Wayne Whitwam

From the December 2022 Hermantown Community Schools Newsletter

Dear Students and Parents,

Last summer administrators went to a “Professional Learning Communities” (PLC) conference, followed up with staff training in the fall and put together a team of teachers as a guiding coalition. The idea of a PLC is to determine essential standards, create common assessments and use data to continually improve instruction. As we look at how we could do this most effectively, the group is considering school starting 10 minutes earlier four days per week and creating one 40 minute late start once per week beginning in 2023-24 to create a common time for collaboration. We believe this is an educational best practice, but we also are aware this could create issues for some families. There will be a number of informational meetings for parents in January to gather input before a proposal goes to the Board - so be watching for these dates.

With poor road conditions on Tuesday, we released Middle School and High School 10 minutes early to make sure that buses would be safe and make it back to the elementary school on time. Also related to safety, this week we practiced lock down drills in our buildings. Typically these happen three times per year.

Finally, I want to send a special thank you to Gary Kneisl and Dianne Mathews, who have served for four years and eight years, respectively, on our school board. Both made the choice to step down after successfully leading the district through some very challenging times. Their leadership, integrity and institutional knowledge will truly be missed. Both of these leaders always prioritized students and education at the heart of their decisions. The district is in a better place today because of the time they served.

Have a happy holiday season!


Wayne Whitwam