Kougar Column- 11-25-2021

Posted by Robert Lukens on 11/25/2021


Hello Kougar Family,


   Thanksgiving is here!  Festive 'seasons of giving' are entirely in the process.  As a community, we often give thanks for many things: homes, our jobs, our family, even our society.  Today though, I write to thank the teachers and coaches who give their time each day to make a difference for our schools.  We have made some changes in our school to address our students having some troubles getting work completed for their classes.  Our middle school team has been putting extra hours and time into allowing students to get the assignments they have not turned in done before the end of the semester in December.  Students with missing work have 20 minutes of dedicated time to work on projects over recess; once their assignments are in, they can go back to recess.

   Further, students with over twenty missing assignments are given a chance to get their work done in the 6th and 7th hours each day.  Once they have less than 20 assignments to get done, they can head back to their regular last block classes.  I have been so impressed by our middle school teacher's dedication to helping students and giving prep and lunchtime willingly to allow more students to succeed each day.

    On the high school side, we have started to put zeros in the electronic grade book for missing work to inform students of their 'true' grades.  Why?  We want all students to be able to prevent a fall in the last few weeks of school.  By placing zeros for missing work, students can see where they are in the weeks leading up to the end of the semester (December 17th, 2021) and meet with their teachers to get their grades moving in the right direction.  Again, I am so impressed and want to thank the teachers for their willingness to give up time and work hard to help our students get their assignments done to retain the knowledge needed to succeed in our world.  They are indeed a great asset I cannot thank enough. 

   Why thank these individuals?  Last week I wrote about the importance of community support in schools and how little can get done without parental and community consent.  Who supports the community’s effort?  When a student attends, who makes it their mission to allow the student or student-athletes to grow and improve?  Who focuses their effort on educating the whole child, mentally, physically, and fulfilling their duties to reach their highest potential as a team or student?  We look no further than our staff at Kadoka Area and its outlying schools.

   What are the fruits of these labors?  Research shows that students who have a higher GPA do have a higher occurrence of entering the workforce.  Students who graduate with a strong background in various areas (Agriculture, Music, Athletics, etc.) show higher success outside of high school.  Do these successes take place without our educators and coaches investing in them as students?  I don't think they do.  People invest in students, including the previously talked about community members, but the teachers that spark the kindle success in a student's life.

   We celebrate this holiday and the fruits of our success as a nation.  The first Thanksgiving was between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims so many years ago, and now, today, we celebrate the investment of our teachers and coaches into their descendants that inhibit our country right now, right here in the same world we live.  Thank you, teachers and coaches.  Enjoy some turkey and vacation for your efforts!


In support of the Kougars,

Mr. Robert Lukens