101 S.Grant St.| Belleville, Wisconsin | 53508 | USA

August, 2004

Hello and welcome to what I am sure will prove to be another fascinating year in the Belleville School District!

My name is Sally Baxter and I am pleased to be beginning my 5th year as your Elementary/Intermediate Principal. The last four years have been a real growing experience for me both personally and professionally. The students in Belleville are wonderful to work with and teach me something new almost daily. Our staff has been working hard over the summer to keep current on educational practices and technology. When the district adopted the statement of Learning Comes First, it was intended for students and staff as well.

Learning Comes First does not mean that academics are our only focus. We believe that children learn in many aspects in a variety of settings and situations. At the Elementary and Intermediate schools, we focus on the child as a whole person. Their social/emotional well-being is fostered through school-wide activities and individual recognition for their accomplishments. We are also proud to have a well-balanced developmental guidance program. Their physical well-being is taken care of through nutritious hot lunch and snack programs. Whether they are feeling ill or just need a little TLC, we also tout a very impressive nursing program at the schools. The whole child is rounded out by their academic needs. As we are aware, children grow academically at different rates. It is our mission to meet every child where they are and take them to their next higher level of learning. Individual success is a goal for all students.

The doors of our schools are always open to the parents and the community. We would love for you to join us at anytime. Volunteers are always welcome to read with students or do odd jobs for the staff. You have much to share in expertise that can widen our students’ understanding of the world outside the school doors. If you would like to share your time and talents with the students and staff, please contact the school office.

Speaking of talents, I am proud to be able to announce that our students in the third grade did exceptionally well on the Wisconsin Third Grade Reading Comprehension Test this last spring. Ninety-five percent (95%) of those students now entering fourth grade scored at the proficient and advanced levels. That is a cause for celebration! We are very proud of them and know that it takes a team to post those kinds of results. Parents, teachers, siblings, grandmas and grandpas, whoever is reading to and with kids, are helping in our goal, as well as the national goal, of having 100% of children proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade. Belleville is well on the way to meeting that goal. Keep reading!

So what will be new this school year, you wonder? All the individuals who walk through that door on the first day are new this year. We have all grown and learned at least one new thing over the summer. We have all had experiences that will forever change us. The new school year is the best time to start anew. Most faces will be comfortable and familiar but we will be welcoming some new students and look forward to getting to know them and their families. We are delighted to have Mr. Dan Henkel as our new instructional music teacher at 6th grade. He will be previewing and matching instruments with 6th graders at the beginning of the year as we continue to build a wonderful band program.

As always, the expectations for student behavior here at school are high. We want all students to be the best people they can be and encourage them to use all their strength in self-control to make this a positive place to learn for everyone. Safety is a top priority both physically and emotionally. I tell the kids that I promise parents to send them home in the same shape as they came to school. I encourage them to help me with that promise by playing safe inside and outside of the building.

The two “R”’s are the last points I want to touch on. Respect and Responsibility are the core values of any organization. We all need to respect that not everyone looks, thinks, or acts like us and that we have no right to sit in judgment. That is a strong message that will be present in our schools. Responsibility is key to success in many arenas. In school, it means having the materials that you need and being able to take responsibility for your actions. Whether those actions are positive or a touch negative, it is important to own them to be able to sustain or improve them. I want to mention here also that we want children to be comfortable here at school but that we will be enforcing the dress code. I know that fashion is different then when I was younger but please make sure that your children are coming to school appropriately dressed with pants and shirts that cover them nicely. No halters, short shorts or pants hanging low. Thanks for you helping us dress for success.

I believe that the children in Belleville are in great hands when they enter the Elementary and Intermediate schools. Do not hesitate to call our school for any reason, communication is a key element to a good working relationship.

Here is hoping that your summer has been everything you wanted and more. Soon the big yellow busses will roll and again the schools will fill with laughter and learning.

See you on September 1st!

Sally Baxter