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Holiday happenings at WDC Schools

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opinion Wadena, 56482

Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson, P.O. Box 31 56482

Louis Rutten, Principal, WDC Elementary

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Hard to believe we are in the Holiday Season already. WDC Schools would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We have some Holiday programs coming up and we hope you can join us for them. The 5 through 12 grade choir concert is Monday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school gym. The K through 4 grade students will perform Santa's Holiday Hoe-Down on Thursday, Dec 19 at 2 p.m. in the Elementary gym. Make sure you get there early for a good seat. In case the Thursday show doesn't work for you, we will do a full dress rehearsal of the program on Wednesday, Dec. 18 also at 2 p.m.

In the spirit of giving and helping provide food to families in need, Wadena-Deer Creek Schools is holding two food drives to benefit the Wadena Food Shelf. The public is encouraged to bring non-perishable items to the 5 through 12 grade choir concert and the K through 4 grade holiday program. Tables will be set up by the entrances. Please consider donating any non-perishable items to help replenish the Wadena Food Shelf during the holidays.

The other day I had a call from a family new to our schools asking, "Why does WDC Schools have scheduled late start days throughout the year? What is going on during the late starts?" I was glad to share a little background about why we have them and what we do during the scheduled late starts. Beginning in the 2010-11 school year, the Wadena-Deer Creek School Board adopted a school calendar that included six hours of scheduled release time for students spread throughout the year in order to free up Pre-kindergarten through 12 grade teachers for common staff development time. With many new state standards and district technology initiatives to implement, and limited opportunities for staff to meet under previous calendars, our board and teachers agreed to try something other districts in Minnesota have used to address teacher learning for improvements in instruction and integration of technology.

Ever since that 2010-11 school calendar was adopted, WDC Schools have been set up for regularly scheduled, high quality staff development through professional learning communities (PLCs). In doing so, we are well positioned to address a new Minnesota state statute (122A.41) passed on May 23, 2013 which mandates school districts to establish opportunities for teachers to participate in PLCs as a part of the teacher evaluation process by the 2014-15 school year. See the Minnesota Department of Education site http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/EducEval/052390 for an outline of that statute.

Again, all of us at the Wadena-Deer Creek Schools hope you have a safe, happy, healthful, and blessed holiday season.

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