To the Fort Madison Community School District:
One year ago this week, I wrote to you to introduce myself as the new superintendent for the Fort Madison Community School District. I am excited to be able to reflect on the 2016-2017 school year and look forward to the 2017-2018 school year.
I had several goals for this past year. First and foremost, it was my intent to get to know the district. This includes the various communities that make up the Fort Madison Community School District, the staff, students and parents. I enjoyed the events and activities that happened over the course of the year. We have many opportunities for students! I’ve felt fortunate to watch afterschool activities, athletic events, music programs and concerts, award and recognition ceremonies as well as community events like RiverFest, the city band concert, Picnic in the Park, Parade of Lights, etc.
A second focus for our school district community was the bond referendum voting project. Although the final results were not what we needed, there were many positives that came out of both attempts. Voter turnout prior to this year was between 2-3%. The December vote brought out 13% of voters with a 49% approval. The recent June vote brought out 25% of voters with a 55.7% approval, missing the mark by only 4.3%. The engagement of the community grew as did the percentage of approval. Many more constituents are educated to the need for our youngest students in the district. We will continue to fight for what’s best for kids!
Another focus was getting the Fort Madison Community School District on the map. We want to be known in Iowa as a great place for kids and families. To that degree, we are boasting a State of Iowa finalist for teacher of the year in 2016. The State of Iowa Director of Education visited our district in April and highlighted our partnerships with the YMCA and Elliotts’ Test Kitchen in his statewide newsletter. Our school board has applied to be a presenter for the Iowa Association of School Boards annual conference in Des Moines. I will be presenting to new superintendents this month at the School Administrators of Iowa meeting. We also received excellent media coverage this year from many entities including Pen City Current, Daily Democrat, The Hawkeye, Tri State Public Radio, WGEM and KHQA.
As superintendent, I am looking forward to continuing to build relationships with the community and the school district. Our staff works tirelessly to engage and challenge students. The goals that have been established by the Board of Directors are:
1. All students in FMCSD will learn through a rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on higher order thinking
skills in order to solve complex problems.
2. All students in FMCSD will be prepared with the necessary life and social skills for success after graduation.
As a district, we will hold ourselves accountable to these goals and will be reporting our progress at monthly board of director meetings.
I hope you have a great rest of the summer and know we are excited for the 2017-2018 school year!
Erin M. Slater, Ed. S.
Superintendent of the Fort Madison Community School District