Algoma School District 2021 Updates

May 28, 2021

 In July of 2020, the Algoma School District released our plans for the 2020-21 school year. To the surprise of many, we made it clear that we would provide three distinct learning platforms for our students to engage in. After extensive planning, it was the logical next step and one that would set the course and tone of this unforgettable school year. Implementing the model took some adjustment, we failed, we learned, most importantly we kept moving forward. The process, like so many things we encounter, was dependent on every stakeholder in our community. The school district alone simply could not lift the entire load. 

In our weekly communications we were transparent in our approach, bold in our decisions, and appreciative of the sacrifices every family was making so that collectively we could keep moving forward. What transpired over the next nine months was truly remarkable. It reminded me of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) launched by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933. Local units, staff, students, parents, grand-parents, community members, and businesses devoted themselves to the difficult work of keeping our kids in school whether it was in-person, virtually, or a hybrid combination. While the CCC was focused primarily on infrastructure they realized very quickly that there was a “moral and spiritual value of such work” to those who performed it—for themselves, their families, and society simultaneously (Boyt, 2021). The transformative principles of the 1930’s sound very similar to the lessons of the 2020-21 school year. 

Our students sacrificed a lot, and yet 5, 10, 15 years from now I doubt those students will talk about a missed dance, or game, but rather recall a time where they rediscovered themselves, learned new skills overnight, built confidence and developed a sense of contribution to purposes bigger than their own. In all that was taken away, there was a connection built between people that will yield greater results than any ribbon or certificate ever will. In every crisis lies an opportunity. I am confident that our community’s response to COVID-19 will be remembered by what was gained rather than what was lost. We came together, as people, to do the people’s work of building community through civic discourse, addressing inequities, and developing new pathways for ALL learners. As I often say, nobody is coming to Algoma to save us, it is our responsibility to save ourselves from the challenges presented. With that, give yourself a pat on the back for doing the difficult work for not only yourself but every stakeholder in our community—because of that effort we were a model of success. 

Always Forward,

Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Strength Training with Coach Zach Blahnik: Starts June 1 (M – Th) from 6:30-7:30 am @ Wellness Center. Open to students entering grades 7-12.
  • Strength Training with Coach Wade Vandervest: June 7-July 28 (M & W) from 9:30-10:30 am OR 9:30- 10:30 pm @ Wellness Center. Open to students entering grades 7-12.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Learn more HERE.


May 20, 2021

Today is the last day for the class of 2021. On Sunday we will celebrate their accomplishments, offer some simple advice, and usher them off to their next great adventure. This class has obviously endured some setbacks, but they have also paved the way for many successful and sustainable programs in our district. Uniquely, these programs all focus on helping others, developing servant leadership skills, and building the capacity of future leaders. It is a legacy established through a commitment to something bigger than oneself. It will also serve as the foundation for our student-centered programming to grow and develop as our mentees transition to mentors. I would argue that this work is ‘what matters.’

Much of what we focus on in Algoma is about making tough choices in the face of adversity, working together, and embracing a future that is built on fresh, authentic relationships that weave a stronger social fabric while building bridges to overcome our differences (Listen First Project). Every class that graduates is defined not by what they say, but rather by what they do. It is my hope that each graduate carries this humility and servant leadership with them forever. Twenty years from now nobody will care about your transcript, your GPA, or what medal you won. What they will care about is how you treat other people, how you behave in the face of adversity, and how you rise to the occasion when asked to step out of your comfort zone.

Providing an education is so much more than tests and homework. While those elements serve their purpose, they are not the glue that brings us together. Our relationships, fostered through open and honest dialogue, link us together by focusing on the development of every human asset. In Algoma, we focus on what matters despite the constant ‘noise’ attempting to influence our practice. In a letter to our district staff, Terri & Dean Blahnik summed it up perfectly “KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO—-IT MATTERS!

Always Forward,

Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Algoma High School Class of 2021 Graduation Information:
    Sunday, May 23 in the Fulwiler Fieldhouse (gym) @ 2:00 p.m. Tickets will be handed out to graduates on Friday, May 21st after rehearsal
  • Strength Training with Coach Zach Blahnik: Starts June 1 (M – Th) from 6:30-7:30 am @ Wellness Center. Open to students entering grades 7-12.
  • Strength Training with Coach Wade Vandervest: June 7-July 28 (M & W) from 9:30-10:30 am OR 9:30- 10:30 pm @ Wellness Center. Open to students entering grades 7-12.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Learn more HERE.

May 13, 2021

To Our School District Community:

 A Moment of Reflection &  Appreciation

It was twelve months ago that we were experiencing the end of a school year completely disrupted. A deadly virus had forced the schools to close. Sports and activities were canceled. With innovative thinking and action, our district pieced together virtual instruction for our students and managed to give the class of 2020 a safe, memorable outdoor graduation on the boardwalk.

What followed was a summer of intensive work for the leadership team planning for the upcoming year, trying to anticipate how to balance our studentʼs educational needs with their safety. Not even knowing whether the district would be allowed to open, they had the ambitious goals of having the students back in school and were prepared to offer partial day and virtual learning alternatives.

The careful, tedious planning paid off and our schools opened. Educational options for the students were offered and best safety practices to minimize the risk and spread of the Covid-19 virus were followed. It was an arduous task with guidelines changing and complications arising daily. The adjustment to new rules and practices required long hours for the staff and flexibility and patience for our students and families. Thankfully our community partners, parents, teachers, staff, and students stepped up to the challenges together.

Fast forward to today: Unlike many school districts around us we kept our doors open and our students in school. Not yet ideal, but sports and activities have resumed and a traditional graduation ceremony will again be held for the class of 2021. There is no doubt that this accomplishment required a tremendous amount of effort from everyone involved and that this combined effort will be remembered and appreciated for years to come.

Credit though needs to go to the driving force, perseverance, and leadership of our District Administrator, Nick Cochart. It was his resiliency and steadfast commitment to the students of this district that navigated us through these bumpy, uncertain times. While others were mired down, he kept his eye on the future and used the lessons learned from this complicated.

The Algoma School District now has three options; Pathfinder Academy – our “Individualized Learning Pathway”, Algoma Elementary, Middle and High School- our “Traditional Pathway”, and the Venture Academy – our “Innovative Project-Based Learning Pathway”. Under Nickʼs leadership we are becoming a model of excellence in the provision of educational opportunities offered to the children and young adults in our district and beyond.

While we are all pandemic-weary and anxious to return to normalcy the risks are not over and we must remain vigilant. I have complete confidence in our leadership team, our school staff, and our community. When we all work together we will continuously thrive.

Sincerely,

Barb Rodgers
President
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

  • AES Family Folder: May 11, 2021
    Summer Weekend Backpack Program
    PTS Salmon’s Meat Sale Fundraiser — All orders due by May 14!

Middle/High School 

  •  Summer School Sign Up
  • Algoma High School Class of 2021 Graduation Information:
    Sunday, May 23 in the Fulwiler Fieldhouse (gym) @ 2:00 p.m.
    Tickets will be handed out to graduates on Friday, May 21st after rehearsal.
  • National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, May 19, 2021, 6PM, AHS Gym

May 8, 2021

To Our School District Community:

The most successful people see ADVERSITY not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping-stone to greatness.” ~Shawn Anchor

While this quote holds true for individuals, it also depicts the behavior of successful organizations. Aside from COVID, we as individuals, experience varying degrees of adversity on a daily basis. How we view and respond to those obstacles builds strength, perseverance, and determination. The Algoma School District is shining example of an organization that not only overcame the obstacles before us but got stronger as a result. We have made the difficult decisions, withstood the constant noise of dissention, and stayed consistent with our practice. As a result, we have served our students to the best of our ability and provided a clear and transparent model for effective instructional delivery during unprecedented times.

“We are Thankful to those who said we could not do it, because of them, we did it” credit to Albert Einstein.

With 15 days of school left, the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter each day. I am proud of our staff, students, and community for working together and not missing a single day of instruction throughout the year. I know that we had periodic challenges with quarantined classrooms, but we still maintained an operational presence throughout. That, as I said last week, is the definition of community!

Community: A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

As we closeout the 2020-21 school year, it is important that we recognize the importance of our CONSISTENT approach. While we cannot please everyone, we are reminded daily by students, staff, and parents for providing the opportunity despite the challenges and opposition. Again, its about how you view the world around you. Obviously, we see an opportunity in every obstacle and partner with those who share a common attitude.

Always forward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 


April 30, 2021

To Our School District Community:

Com·mu·ni·ty noun 

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. 

2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. 

One of the greatest assets of the Algoma School District is a culture that supports one another, fights through adversity, and genuinely enjoys the success of others. Talk to our students, our staff, business partners, or individuals across the lake from the 5 Healthy Towns foundation and they will all echo the tenants of our community culture. This does not happen by chance. In a recently published article, the author states: “It’s the community where they encourage their kids to ‘fail forward.’ They celebrate their failures with as much enthusiasm as their successes. They encourage them to take their ideas forward and fail as many times as necessary to succeed, through their learning. What a gift they are giving their youth!” 

Certainly, we could not have developed such a culture without engaged individuals from every sector of Algoma. Each sector of our community must continue to develop the vital conditions for everyone to THRIVE. When everyone is successful, so too is our school district and the broader community. Coming together on complex issues like mental health care, educational delivery models, workforce development, college and career readiness, health and wellbeing will be the cornerstone of building a solid, sustainable community capable of addressing the challenges of the future. Furthermore, we need to involve our youth in this process to ensure that we understand and respond to the changing dynamics of our society. 

Moving forward is not about one issue or one individual. Together, we need to leverage our assets, collaborate with broad stakeholders and be bold in our decisions. Our post covid recovery will be the sum of our efforts and I am confident we have the team players to make it happen. 

Onward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

Athletics

  • REMINDER: As you attend athletic events this spring, you will notice each school district handling it’s COVID protocols a little differently. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, assume best intentions and honor their decisions.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Learn more HERE.

April 9, 2021

To Our School District Community:

Just 7 weeks of school remain in what has been a challenging, yet rewarding school year. What we have learned through the pandemic brings great value to not only our students but our educational system. The path forward is focused on choice, opportunity, and personal growth for both our staff and students. New courses, new learning spaces, and new partnerships also complement our course handbooks for the 2021-22 school year.

Furthermore, we are making excellent progress on several virtual platforms that will serve as both an instructional tool as well as a connector between the Algoma School District and our regional and national partners.

While we wait to gain clarity on the resources available, we are actively working with our partners to make bold and sustainable investments. Over the last 10 years, the Algoma School District has demonstrated that we have the vision and character necessary to be a driver in the development of educational opportunities for our students, staff, and community.

We are proud to have the Algoma Community Wellness Center, Olson Tech Lab, Pathfinder Academy, Algoma Performing Arts Center, Child Care, and exemplary Elementary, Middle, and High School facilities. Exemplary extra-curricular activities also provide unique offerings for ALL students to be involved and engaged in.

I encourage each of you to look at what has been accomplished in Algoma, its uniqueness, and a credit to a supportive community willing to be different in the pursuit of excellence. I am fully aware that our approach is far from standard and our results support that. Continue to challenge yourself, assist others when you can, and dream of the possibilities. With that approach, we can continue to build a collaborative, compassionate culture, committed to providing the elements of a THRIVING community.

Onward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Algoma High School Graduation will take place on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in the Algoma High School Gym. Seniors and their parents/guardians will be receiving more details.

Athletics

  • REMINDER: As you attend athletic events this spring, you will notice each school district handling it’s COVID protocols a little differently. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, assume best intentions and honor their decisions.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Learn more HERE.

March 26, 2021

Enjoy Spring Break!


March 19, 2021

To Our School District Community:

Today marked the end of quarter 3, leaving us just 45 days left in the school year. Undoubtedly, this has been the most challenging year we have endeavored in my tenure. Despite those challenges, however, we have always put our students first, developed sound programming, and delivered our service to our community. Working with students every day reminds me that we have much to be optimistic about moving forward. Our students deserve the opportunities we are providing and challenging themselves to be the best they can be.

In addition, our teachers are recognizing a shift in education that we must embrace. Options, independence, experiential learning are all topics I hear both staff and students discuss on a daily basis. Furthermore, these conversations are the product of a culture committed to elevating ALL of our students despite the adversity we may face.

As a reminder, please consider all of the opportunities available to your child in the Algoma School District. We are proud of our accomplishment but not complacent in our approach. We are committed to innovation and design learning spaces and opportunities that complement the innovative process.

In recent interviews, some of our candidates have talked extensively about our student-centered, community-responsive, and innovative practices as the catalyst for them to apply. Attracting high-level educators is a great sign that we are doing things right in Algoma.

Lastly, I know that some of the opportunities available for this spring have upcoming registration deadlines. Please take some time, review the options, and get your student involved in our community. Enjoy spring break and come back revitalized to finish out the school year.

Onward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Next week, students will schedule classes for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. To prepare and develop a plan, students are encouraged to look at the course description handbook, talk with their family/educators to help pick classes that best meet their needs.
    Downloads:
    2021-22 Algoma Middle School Course Handbook  |  2021-22 Algoma High School Course Handbook
  • TRAP Team: Safety & Orientation Meeting on Wednesday, April 7th. Shooting begins Sunday, April 11th @ 4:00 at the Black Ash Gun Club (6-week session). Sign-up in office by 4/2.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. Learn more HERE.


March 12, 2021

To Our School District Community:

As we marked the one-year anniversary of the global pandemic of COVID-19, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish despite the circumstances. The Algoma School District proved once again that culture beats strategy every time.

We were bold in our decisions, collaborative in our approach, and clearly focused on providing our students the best possible experience under less-than-ideal conditions. For that, we owe our gratitude to the teachers, support staff, parents, and community members who worked with us along the way. While we have experienced many hardships and some very challenging times, I believe we have a stronger community today.

Over the next couple of weeks, many of our staff will become fully vaccinated, accelerating our road to recovery. Returning to a pre-Covid world is still a long way away, but in time our practices will be adjusted accordingly.

Spring break will certainly help students and staff recharge for the remainder of the school year. During that time, I encourage everyone to reflect on the past year, weigh the pros and cons, and develop action steps for personal development. With so many opportunities provided in the Algoma School District, I am hopeful that everyone can pursue their dreams in 2021 and beyond.

Lastly, if you have any questions about our new opportunities for next year, do not hesitate to reach out and ask questions. I have enjoyed talking to students who are engaged in their learning and look forward to working alongside them as they embrace new opportunities.

Onward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Want to switch to IN-PERSON learning for Quarter 3? (starting March 22, 2021) Contact Kasie Holloway @ kholloway@algomaschools.org by March 17, 2021.
  • TRAP Team: Safety & Orientation Meeting on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Shooting begins Sunday, April 11, 2021 @ 4:00 at the Black Ash Gun Club (6-week session). Sign-up in office by 4/2.21.
  • Interested in ordering a yearbook? Click HERE to order that and more!
  • Spring Sports meeting slideshow can be viewed here.

March 5, 2021

To Our School District Community:

Please take the time to thoroughly look over the information and links below in this week’s communication. As always, we have many opportunities for our students to engage in and would appreciate any help in getting the word out to interested families and students.

On Wednesday, March 3rd we hosted our annual school board retreat to strategize efforts moving forward. It is safe to say that we have never been more committed to our students while providing meaningful, relevant education. As we expand offerings, develop opportunities in and out of school, and build strong relationships we need constructive feedback on our efforts.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our leadership team to share an idea or provide insight on a program or process of the Algoma School District. The law of reciprocity applies in our clear and transparent communication.

Onward,
Nick Cochart
Superintendent
Algoma School District

NEW Algoma Venture Academy for students entering grades 7-12 

Algoma Venture Academy

  • Project-Based Learning
  • Personalized Community & Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  • Civic Leadership
  • Competency/Portfolio-Based Assessments
  • Contract-Driven Independence

Follow this link to find out more information and how to apply to the Algoma Venture Academy.

Additional Information With Today’s Communication

District Wide

Meals

Elementary School

Middle/High School 

  • Want to switch to IN-PERSON learning for Quarter 3? (starting March 22, 2021) Contact Kasie Holloway @ kholloway@algomaschools.org by March 17, 2021.
  • TRAP Team: Safety & Orientation Meeting on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Shooting begins Sunday, April 11, 2021 @ 4:00 at the Black Ash Gun Club (6-week session). Sign-up in office by 4/2.21.
  • Interested in ordering a yearbook? Click HERE to order that and more!
  • Spring Sports meeting slideshow can be viewed here.