Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Student Happenings

I wanted to share a couple of things that have been happening around our school district. I know that there are many things that happen in our buildings on a daily basis that many never hear about.
In particular, in the past month I have been fortunate enough to have been part of the "Shark Tank" for Mrs. Schlechter's Business &Technology JH wheel course. Part of this quarter long course is to research and develop a new product. Then the team of students has to get "investors" for their product.  It is very encouraging to see so many of these students take pride in developing a product that can be very real some day.
Along the same lines, I was on the interview panel for Mrs. Melius' Employability/Personal Finance course. These students spend the semester learning about skills that will help them gain employment at any point in their life. At the conclusion of the semester the students have to create a resume and interview for a position in front of current business people. This is a great learning experience for many students. Being in a small town, they do not always get to experience the pressure of having to interview in front of a panel.
Back in November, Mrs. Geditz's 4th grade course took their field trip to Bill Melius' buffalo ranch. While there the students get to see a working buffalo ranch, learn about the buffalo, and even learn about life on prairie. Here are a few pictures from their trip.

I also wanted to share about a project that Mrs. Montonye does with her students at Blumengard colony. Studentreasures is an on-line program free of charge to educators.  Educators can create a book with a whole class, or individual students can write their own.  The company sends out all materials necessary to create the books, except for markers in the coloring of the pictures.  The students work very hard to create a book that they are proud of. Here are a few pictures of the finished product. 

 Thank you for taking the time to hear about some of the awesome things happening in our schools! It's always great to see things like this to give you a boost during the year. Thank you to ALL of our staff who work so hard to provide great opportunities for our students. 

Yours in Education,
Derek Barrios
Superintendent/Elementary Principal

Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Has Begun

Winter has finally started to show up a bit for us. Some of you may be excited, others not so much. What it means for myself…making the decision if we are going to have “10:00 am Start” or “No School”.  As we all know, our district is large, and the weather can be completely opposite from one corner to the next.  I want to let you all know that I take this responsibility very seriously, and always have the safety of your children in mind.  When the weather is going to be questionable I am out early driving the roads myself to help make the decision.  I also communicate with law enforcement, highway crews, and county residents.  I know that my decision will not always be agreed upon with everyone.  Please keep in mind that I will never question your decision to keep your children home if you feel that roads are not ideal in your area.  All we ask is that you call the school and let us know if your children will be running late or not coming in. We want to be sure that all students are accounted for.  Please communicate with the school if you are not receiving any of the school messages.  School closings and late starts will come to the phone numbers your provided at the beginning of the year.
Congratulations to our fall activities on great seasons.  Oral Interp is finishing their season with State December 2nd and 3rd. Winter activities are now underway for everyone, our mid-term has just passed, and before you know it we will be at the end of the first semester and on Christmas Break.  Important dates:
-          K-12 Christmas Concert on December 6th @ 6:30pm
-          2:30 dismissal on December 22nd for Christmas Break 
-          Teacher In-Service on January 3rd
-          School resumes on January 4th
Reminder that I am still collecting survey responses on our District Perception Survey. Please contact me if you would be willing complete one of these. Thank you to all of you have responded thus far. 
Thank you again for all of the support that this community gives our students and staff.  Don’t forget that I am always willing to talk with you if you have questions. Please feel free to set up a time to meet or call the school sometime.  Happy Holidays to everyone!

Yours in Education,

Derek Barrios

Superintendent/Elementary Principal

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Community Involvement and Local History

Last week our 3rd grade class took a little stroll to the Faulkton Senior Living to perform their Halloween readers' theater scripts. Mrs. Haberling uses readers theater with the 3rd grade to work on fluency and reading with expression. This is one of many ways that our teachers do something a little different than just the "classroom".  Not only are these students learning content standards, but also valuable life skills as well. Well done 3rd grade!

Mrs. Geditz and the 4th grade class take a walk to the Pickler Mansion every year. The students get a tour and get to learn about some valuable local history as well. Mrs. Moritz was gracious enough to give the tour. Not long after the tour Mrs. Moritz visited the 3rd grade classroom as well to share some Faulkton history with the students. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

It takes a village...

The education of our students is never ending.  I sincerely appreciate the willingness of businesses and community members to take the time to work with our students and provide another component to their education.  To educate the whole child, we need to look for outside resources and professionals that can supplement the hard work our staff do in their classrooms.

Over the past few weeks, we have had visitors in our schools, as well as field trips in town and out of town.  FEM Electric made a stop to visit our third and fifth grade students to teach them about what cooperatives are, electricity, as well as farm safety.  Their presentation was done in the classroom, as well as in the lunchroom and gym.  In the pictures you can see the display used to show farm safety, and not pictured was a demonstration of electrical equipment that is commonly used. Dr. Bode, from Animal Health Center here in Faulkton, also made a stop by the fifth grade classroom.  Animal cells was the topic of discussion.  Students were able to see cells on the Promethean Board through the microscope.  It is great to have Dr. Bode share his expertise with this group of students.

Our students have also been very fortunate to have been able to take some field trips as well. Our kindergarten has taken a cross-town hike to the fire department and sheriff's office. The fourth grade took a trip to NSU for the Northern Prairie Water Festival, the seniors and juniors attended the NSU Business Symposium, and Mr. Ulrich took a group of students to Augustana University for Science Day.  I know there are probably others not mentioned as well.

The Faulkton Area Schools District thanks our community and surrounding area for giving us the ability to experience so many exciting opportunities for learning. Our staff works hard to provide new and innovative ways to educate our children. Education is ever changing, and I can't thank our staff and community enough for the hard work they put in to make learning meaningful for our students. It takes a village...


Derek Barrios
Superintendent/Elementary Principal

FEM Electric

FEM Electric

Dr. John Bode with microscope set-up for students to see

Kindergarten visiting with Faulk County Sheriff Department
Kindergarten visiting the Faulkton Volunteer Fire Department

4th Grade at Water Festival

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Excitement and Engagement

The excitement and engagement of our students is amazing. I was reminded of this the other day when observing in the first grade classroom for a bit. Cheers so loud for spelling "hip" correctly it made you smile. There is not a day that goes by in this building without hearing the shouts of joy from a class as they celebrate something new that they have learned. Even the encouragement that they give one another while in class is great. Our students are eager to learn and just as eager to help others learn. These are attributes that are learned. Attributes that are taught and modeled to them by our parents and staff.  This is what makes Faulkton Area such a great place to be a learner.

The classrooms that our students are in everyday are full of collaboration and teamwork. Teamwork is something that has been a part of my life for a long time. Growing up with a father who was a college football coach, I was on the sidelines of many football games and at many practices.  It was evident to me then how important teamwork was. I could see those who were leaders, those who were great team players, and those who were not great team players.  Walking through the halls of our buildings and observing in classrooms gives a great picture of what teamwork is. Students helping students, teachers helping students, teachers helping teachers, and students helping teachers. This type of teamwork is what takes a school district to the next level.

I am excited to help support the great amount of collaboration and teamwork that is taking place in our buildings. I am also looking forward to continuing to improve our collaboration and teamwork with our community. The entire community plays an important role in the success of our schools and our children. The ceiling of our continued success is limitless, and involving all of our district community members, business owners, parents, staff and students is vital.

If you reside in our school district, or have children attending our schools, please take this survey by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/2dJ5oVm
Also, if you are on Twitter. Connect with me! @MrBeRos


Derek Barrios
Superintendent/Elementary Principal

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Here we go...

I have been putting this off for some time now, so I have finally decided to take the plunge and begin a blog for myself as superintendent. The mission and vision of my blog is “To engage and communicate effectively with members of our district”.  This will be a learning experience for me, so hang with me. I want to provide an area that allows all the members of our school district to see the school district from my point of view.  My blog posts will provide a look into our schools throughout the year. I plan to share the amazing things that our talented teachers are doing in their classrooms, the projects and activities that our students are doing, occasional education updates that are important to share, and the experiences I am gaining as a superintendent.
I am very excited to begin my first year as Superintendent with the Faulkton Area Schools District. We are a couple months into the school year now, and have been working hard to become acquainted with the community of Faulkton and Faulk County. Our district is nearly 1,000 sq. miles, while I will not claim to have driven the many roads of the district, I can say that I have driven the many miles of our bus routes to become better aware of the area that we serve.  I have also spent some time at all three of the Colony Schools that are in our district. I am looking forward to working with those individual schools and communities.
We are very fortunate to have such amazing staff in our school buildings. I have enjoyed seeing their hard work and determination with our students to get the school year started right.  Their excitement and enthusiasm is infectious, and I cannot wait to see the many great things that we can accomplish together.
The Faulkton Area Schools District has a great tradition of success and support in this community.  I will work hard to recognize and honor that while keeping our school district moving forward and progressing with the ever changing educational landscape.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I would be happy to sit down and talk with you. I look forward to a great rest of the school year.
Derek Barrios – Superintendent/Elementary Principal