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May 2017 Superintendent Message


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A Note to our Valley Falls Staff: As I look back on this past 2016-17 school year and begin preparing for next year, it is gratifying to remember the list of accomplishments, acknowledgements and the victories we have seen through our work – all reasons that Valley Falls Schools continues to be among the best schools in Kansas.  Valley Falls Schools continues its legacy of offering top notch public education year after year. Valley Falls educational success is linked to the support each of you provides our students - thank you for that. You are the lifeblood of Valley Falls and our success would not be possible without the support and dedication you give every day to our community – ensuring that our students continue to succeed educationally.

While all of us are looking forward to a well-deserved break this summer, I want to take this moment to express my sincerest gratitude for the energy and commitment you have given and for the difference you have made again this year. It shows, through the awards and achievements that many of you have received for your innovative approaches and thoughtful insights to deliver a top quality education to our students. It is, however, best reflected in the accomplishments of our students – the greatest reward for all of us as educational professionals. You all have a lot to be proud of this year. Summer is a great time to recharge and I encourage you to spend time with your family, loved ones and friends, and to have a safe and healthy summer!

A Note to our Valley Falls Parents: My message to families as we wrap up the year is to focus on a reading-filled summer. I hope you will join our families by creating a summer reading list of your own. When packing for your summer vacation, add some great books to your list. Check out books from our local library. Recommend or lend interesting books you have read to your colleagues. Working together, we can continue to feed our brains with knowledge and be at our best for the new school year. Secondly with all the activities planned each summer, enjoy your time with your children.  As a seasoned old-timer now, I fully understand the meaning of becoming involved in your children’s summer activities be it summer ball games, church activities or 4-H projects.  Enjoy your children while you can!

 

A Note to our Valley Falls Graduating Seniors: As I write this post, we are in the final stages of preparing for graduation and sending our 2016-17 senior class onto the next stage of their lives. This will be the 131st Valley Falls graduating class since Valley Falls High School’s first graduation back in 1886. While times have changed, the dreams of each member of this year’s graduating class remain largely the same. Each will leave here with some uncertainty about the next steps but a strong sense of accomplishment, having successful completed the first thirteen years of their life-long education.

The overall goals of K-12 education have changed substantially since the first group of four Valley Falls High School seniors (Who all happened to be females!) graduated in 1886. In those days, the primary goal was to have as many students as possible complete at least the 8th grade with only about half attending all four years of high school. Those last four years were mainly intended to develop a basic level of knowledge and civic responsibility that ensured these new young adults could successfully gain employment in the many area industries, marry, rent or purchase a home, raise a family, and enjoy a reasonably secure lifestyle. Another handful of high school graduates would go on to college and pursue professional or managerial careers upon earning their degree. A few would serve in the military first.

Schools back then were designed to “sort and select” for the various needs of business and industry, but all that has changed with the onset of the 21st century. Today, our district is engaged in the continuing transformation of ensuring all of our students remain in school through the 12th grade, graduate ready to pursue a college degree or similar post-high school training, and gain successful employment in the new economy of jobs requiring higher skills and knowledge. The entire professional staff at Valley Falls is continuously focused on changing our school structure, classroom teaching and learning processes, and programs designed to be more engaging for our students.

Our hope is that we have been on target in meeting the needs of this year’s graduating class and will have played a major role along with you, the parents, in their future success. We’re just as excited as they are for the next phase of life’s adventure and I wish each all the best.

Best wishes in the future Valley Falls graduates!                                                                           

Loren Feldkamp,
Valley Falls Superintendent of Schools

 

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Valley Falls USD 338 700 Oak Street Valley Falls, KS  66088

785-945-3214

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