Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Technology Safety

We are definitely living in a world where children are becoming "tech savvy" at an earlier age.  I have heard from many of our students about ipods, ipads, Kindle Fire, nooks, etc... that they have at home.  Technology is such a great tool and it can be used in such a powerful way for children to learn and communicate.  Unfortunately, it can also provide our children with access to information that is not appropriate, and it can provide the public with information about your child that you do not want shared.

It is very important for you to carefully monitor your children's usage of technology.  It is also important to have conversations with your children about how to be safe when they are online.  Mr. Ford and Mr. Sterrett will spend time during tech time teaching students about internet safety as well.  Here is a website that can serve as a good resource for you as you have these conversations with your children:


Let me know if you have questions.
It's a GREAT day to be a Cougar!!

Carmen Bergmann

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year- My resolution.

Happy New  Year!  I hope everyone had a good break and that you had time to enjoy family and friends.  I  spent some of my break thinking about how fortunate I am to be a part of the Prairieland community and what I can do to maintain the high standards and success that characterizes Prairieland.  My first year was spent getting to know the community and doing a lot of observing and reflecting.  Unfortunately my first year was also spent completing my superintendent's certificate, which was very time-consuming and often stressful.  Now that I have had time to acclimate myself to this wonderful place and now that I am done taking classes, I am very excited to put all of my time and energy into continuing the tradition of excellence that has always been at Prairieland.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to work with the staff to ensure that we are always doing what is best for the children and families so that our students will be successful for their entire educational careers and into their adult lives.  This is a tall order, but one that is wholeheartedly embraced by the Cougar staff.  We have been challenged recently by budget cuts and increased initiatives relating to assessment and instruction.  Our teachers are learning new approaches to literacy instruction, we are using a different approach to student interventions, and we are greatly increasing our use of data to form instruction and determine student intervention needs.  It has been overwhelming for the teachers, but they have soaked it all up and have done a fantastic job of trying to stay ahead of the game.  Everything we are doing is based on best practice and is intended to benefit all students.  My only fear in all of this is that we will become so consumed with the new initiatives that we will lose the personal connections with students and the need to develop a love of learning by helping students to feel a connection to Prairieland and a desire to be in school.  It is important for us to maintain a balance in all that we do.

In order to do this, our staff is going to spend time re-visiting our vision and core beliefs to ensure that we have a good balance.  We will then print our vision and post it around the building so that we are always on the same page and maintaining a healthy balance in all that we do.

At Prairieland, our families are always an integral part of what we do, and I am amazed by the commitment and dedication that our families constantly demonstrate.  In order to include all of you in this endeavor, I have created a very brief survey so that we can include your thoughts and beliefs in our discussions.  I would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete the survey (It is VERY short, I promise).  I have set it up so that it can be completed more than once on a computer in case each parent/guardian in the household would like to contribute.

The survey can be found at this link- https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6G7Q58X

Thank you for your time and your thoughts!
It's a GREAT day to be a Cougar!!