I hope the summer has provided you the opportunity to relax, recharge and do something you enjoy as a family. In just a couple of short weeks school will be in session and we will be off to another exceptional school year. I am looking forward to working with you this year to make Merrill a “Destination District” where students are motivated and engaged to learn. 
Here are a few things we are doing in preparation of the school year:
• We are excited to announce that Church Mutual Insurance will be partnering with our High School Building Construction class in the construction of a building on site at Church Mutual Headquarters. The project will take the place of a home construction. Due to recent changes in building requirements our construction projects won’t include items such as electrical. The construction of a wellness/retreat center at Church Mutual will allow students to address all the construction competencies that would be addressed with the construction of a home. We have completed a legal review of the project to provide us the assurances necessary to continue with the project. We are also in the process of completing the project agreement to address safety, liabilities, and payments for the project. We anticipate a student presentation at a regular board meeting in September or October.
• New regulations in student health and nutrition will go into effect this school year. One of our requirements is to have a nutrition and wellness committee. Administration has met with our school nurse and Laura Krause, food service director, to start planning the development of the committee. Federal law will require some significant changes to food that is offered during lunch and the entire school day. We will provide a Board presentation at a future date.
• We a have a great District in-service plan to get staff motivated and engaged to start the year off right. During the morning session we will have Dr. James Rickabaugh, from the CESA 1 Institute with us to provide a deeper understanding of what personalized learning is and how this learner center approach has transformed schools in Wisconsin. During the afternoon we have 3 concurrent sessions that staff will rotate through on next steps in Educator Effectiveness, changes in state assessments and our plan for supporting staff through the process.  This is the first year that support staff will be required to attend the full day of training.
• The Annual Meeting will be held on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Merrill High School Auditorium, please join us.
Remember that the start of the school year means students will be walking to school and buses will be on the road. Please be aware of the extra traffic as you travel around town. Help us keep our kids safe. 
We’re listening; please let us know how we can help. For more information, contact your schools or look us up on the web at: www.maps.k12.wi.us. Please take a brief survey about what you would like on the webpage.