May has arrived and brought with it actual spring weather and relief from a generally long winter. It also represents one of the busiest months in the school calendar as the end of the school year arrives and with it all the events and celebrations that take place at all grade levels. We celebrate kindergarten graduation, eighth grade graduation (bon voyage), and of course our senior graduation this month and in general the successful completion of another school year. It has been an exciting 2022-2023 for our school district reflected in our levels of student enrollment growth and reaching over 2,000 students in grades K-12 for the first time in our history, construction on the middle school and the new Bakken Area Skills Center moving forward, and various student and school building successes throughout the school year; all of which help make our school district a special and continually improving school district. Unfortunately, we also experienced student loss this school year of which is tragic and difficult to comprehend. Despite the successes and setbacks, we celebrate the end of another school year this month and look ahead to another exciting school year in 2023-2024.
May is also a special month as it includes recognition of our teachers with Teacher Appreciation Week as well as National School Principal’s Day and School Nurse Appreciation Day. Teacher appreciation also correlates to our Teacher of the Year awards and recognitions at the building level and eventually at the district level later this month. The nominations for Teacher of the Year are growing each year from parents, community members, and students which is a complement to our staff and their impact on students and parents throughout the school year. We have many teachers deserving of the recognition and it is a challenge to determine the winner(s) each year; however, the celebration in coordination with teacher appreciation week allows us to celebrate all our teachers and their commitment and dedication to our students and families. Education is a challenging profession of which much time is spent outside of the typical work day to benefit students and provide a positive overall experience in our school buildings. Please take time this month to recognize our teachers and thank them for their efforts this school year and their dedication to our youth and future of our community.
As we recognize our teachers this month, we also recognize the current teacher shortage and issues it will continue to create for our school district and school districts in general into the future, unless we have more teachers pursuing certification and going into the profession. We are hopeful to fill all open positions for 2023-2024, however, we were unsuccessful this current school year which required us to make transfers to cover open areas. We continue to advertise and promote applications for open 2023-2024 teaching positions; if you are aware of anyone interested, please have them reach out to the District Office. Alternative pathways to receiving a teaching certificate are available and provide options for interested applicants to become a licensed teacher in North Dakota that were previously unavailable. We highly encourage anyone that is interested in becoming a licensed teacher to obtain information as to the process and timeline of which to become a licensed K-12 educator in North Dakota; we are happy to assist in our office with anyone interested in receiving information on teacher licensure. We also encourage anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher to contact the District Office as the requirements to be a substitute teacher were modified this past school year and do not require any levels of post-secondary education to receive a substitute teacher license. The flexibility of hours in being a substitute teacher may be a great option for anyone supplementing their current employment or working within a busy family schedule. Please consider substitute teaching if you have not considered it previously and with the new pathway to becoming a licensed substitute teacher providing more options for those interested.
Enjoy the last month of the school year and have a great summer!