Superintendent VanLeer

The Washington School District is gearing up for the new school year.

Before students return next Tuesday, Aug. 20, teachers and staff are attending meetings and preparing their classrooms.

This Friday, Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer will officially welcome back all faculty and staff for the new year.

An opening ceremony for the 2013-14 school year is planned for 2 p.m. at the C.J. Burger Fine Arts Center at Washington High School.

VanLeer will give her annual “Back to School” message and welcome back all 600-plus staff members.

Opening ceremonies will include a presentation by WINGS and the Franklin County Area United Way.

A highlight of the program will be the presentation of the WINGS Foundation Support Staff Person of the Year award. WINGS also awards an Outstanding Teacher of the Year award at the end-of-the-year program.

VanLeer will give closing remarks and then all staff members are invited to attend a WINGS staff appreciation picnic.

The superintendent said she met with her “A Team” — the building principals — Monday morning and discussed a wide range of topics, including the district’s 21st century learning plan, safety procedures, early intervention services for students, school bus planning and professional development.

New teachers in the district were scheduled to attend a training session Tuesday.

“We have a great new crop of educators coming to the school district,” VanLeer said. “Dr. Judy Straatmann and the instructional and technology staff will be working with them to acclimate them the Washington Way.”

On Wednesday, administrators will meet with the buildings and grounds supervisors, as well as food service. Meetings with the technology department and nurse coordinator also are planned.

VanLeer said the district’s motto is “Every Child, Every Day, the Washington Way.”

“This message will come to life, beginning at the opening ceremony,” she said. “We also will introduce the 21st century learning plan and the beginning of the digital transformation work.”