Local Views: Stillwater School Board Should Focus on Teacher-Student Experience, Not Buildings and Real Estate

Public education is its own unique business, but as a physician, I can’t help but compare it to healthcare. In many ways, education and healthcare are similar.  Students and families are consumers for education services. Patients are consumers for healthcare services. The key element in education is the interaction between teacher and student. In healthcare it’s the provider-patient relationship. Continue Reading →

Stillwater Seeks Public Input Using Polco

The City of Stillwater is using Polco, an innovative engagement platform where residents can have input into the community decision-making process. By increasing civic engagement through web-based polling, there is an opportunity to meet Stillwater residents where they are. Stillwater’s rollout of Polco will focus on elements of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The City will release Polco questions focusing on perceptions of public safety, community quality of life, performance of local government, taxes and more. This is an opportunity to let the City know what is valued most, what may need to be improved, and what opportunities there are for the future. Continue Reading →

SNOW DAY: Stillwater Schools, River Grove, Closed on March 5

All Stillwater Area Public Schools will be closed on Monday, March 5 due to the anticipation of inclement weather. “Forecasters are predicting a winter storm to hit our area tomorrow. In anticipation of inclement weather, we have decided to cancel school for Monday, March 5. There will be no school for all students. Adventure Club will also be closed and all regular after school and Community Education activities including Early Childhood, adult and youth classes are canceled. Continue Reading →

Shamrock the Valley

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day with an Irish Dinner of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Food served from 4 – 7 pm. Music by Drinkwine & Friends from 5 – 9 pm. Costume Contest with prizes at 7:15 pm. Continue Reading →

Stillwater Area Public Schools Considering Changes to School Start Times

Stillwater Area Public Schools is considering a change to start times for the 2019-2020 school year. The preliminary proposal to change start times was shared with the school board during a work session last week. According to the preliminary proposal:

Start times would be earlier for Oak-Land and Stillwater middle school students, as well as two elementary schools;

Move the start time for Stillwater Area High School back 40 minutes for an 8:20 a.m. start time;

Move five elementary school start times back about 30 minutes; and

Impact local charter and non-public schools with possible start times beginning near 10 a.m.

According to Stillwater Area Public Schools:

“School board members are considering a change to school start times that would allow for high school students to begin school later in the day. Medical evidence and research suggests that a start time of 8:30 a.m. or later would better align with teens’ unique sleep needs – improving both the physical and mental health of high school students.” The district could see a financial benefit from adjusting start times, according to the district’s website, by “allow the district to better balance the number of buses needed during each tier of bussing.”

Link: School board considering start time changes for 2019-2020

Link: Start Time Research on stillwaterschools.org

Link:  Preliminary Proposal shared with Board of Education

The preliminary proposal would move the district to a four tier busing system, instead of the current modified three tier system. Tier 1: (7:30 a.m.) Both middle schools and two elementary schools. Continue Reading →

Local Views: On ‘Misconduct by Ptacek and Stivland’

Attorney Kristi Hastings, hired to investigate the alleged misconduct of school board members Michael Ptacek and Sarah Stivland, found that Ptacek and Stivland acted in violation of this District’s Respectful Behavior Policy, and Board Governance Process. Dr. Ptacek made a series of public statements about a District employee. Attorney Hastings found that:

1. When asked a question by the press, instead of making a straight-forward and honest statement, Ptacek asked a rhetorical question crafted to cause people to read between the lines and assume that someone (the District employee) had done something improper. 2. Continue Reading →

Talk of the District: More than 8,000 reasons “Why”

Let’s face it. We all have days when the alarm clock goes off and we just do not want to crawl out from under those covers. So when that feeling kicks in, what is it that motivates us to fight off the desire to fall back asleep? What is the “why” that gets us going each day? I posed this question to the staff of the Stillwater Area Public Schools at the start of this school year. Continue Reading →