Project-based learning can create an amazing experience for students. For example, first-grade students at Lincoln Elementary recently created their own "Career Day." After choosing which professions they'd like to learn more about, students wrote e-mails asking professionals to present to the group. Each year's program is completely different and the children decide which careers they would like to focus on. Here are a few photos from this year's event.

TSD Board approves start and release time adjustment

On January 17, the Thompson School District Board of Education approved an adjustment to start and release times, as well as a one-hour late start on Wednesdays, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. A district task force will now work on a variety of items to help ensure a smooth transition, including a start and release time for our K-8 students. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, middle school and high school students will start their day later and elementary students will start a bit earlier. Here is a summary of the tentative start and end times:

  • Elementary Schools: 8am – 3:10pm
  • High Schools: 8:30am – 3:50pm
  • Middle Schools: 8:45am – 4pm

Districts around the state and across the country have been moving in this direction for several years with positive results. The Centers for Disease Control, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend that secondary students start school no earlier than 8:30 AM, citing a variety of benefits to student health and learning, including:

  • Increased attendance rates
  • Increase in GPA
  • Increase in state test scores
  • Increase in student attention
  • Increase in quality of student-family interaction
  • Decrease in disciplinary action
  • Decrease in student-involved car accidents
  • Decrease in student sleeping during instruction

Another difference in the school calendar for 2018-2019 is the addition of a one-hour late start every Wednesday morning to allow time for educators to collaborate in their planning and professional growth opportunities. Teacher quality is the most important influence on student learning and the Board heard from both the Calendar Committee Task Force and the Recruit and Retain Task Force that providing educators a regular and consistent time to collaborate improves their teaching practice. This new calendar will add four more school days for students, as the previous practice of full days off for teacher professional development is being replaced by the Wednesday one-hour late start.

More information on the upcoming 2018-2019 school year schedule will be forthcoming later this spring.

TSD Board searches for new superintendent

The Thompson School District Board of Education is in the process of a formal search to fill the district's superintendent position, which will be vacated effective July 1, 2018 by Dr. Stan Scheer, who has announced his retirement.

Community forums were hosted in January to provide an opportunity for students, parents, staff and community members to share their thoughts on the talents and traits that they prefer for Thompson's next superintendent. 

The Board of Education has contracted with the firm McPherson and Jacobson to manage the formal search. Below is a copy of the tentative timeline for the process.

February

•    Applications for the Superintendent position will close.

March

•    March 26-29 - Superintendent Candidate Interviews

April

•    TSD will announce the next Superintendent of Schools.