December 2017
A Note From The Superintendent's Desk...
What is the S.A.M. project?
The School Administration Manager (SAM) project is a professional development process to change a principal's focus from school management tasks to instructional leadership which are activities directly connected to supporting students by improving teaching and learning.

Who is involved?
Each of our buildings has the lead principal and SAM trained support staff involved in the process. The impact of the approach reaches all grades and departments. For example, each building has developed a list of “first responders” so the staff knows who to contact for assistance with specific needs rather than typically beginning with the principal.

Who are our “SAMS”?
Morris Elementary SAM - Jennifer Keeler
Anderson Elementary SAM - Julie Hall
Middle School SAM - Megan Kula
High School SAM - Holly Keuning

They all have completed SAM training, including a certification process by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners as a School Administrative Manager.

More than 700 schools in 21 states are part of this program. The process adds an average of 27 days of instructional leadership time in the first year by shifting the use of principal time to improve the teaching process and student learning.

In the past, a typical day for a principal included tasks that did not directly impact student learning such as, writing a repair order for a door, supervising traffic, student discipline and attendance, and general management tasks. While all are important, they take time and focus away from a principal’s primary role of being the instructional leader. Activities principals are now focused on include walk-through classroom visits, extended classroom observations, working with parents, feedback and celebration with teachers, modeling best practices, assisting and implementing staff training, and working directly with students. Our principals and their SAMs fill their calendar in advance with activities that directly support teachers and students. It may sound obvious, but the daily demands of a principal can make it difficult to carve out time for priorities if they were not scheduled. The management tasks are now directly routed to the specific person or “first responders” for a specific task instead of routing all questions through the principal. 

Did you know?
Our administrative team will be involved in well over 600 classroom visits district wide this year. Regular visits are critical in supporting teachers as they meet the needs of all students.

Class visits can range from 60 minute observations to 5-minute walk-throughs. In each case the administrator will typically provide feedback ranging from celebration for a job well done, to encouraging students, to asking clarifying questions about the lesson. The goals of the visits are to better understand our climate, curriculum, instruction and what supports may be needed for students and teachers.
What tools are used? 
Below is a sample of a SAM calendar program. Green time designates activities focused on students and instruction. The data from the calendar is used to guide planning of the principals time to meet specific goals. 

Each principal has a “time” coach that is an outside resources used to support the work. It is not intended to be evaluative. The process is used to help school leaders continue to develop professionally and to meet building level goals. The research has clearly shown that this shift in daily practice improves teaching practices and student learning.

This is what a typical SAM calendar will look like. It is purposeful scheduling to focus efforts on priorities.
Illustrations have been provided by National SAM® Innovation Project (NSIP).

I am very proud of our principals and building level SAM’s work in this important area. The SAM project is challenging and the daily team efforts show the tremendous commitment to making student learning and teacher instruction the focus of their time. 

Please feel free to email or call me directly with questions about this article or our district.


Rich Powers, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Phone: 515-967-7819
Building For Our Future in BFCSD: A Snapshot Of Progress At The HS
A Winter Weather Reminder
With the unseasonably higher temperatures we’ve experienced this season, it has been difficult to think of the approaching winter weather. With that said, we would like to remind you of the precautions district staff take when making weather-related decisions and how information will be communicated to families.

In an effort to make a determination by 5:45am, district staff will be out on the roads as early as 4:15am. We consult a variety of sources and work with area superintendents to make the most informed decision possible. Despite our best efforts, we know that things change in a matter of minutes. Families must ultimately determine, individually, if they are comfortable sending their student to school in inclement weather.

In the event of a school cancellation or delay, Infinite Campus will be the primary communication tool used by the district. Families will receive communication in the form of a phone call, email, and, after opting in, a text message. Posts will also be shared on the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, the most up-to-date and accurate communication will be sent to families via Infinite Campus.
In addition to direct notifications, the following local media outlets will be contacted as time allows. 

WHO Ch.13; Fox Ch.17; KCCI Ch.8; WOI Ch.5

Newsradio 1040 WHO; KISS 107.5; The Bus 100.3; Alt 106.3; 1460 KXNO; The Bull 96.9

Other:; 13 Now App
BFCSD Recipient of STEM Grant
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, recently awarded a $10,000 grant to BFCSD. With a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, the Grow Rural Education program will disburse $2.3 million to schools this year. BFCSD plans to use the $10,000 grant to support high quality STEM education programs at Morris and Anderson elementaries.

To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, school districts must be nominated by farmers to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. BFCSD was fortunate to be nominated by four families; thank you to the Fillman, Jensen, Rempe, and Shivers families for their assistance in making this grant possible. Once nominated, BFCSD then submitted a grant application describing their STEM-focused project. An advisory council reviewed the applications, made final selections, and determined the winning school districts, including BFCSD.

On behalf of our entire school community, we’d like to thank the families mentioned above for their nomination, as well as, the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and the Monsanto Fund for their generosity. This grant will help greatly expand STEM education efforts at Morris and Anderson elementaries.
Pictured: Donovan Hill, STEM Teacher Leader, pictured with representatives from three of the families who nominated BFCSD for the grant.
BFHS Choir Supports Children's Cancer Connection
For the past several years, the BFHS Choir has traveled to North Polk High School for a joint concert with their choir. The partnership provides an opportunity for students to collaborate with peers from another school district and to see another choir in action.

After the passing of Ava Hutchinson, the BFHS choir students wanted to do something special for her older sister, Emma, who is a member of the choir. With the help of their director, Mrs. Engels, students brainstormed possible ways to honor the Hutchinson family. The group decided to ask for donations at the joint concert that would be given to an organization that has supported the family through Ava’s battle with cancer. In preparation, students learned “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon, in dedication to the family.  

At the concert on October 17, the group collected over $1,120 through the help of concert goers. On November 15, the BFHS choir presented the donation to a representative of the Children’s Cancer Connection. Thank you to all who made this donation possible!
Ava's Dazzling Diva Tree Named People's Choice Winner
Festival of Trees & Lights is a five-day public event that serves as the main fundraiser for Blank Children's Hospital. This year the event featured over 80 beautifully decorated trees, including one in memory of 6th grader, Ava Hutchinson, who passed away in September. 

Throughout the fall, community members donated pink, purple and glittery materials to be used to create ornaments for Ava’s tree. Monetary donations were also accepted which helped to purchase additional materials. Students then had an opportunity to create decorations in art classes and after school. Several school employees, including art teachers and school counselors, met to decorate Ava’s Dazzling Diva Tree prior to the event.

The 2017 Festival of Trees and Lights was held November 22-26 in Des Moines. Throughout the event, attendees had an opportunity to vote for their favorite trees. Ava’s Dazzling Diva tree was voted first place in the People’s Choice category. The tree was purchased by an underwriter and delivered to the Hutchinson family.

Thank you to all who helped to make Ava's Dazzling Diva tree a success! We'd like to give a special shout out to BFCSD art teachers for their creative guidance and vision!
First Ever Archery Team at BFHS
Introducing the BFHS archery team! After a student expressed interest during the 2016-17 school year, high school administrators began to research the topic and later took steps towards implementation.

The program is governed by the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). Archery equipment was purchased with a $750 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, a $1,500 gift from the Bondurant-Farrar Athletic Boosters, and funds from the district’s general athletics account. Students met for their first practice on November 14th. Practice is held twice per week, with sights set on archery competitions scheduled for January and February. The State Shoot is held March 10-11 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Pictured: Archery members after their 1st practice!
Office Closures During Breaks
With Thanksgiving break in the books and winter break quickly approaching, we’d like to inform you of the impact this has on office hours. As general practice, all offices are closed to the public when students are not in attendance. We understand that during extended breaks, such as winter break, there may be times when parents need school assistance. To accommodate this need, select staff members may be available for appointments from 9-11AM on Wednesday, December 27th and Thursday, December 28th. 

Should you need to schedule an appointment, please contact your building secretary to check their availability. To schedule appointments during break, we encourage you to do so prior to Tuesday, December 19th. 
Offices Will Be Closed To The Public:
December 25-January 1 Due To Winter Break
(Class Resumes & Offices Open On January 2)

*Please note, voicemails will not be monitored during office closures. In the event of an emergency, please contact your building principal via email.
It is the policy of the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator; Chad Carlson, Director of Administrative Services, 300 Garfield St SW, Bondurant, IA 50035, 515-967-7819,

 300 Garfield St. SW - Bondurant, IA 50035 515.967.7819