Hello winter! The City of Maples is seeing its first snowflakes as I write this and a week saw sun and temperatures in the 60s to snow and windchills that were in the negative numbers BRRRRR!

This week our schools participated in the Hour of Code, where all students K-12 are learning basic Computer Science concepts in programming and creating the actual code.

Students continue to use and create on the 3D printers and are coding throughout the year. Computer Science is a priority as it is a skill most jobs will require in the future.

We have had a lot of learning in our classrooms and success in the extra-curricular activities. We hosted an amazing All Mitchell County Choir concert that was outstanding. Congratulations to our Osage Dance Team Club, who in only their second year of existence went to compete at the State Dance competition and our ladies got 2nd place of 12 teams in the Kicks Division. We are very proud of these ladies.

Our District’s collaboration with Charles City, New Hampton and RRMR via the STEM Best Grant has helped our Iowa Big North program continue where students are working on projects and tasks set forth by area business partners and allows students real world work experiences.

In addition, over 80 percent of our classrooms have a business partnership in place where businesses come to the school to observe and share about their business and the jobs and careers they offer.

Staff will be visiting and learning about the businesses we promote all the good opportunities here in Mitchell County.

Also, many teachers recently were awarded Shop on State Grants. It is great to be in a community where people are working together to support our school.

Unfortunately, the weather has changed to winter, which means that snow, ice, wind chills, and blizzards all become greater possibilities.

Student and staff safety is the driving force in the decision-making process on whether to cancel school, start late, or get out early due to weather related circumstances. Please discuss your plan with your students. They need to know what to do if school is cancelled, delayed, or let out early.

Osage Transportation Director, Bobbie Meyer and I start driving the roads by 5 am. (sometimes earlier). We are checking the blacktops and gravel roads for visibility concerns and travel conditions across the entire school district.

Please understand the decision to have school or not, is not made lightly. The decision is made based on current conditions, weather forecasts, radar, law enforcement and other neighboring schools data.

We will continue to communicate (KIMT/KAAL/KTTC), radio, and the Osage Community School Website, Osage School Facebook page and via Twitter. JMC Messaging will also call/email/text you depending on what you signed up for.

Thank you for your continued support of the Osage Community School District. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments at 732-5381 or send me an email to bschwamman@osage.k12.ia.us.

It’s great to be a GREEN DEVIL!