Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Jeff Fastnacht on 16-01-2015

With the birth of a new year and the kick off of the legislative season in our great state my mind is filled with many more rambling thoughts than concentrated focused ones.  So I thought I would just share some ramblings on a wide variety of topics today.

New Year – New Students
With the start of the new year EPS gains some more students.  I am not sure how many know this but EPS has seen what might be considered a small population explosion this year.  When I compare enrollment today (1/16) to a year ago here are the differences:  High School: Today 147 – Yr Ago 140;  Elementary: Today 174 – Yr Ago 150;  Maple River: Today 31 – Yr Ago 30.  So in total student population is up 32 kids from a year ago.  That is an easily recognizable increase in the hallways.  Particularly since of the 24 new kids in the elementary 10 of them have deposited themselves in 3rd grade.

New Teacher
Due to the enrollment increase in 3rd grade we have had to adjust our instructional staff almost monthly.  Planning for 18 students in May, then 23 in Sept, 24 by Oct 1st, 26 by Nov 1, and then 27 in December had its challenges.  As of today that number has jumped again to now 28 students.   During the fall the district approved hiring an aide for the classroom but as of 2015, now 28 in the room, we are making another change.  Starting on Jan 26th a second 3rd grade teacher will be added to our faculty and we will be splitting the class to now 2 sections of 14.

Civics Legislation
Yes, I support students knowledge of civics.  The people that Jay Leno used to interview on the street…made me wonder where they went to school.  That being said I am not a fan of the proposed new legislation requiring students to pass a civics examination.  Students are already required to complete course work that has civics elements embedded into it.  You remember when you were in high school.. didn’t you have to learn the ND Representatives, who the VP was, and how many justices were on the Supreme Court.  Yes, we did.   It is still the same today.  Our students must complete 3 credits of Social Studies that must include US History and POD.  I am not a fan of requiring another test.  I believe our students are tested enough and for many of those tests we don’t have any option of giving them or not.  Many of them are simply required by some higher power.  Tests that provide teachers with valuable data to improve instruction for individual students – GREAT.  But, just another test that students only need to get a 60% on,  to make us all feel better,  I am not a huge fan.   If you want to see the test you can take it at http://goo.gl/Rl48jY

Crazy Parent
I must admit I am now one of those people.  For years I have watched parents of wrestlers jump off their seats, run around the room, and nearly be on the mat during matches.  From the outside I thought “wow crazy”.  I am now one of them, I am sorry.  You may not know my son started wrestling last year for the first time.  Lisa and I have transitioned from 100% basketball fans to now being part of the wrestling fraternity.  But being “crazy” not till this year did it happen.  I now realize how excited a parent can feel when they have watched their child struggle, by themselves, on the mat match after match.  Being so close so many times to a win but not getting there.  Till that day it happens, the win, or the PIN!  Then without even realizing it I find myself jumping up and down, off my seat.  What just happened?  I will apologize in advance, but sometimes DAD gets excited.  I have not ventured down to the side of the mat yet, I still think that is kind of crazy, but no guarantees.