liability notice will change as more information becomes available and the Board sets the final levy in September of 2013.
You will be able to find more information about the requirements of SB711 and the Tax Liability Notice on the St. Charles County website when the notices are finalized. Contact information and website addresses will be identified on the Tax Liability Notice.
As always, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
I am proud to announce that the Orchard Farm R-V School District’s Board of Education has selected Dr. Thomas E. Muzzey, Superintendent of Schools in the Warren County R-III School District, Warrenton, Missouri, as the next Superintendent. Members of the Board selected Dr. Muzzey after interviewing a slate of candidates. Dr. Muzzey has served as the Superintendent of Schools in Warren County for two years. Prior to his service in Warren County, he was Associate Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent in the Hillsboro R-3 School District. Dr. Muzzey has also served as a teacher and assistant principal.
Elmer Dwyer, Board President, stated, “Dr. Tom Muzzey brings a proven track record of success to the school system. He has served effectively as Superintendent and is highly regarded by Board and community members in the school systems he has served. Dr. Muzzey has successfully served all students and demonstrated effectiveness in working with minority and economically disadvantaged children.” When contacted regarding the position, Dr. Muzzey stated, “I am excited about the opportunity to serve a district with such rich tradition and a bright future. I am anxious to begin work with a community that supports high academic standards with strong parental involvement.” Dr. Muzzey is married to Kelly Muzzey and they have 3 children. Mikayla is 20 years old and a senior at Northwest Missouri State University, majoring in pre-pharmacy. Logan is 18 years old and a freshman at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Morgan is 14 and will be a sophomore at Orchard Farm School District next year.
On behalf of the Board of Education I want to thank all of the community members that participated in the selection process by completing the on-line survey or serving on the screening committee. Your input was essential in the decision to hire Dr. Muzzey. I will be working closely with Dr. Muzzey to develop a transition plan to allow him to officially assume the duties of the Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2013.
As always, I am proud to be the Superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
The Board of Education would like the community to respond to a priority survey to assist in the hiring of the next superintendent of schools. The survey is available on the district website beginning January 25 and closes on February 3. Please take a few moments to complete the survey, ranking 10 characteristics essential for the next superintendent. There is also an opportunity to provide an open comment. Community members that do not have access to the internet can participate in the survey by contacting any of the building offices and picking up a paper copy of the survey. On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank you in advance for participating in the survey.
January 15, 2013 brought the close for board candidate filing. Two Board positions were open for election and two individuals, both with prior experience, filed for the Board of Education. In order of filing, Mr. Kenneth Biermann filed for what will be his fourth term as a member of the Board of Education. Mr. Biermann is a resident of St. Charles and is a career machinist. He and his family reside in St. Charles. Mr. Biermann served on the Orchard Farm Board of Education from 2001 through 2009. He left the school board to serve as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives for the citizens of the 17th District. Mr. Donald “Joe” Bushdiecker has filed to serve his second term for the Board of Education. Mr. Bushdiecker is a resident of St. Charles and is a retired iron worker from local 396. The Bushdieckers have three children and five grandchildren who have graduated from Orchard Farm High School and two grandchildren currently in attendance. I am proud to announce that since only two individuals have filed for the Board of Education to fill the two open positions, the district will not have an open public election. The Board of Education will meet on April 16 to instate the new members and elect officers for 2013.
The Board recently accepted letters from Mrs. Jennifer Bolt, Mrs. Belinda Joseph, Mrs. Karen McCollom, and Dr. Rene Yoesel announcing their retirement at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Mrs. Bolt has been a member of the Orchard Farm faculty for 31 years, teaching music in the elementary school. Mrs. Joseph has been a member of the faculty for 13 years, teaching gifted education and library/media science. Mrs. McCollom has been teaching kindergarten for the district for 31 years, starting at Elm Point and now at Orchard Farm Elementary. Dr. Yoesel has served the district as an elementary school guidance counselor for 24 of her 32 years in education. I want to wish all of our retirees success in their retirement. They will all be greatly missed.
As always, it is an honor to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
In light of the tragic events that occurred on Friday, December 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary in New Town, Connecticut, I want to assure you that the Orchard Farm School District places the safety of our children as our number one concern. During times like this it is only natural to think of our own children. As educators, we think of our students as well, and what we are doing every day to make sure they are safe. We have multiple safety measures in place to help prevent these types of horrible incidences. All staff members in our district, including teachers, administrators, and support staff, are trained in emergency response procedures. We have plans in place for each of our buildings to deal with emergency situations. We also run regular drills, including an intruder drill, which help keep the right procedures and precautions top-of-mind for our staff. Our school district has a strong partnership with the St. Charles County Sheriff and St. Charles City police departments, and we work with them closely to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible. Our main campus is staffed with a full-time school resource officer and officers are quick to respond when help is needed. We regularly consult with law enforcement about safety issues. A great resource about how to talk to children about the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy can be found on the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) website, http://www.nasponline.org/. Please be assured that the Orchard Farm School District has the safety and best interests of your child in mind at all times. We will work together to make sure that our procedures for preventing and dealing with dangerous situations such as this are as strong as possible, and that our children are protected.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 8:00 a.m., marked the first filing opportunity for individuals interested in serving as a member of the Orchard Farm Board of Education. The community will have the opportunity to elect two members to the Board on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Current members of the Board whose three year term expires in April 2013 include Mr. Donald (Joe) Bushdiecker (3 years of service) and Ms Carrie Doza (3 years of service). More information about the responsibilities of a school board member can be found at the Missouri School Boards Association website at www.msbanet.org. I would like to send my sincere appreciation to all the members of the Board of Education. January 20 – 26 is School Board Appreciation Week. Please join me in thanking the members of the Orchard Farm Board of Education for their volunteer efforts on behalf of our students, staff and community.
It is with a heavy heart that I write announcing my retirement from the Orchard Farm School District effective June 30, 2013. July 1982, thirty one years ago, I began an extraordinary educational career with the Orchard Farm School District. This outstanding community won my heart and provided the foundation for my family. Together we have successfully worked to improve the educational opportunities for the children of northern St. Charles County. I am proud of our accomplishments and the reputation of an exceptional school district in the metropolitan area and across the state. I have dedicated my professional career as an educator and a leader to the Orchard Farm School District. The superintendency is a position I have gladly accepted since 2003, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. There is no better job in the District or the education profession. My accomplishments as a superintendent are a result of an outstanding Board of Education, supportive administration, professional staff and caring community. I will forever be indebted to the District and the Orchard Farm Community.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you a very happy new year and hope that you and your family have a very successful and safe 2013. As always, it is an honor and pleasure to serve as the superintendent of such a fine school district
--Dr. Dan Dozier
Beginning Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at 8:00 a.m., individuals interested in serving as a member of the Orchard Farm Board of Education may file at the District Central Office. Members of the community will have the opportunity to elect two members to the Board on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Current members of the Board whose three year term expires in April 2013 include Mr. Donald (Joe) Bushdiecker (3 years of service) and Ms. Carrie Doza (3 years of service). More information about the responsibilities of a school board member can be found at the Missouri School Boards Association website at www.msbanet.org.
Calling all substitute teachers, if you have at least 60 college credit hours and are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, please contact the district offices at 636-250-5241 for more information. The daily rate for a substitute teacher is $80.00.
December usually brings our first opportunity to deal with inclement weather and unfavorable road conditions that could impact the ability to safely transport students and have school. I take this responsibility very seriously and monitor weather and road conditions in order to make the best decision for the safety of the students and staff. When inclement weather is present, Ms. Norma Smith, our director of transportation, and I drive the major roads of the district to determine the accessibility for our buses. I usually hit the roads about 3:00 a.m. and keep in contact with the weather service and other superintendents in area districts to monitor the progress of winter storms. Our goal is to make a decision by 5:00 a.m. and contact the media sources to inform our patrons should school need to be canceled (see related article). Many of the media outlets are also posting this information on their websites to expedite the notification process for their listeners and viewers. We will also post closings on our website and utilize the District E-News at our first availability. If you have not signed up for the District E-News electronic notification service, please go to the District website at http://www.ofsd.k12.mo.us/SitePages/eNews.aspx and subscribe. As I noted last month, the District will continue utilizing an automated phone and text messaging service to notify parents of school closings or early dismissal during inclement weather. You must have current contact information in our student data system in order to receive a phone call or text message. Please check with your building offices to make sure your contact information is compete. During winter, weather road conditions can change rapidly so I encourage all students to ride the school bus for their safety and minimize the number of vehicles on the road during the early morning hours so the snow plows can be effective.
I hope you and your family have an opportunity to spend time together during the holiday season. I invite you to attend the holiday programs throughout the District and enjoy the talents of our children during the performances. Your support at these events shows the students your commitment to education and family. A complete listing of events and locations can be found as calendar items on page 4 of this newsletter. As always, I appreciate the opportunity to be the superintendent of such a fine school district. Happy Holidays and best wishes to you and your family.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
Who Needs a Background Check?
The District is required by statute to conduct an FBI fingerprint background check for all new employees. Volunteers assisting in the school also need a background check to assure a safe learning environment. Orchard Farm School District Policy GBEBC (per Statute 168.133, RSMo) requires all volunteers to satisfactorily complete a background check annually. The District will utilize the Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR) to conduct all background checks for volunteers. The FCSR background check includes a search through the following data bases:
· State criminal background records maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol
· Sex Offender Registry information maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol
· Child abuse/neglect records maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services
· The Employee Disqualification List maintained by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
· The Employee Disqualification Registry maintained by the Missouri Department of Mental Health
· Child-care facility licensing records maintained by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
· Foster parent licensing records maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services
There is a $10 fee payable to FCSR at the time of registration as well as a $1 processing fee for a total of $11. These fees will not be reimbursed; however, you only need to register at the FCSR once - not every year. The required documents to complete a background check can be found in the building offices or on the website by clicking “Volunteer Opportunities” in the left column on the home page at www.ofsd.k12.mo.us. A completed hard copy of the Registration Form must also be sent to Beth Workman at Central Office for our file so that the background check can be done annually. Volunteers will also be required to complete an on-line training program in compliance with Board policy. Information about the district training program is also available at the building offices or on the website. The District is committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for all of our students, staff and community.
It is not uncommon for the severe weather season to start in our area in November. The students have completed several safety drills and know what to do if severe weather strikes while they are in school. We have also completed safety inspections by the local fire departments as a way of preparing for emergency situations. Emergency closing procedures will be handled through the local media stations (see related article) and the District will continue to utilize an automated phone, email and text notification systems for parents and staff. It will be essential that our student records have accurate home phone, cell phones and email addresses for parents and guardians for the system to work efficiently and accurately. We are proud that more than 90% of our parents and guardians are currently signed up for the “Parent Link” service to communicate with the District and follow up on their child’s performance. Please check your personal demographic data using the “Family Data” tab of Parent Link to assure that your contact information is accurate. You may also contact the school your child attends to assure the contact information is accurate if you do not have Parent Link services.
As always, it is an honor and a privilege to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
- Dr. Dan Dozier
I am pleased to announce that the Orchard Farm School District scored 14 points on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Annual Performance Report (APR). The APR evaluates the district annually utilizing 14 different criteria including MAP scores at all grade levels, ACT scores for high school students, course offerings, graduate follow-up data, dropout rates, and district attendance. The APR is primarily used in the accreditation process for public schools in Missouri. A perfect score of 14 identifies the district as being a “Distinguished Performing School District.” The Orchard Farm School District has earned this honor for the last seven years. Unfortunately the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has suspended acknowledging districts for distinguished performance so you will not see this recognition through the regular media outlets. However I want to congratulate our students, staff, and parents for this great accomplishment.
The current district enrollment is 1527. Our enrollment count at this time last year was 1536, resulting in a slight reduction of 9 students throughout the district. For all practical applications I would consider the enrollment in the district to be stable. I do not expect any major variations in enrollment until the current economic conditions change and construction once again returns to the plated home sites in the district. The growth the district has witnessed over the last few years is healthy for the district and very manageable with the improvements made to the campus and the addition of Discovery Elementary School. I want to thank the patrons of the district for your support in providing a safe and enriching learning environment for our students.
The first quarter will end on Thursday, October 11, 2012. Grade report cards will be available at parent-teacher conferences scheduled for Tuesday, October 23 and Thursday October 25 evenings from 5:00 to 8:30. I encourage parents to contact the building offices to schedule a conference time that best suits your schedule. The conference times are available on a first come-first serve basis so call early to set up your appointment. As always, parent-teacher conferences are the best opportunity to discuss how your child is performing in class and your observations of independent practice on homework.
Take a few moments and check out some of the fantastic talents of our students. All of our Orchard Farm Elementary artwork can be viewed at any given time via the Artsonia website. Please visit http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=73813
regularly, as the teachers will post artwork as soon as it is completed. You can even join the "fan clubs" of students and comment on their artwork. It is also nice to see the parents' and friends' feedback and even the students' own comments. As always, it is a great honor to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier
We have had a great opening to the 2012-2013 school year in the Orchard Farm School District. I want to thank the parents who attended the open house programs at Discovery Elementary, Orchard Farm Elementary, Orchard Farm Middle and Orchard Farm High Schools. We had a fantastic turn out and always welcome the community into our buildings at every possible opportunity. Your attendance at open house and other school programs is critical to show your children how much you value their education. As of this writing, the enrollment in our K-12 program is 1527 students which is a decrease of 30 students throughout the district from last year. An additional 39 students are enrolled in the Preschool program located at Discovery Elementary.
You may have read in the media that Missouri has received a “waiver” from the U.S. Department of Education. This waiver suspends the current No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards and requires the state to create even higher standards for our students and faculty. These standards will be developed over the next two years and implemented on a statewide basis. More than half of the states have received U.S. Department of Education waivers. The district also received notice that we have received 14 points out of 14 possible points on the state evaluation system receiving full accreditation and remaining one of the top performing schools in the state.
I am proud to announce that the renovation of our stadium track was finished prior to the start of the school year. A new overlay of asphalt and a polyurethane surface has completely revitalized the running track. You will notice a change in color as the traditional red track surface really accents and frames the athletic field of the stadium. This is a great resource for the district and community and I invite you to use the track area for your own fitness program.
As we move into September fall activities will be in full swing. Sporting events in football, softball, volleyball, and cross country will support other extra-curricular organizations including band, choir, cheerleading, poms, and our student clubs or organizations. The Homecoming activities are scheduled for September 7-8 with the football game being played on Friday against Confluence Prep Academy. This year the district will be joining the Gateway Athletic Conference (GAC). Some of you may recall that Orchard Farm was one of the founding members of the GAC. The newly expanded GAC has formed three divisions: North, Central and South. Orchard Farm will be a member of the GAC North and competing with St. Charles High, St. Charles West, Warrenton High and Winfield High. I am excited about the opportunities the GAC will offer our students and community over the next several years.
As always, it is a great honor to be the superintendent of such a fine school district.
--Dr. Dan Dozier