A Message From Dr. Bell  

August 11, 2014
My goodness! It seems like the summer just started and I am already inundated with budgets and programs as we prepare to bring the ESU 10 staff in for our annual All Staff Meeting which will be held August 18th. Time seems to just fly by. My Colorado children and grandchildren were nice enough to throw a birthday party for me when we wandered through Salida this summer. They tried to put all 64 of my candles on the cake and it was melting and in total flames before they could get it to the table. It was all quite amusing for all of us. I’m just glad I’m still around to give them that challenge. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next year. This event also reminded me of an old quote by Bob Hope  He said, “You know you’re getting older when the candles cost more than the cake.” I think this might classify as a Malcom Gladwell tipping point.

There are two things I would like to share with you before the start of this school year.

The first is an announcement that ESU 10 will discontinue weekly route service to school districts. The route has been used less and less over the years with the advent of video streaming. Many of the items we share with school districts will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service. We are working on other ways to get the larger items to schools and staff as needed. A plan is in place at the beginning of the year to use existing ESU 10 personnel to blitzkrieg out items such as testing materials and equipment. Staff is developing software that ties into the ESU 10 staff travel information to coordinate delivery in a timely manner by ESU 10 personnel to and from our building. We will be developing a contact list for each building we serve so that deliveries will be noted. Current staff will be used during the year to make deliveries if we have a backlog. Susan Sandoval will be the ESU 10 contact who will coordinate and monitor all deliveries. I am sure we will have a few hiccups in the beginning, but I hope we can get everything moving quickly to meet your and our needs. If the new plan does not work I will need to reconsider my decision concerning this matter.

The second item is a direct result of the ESU 10 mission to “partner with our customers to meet changing needs through professional expertise, training, and support.” The Professional Development Department has been dissolved. In its place is the new, and utterly fantastic, Teaching and Learning Department under the direction of Denise O’Brien. This will not be a surprise to school district leadership since this was shared at each site during the most recent round of school district visits by ESU 10 staff. This new department consists of all of the former professional development staff (Kelly Clapp, Susan Evans, Emily Jameson, Dallas Lewandowski, Dianah Steinbrink, Jami Schaffnitt, Gaylene Mays, and Jody Suchan) plus those staff in Network and Information Services whose duties tie directly into teaching and learning. This would include the our Technology Trainers (Graci Gillming, Jason Everett, and Peg Coover), the Distance Learning Coordinator, John Stritt, and Video Production Coordinator, William Bolen. A yet to be named data management person will be added in the fall. All of these people worked together loosely over the years to provide service. This new, formal structure, should tie all of our resources more closely together as we work to create a quality blended learning environment in all school districts served by ESU 10. This should not only make us more efficient and effective, but also better utilize available resources to meet your needs. I see this as a small change that should yield exponential results.      

As a result of this department merger, the Network and Information Services Department will now focus on infrastructure and technology delivery issues. That department has also been bolstered with additional staff to be more responsive to school district needs.  Ron Cone remains as Director.

Welcome back!  It is going to be another great year!