• Brian Ayers

    June 4, 2024

    Dear Parents/Guardians and Community Members,

    As we wrap up the 2023-2024 school year, we have many achievements and changes to celebrate. This year marked the successful implementation of a four-day school week, a significant shift aimed at enhancing the quality of education and well-being for our students, staff, and families. We appreciate the flexibility and dedication of our community in adapting to this new schedule.

    The four-day school week aimed to improve student engagement, reduce absenteeism, provide teachers with additional time for professional development, and serve as a recruitment and retention tool. Early feedback suggests positive outcomes, and we look forward to reviewing comprehensive data in the coming months.

    This year, our fifth-grade classes returned to elementary school, fostering a more cohesive learning environment for our younger students. This transition was smoothly led by Mrs. Howells and Mr. Blessum, whose leadership ensured minimal disruption and a welcoming atmosphere for the students.

    Mrs. Howells and Mr. Kragt’s partnership in our middle and high schools has been invaluable. Their commitment to addressing the needs of both students and staff has helped maintain a productive and positive school environment during this period of significant change.

    Throughout the year, our staff demonstrated a servant approach to their work, prioritizing the needs of students and the community. Their hard work and dedication have been instrumental in navigating the challenges and changes of this school year. We are proud of the collaborative spirit that has defined our district and look forward to continuing this momentum in the coming year.

    As we look ahead to the 2024-2025 school year, we have much to look forward to. We are excited to welcome two new principals to our district: Wes Kragt, the K-5 principal, and Mary Fulp, the middle school principal. We also welcome Kristie Pierce as our new special education director and school psychologist, and Nate Parseghian as our new athletic director. Additionally, we are pleased to have new administrative assistants Bria Coder and Genevieve Poole join our team.

    The district is also excited to welcome several new teachers: Jolie Shelton and Hailey Bluml, both 2nd grade teachers; Amber Whitten, K-5 Counselor; Anthony Borowiecki, 6-12 Music and Band Teacher; Shane Moore, High School Social Studies teacher; Kathryn Chaussé, High School Spanish Teacher; Emma Moerman, High School Math Teacher; and Caroline Spinti, Academic Enrichment for Math & ELA.

    The District Office will be relocating to make room for students and staff in the current District Office near the Commons. The new offices will be located at the east end of the high school, in the small side of the activities room. Staff, parents, and community members will enter the new District Office through door # 8 located between the high school and maintenance shop, near the tennis courts. There will be signage and parking for the District Office. The phone numbers and emails for District Office staff will remain the same. The District Office staff will remain in their current location until late July.

    If your student is planning to ride the school bus for the 2024-2025 school year, registration is required. Here are the key points to note:

    • Eligibility: Only students who live within the Manhattan High School and Elementary School attendance areas are eligible to register for bus transportation.

    • New Students: If your student is new to the district and resides outside these attendance areas, your student is not eligible to ride the bus.

    • Registration: See the district’s website for more information. Please do not register for bus transportation if you do not live within the designated attendance areas. (Be on the lookout for the online bus registration form to go live.)

    For any questions or further information regarding transportation, please contact the Superintendent's Office.

    Thank you to our students, parents, staff, and community members for your unwavering support and commitment. Together, we have made this a successful and memorable school year.

    Wishing everyone a restful and enjoyable summer!

    Sincerely,

    Brian K. Ayers, Superintendent Manhattan Public Schools