Superintendent's Letter - January 28, 2021
Dear Dock Parents and Students,
At our recent faculty in-service, we were asked to list things that bring us joy. Several of us were surprised at how quickly we could create a list. We have so much for which to be thankful and can find joy in this challenging year! I encourage you to create your own list and notice things that bring you joy.
Thanks for your diligence in keeping our school family safe. After seeing our positive case numbers rise after the Christmas break, we currently have zero positive cases across our system today. While numbers in our county are still quite concerning, thanks for your support in following mitigation guidelines so we can keep our students on campus. As our faculty members become eligible, they are beginning to receive vaccinations.
Tuition/Salaries and Calendar:
Our Board and its committees continue to meet via Zoom to support the work of the school. As our Finance Committee and Board review tuition rates and salary levels, they strive to balance the sacrifice of families paying tuition and teachers being compensated appropriately for their work. Given this unusual year, we settled on modest increases for both categories. Tuition rates will be communicated in February. The 2021-22 school calendar can be found HERE.
Recently, the following faculty and staff announced their decisions to retire after this school year:
1. Mr. Martin Wiens, High School Principal
2. Mr. Tim Ehst, Athletic Director and High School PE Teacher
3. Mrs. Gretchen McTavish, High School English Teacher
4. Mrs. Cathy Schmidt, Superintendent Assistant
We have been expecting retirements, but it is always hard to say goodbye. We appreciate the amazing contribution Mr. Wiens, Mrs. McTavish, Mr. Ehst, and Mrs. Schmidt have made to our school. We value their friendship and have been inspired by the impact they have made on our students for so many years. But we also want to release them and wish them well as they make a significant life transition.
2021/22 High School Plan:
The following is our general plan for next year’s high school structure with many details to be determined over the coming months.
- We will announce an opening for a high school Athletic Director soon.
- We are still discerning needs for our high school English Department and office staffing.
- We will have a one-year interim arrangement for the high school Principal position.
- We will advertise for a high school Principal later this spring with a goal of filling the position no later than the fall of 2022.
- During the one-year interim (2021/22), the following team will work together to care for our high school students and teachers.
- Mr. Doug Hackman – Director of Student Life
- Dr. Sharon Fransen – Director of Faculty Life
c. Mr. Doug Hackman and Dr. Fransen will continue to give oversight to the Admissions and Curriculum work with additional internal support from our Cabinet and other staff.
We look forward to a great year in 2021-22 and will continue to prepare for a meaningful experience for each student. In the meantime, we will find joy together as we complete this final semester of 2020-21 together. Thanks for the many ways you have been an encouragement to all of us at Dock this year!
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
Read all of the Superintendent's Letters:
"I just want to take a moment to say thank you. It is obvious that Dock has spent time and prepared a plan that takes into account the many different thoughts, opinions, concerns, and frustrations of all families during this pandemic. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is clear the two options you have outlined have the biggest probability of satisfying the majority of your families. Providing two options is so refreshing and I realize this will be much extra work for your staff and teachers…thank you! This will be our oldest child's first year at the school, and we could not be more pleased with our choice of Dock!"
Dock Elementary Family
"I am confident in the decisions made by the administration, board and pandemic team. There are two options, on-campus learning or remote learning, for Early Childhood through 12th grade. Thank you, Dock administrators, for spending your summer planning for the fall. I know many families from other schools are concerned about the options available to them. Dock has a large facility with a smaller number of students, so safety, academics, and social interactions will not be compromised!"