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Jacobs Letters
BY BEN JACOBS
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We are approaching the final weeks of the 2012-2013 school year!  It has been an outstanding year for achievement in the district. We are working diligently on concluding the year in an exemplary manner. We greatly anticipate the implementation of many initiatives that have been a long time in the making.  he district is positioning itself to be an educational leader in Kansas; one for which the community of Ellinwood can be proud.
The district recently completed the input phase of the strategic planning process. We had four meetings over the course of two months to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to provide perspective into developing the strategic plan. We had great participation that resulted in a diverse set of contributions made to the process. These results will now be compiled and focused into a comprehensive strategic plan that will be utilized to guide the district going forward.  The district is thankful to all of those that participated in developing this document. It will have an impact on students in the district for many years to come.
The school district is also embarking on some new initiatives that will enhance the student experience. The district is researching potential 1:1 technology device initiatives. While still in the planning stages, the intent is to place such a device in the hands of each student to assist them in attaining their educational objectives.  Students would then have the opportunity to learn in an environment that is without walls or time limitations. It would also allow for a customization and differentiation of learning that is unique to each individual student. The district is working to find the best solution for the needs of its students.  
Spring activities are in the middle of their respective seasons and have already experienced much success.  The high school golf team recently finished second in the Ellinwood Invitational. The softball team has won two games and is showing consistent improvement.  The tennis team is working on building numbers, but has had some solid individual performances. The EHS track team has been dominant during the first half of their schedule.  The EMS track and tennis teams have posted some exceptional results and have outstanding participation numbers. EHS activities have also had an exemplary spring.  The vocal and instrumental music programs are entering into their concert periods while forensics has qualified a full team entry to the state tournament. FBLA qualified two entries to the national competition this summer in California.  It has been a great spring for activity performances in the district.
The district is extremely excited to progress forward into new educational endeavors. Through the dedication and active involvement of a wide constituency, USD 355 will be an innovator in providing leading edge instruction and resources to the students of the community. We will work with a seriousness of purpose that helps all students excel in both academic and extra-curricular activities.  We are eager to begin another journey next school year with these ideals in mind. Ellinwood Public Schools 2012-2013: Success Takes the Stairs.

Ben Jacobs is the superintendent of  Ellinwood Schools.