About Harlan » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Michael Gossen

Harlan/Salem Principal
Professional Picture

Greetings to all of you and welcome to Harlan Elementary School!  On behalf of our entire staff, I would like to welcome you and your child to the Mount Pleasant Community School District.  It is our mission to empower students to achieve without limits.  We believe that not only can all students learn, but also thrive.  Our Harlan staff is dedicated and committed to empowering all students to achieve individual excellence.  

Here at Harlan elementary we are continually finding ways that we can improve so that we can provide the best educational opportunities possible for your child.  Student safety is critical in ensuring that students are able to learn.  We have updated our security platform, installing additional security cameras, securing our entry points, and adding a visual identification camera for all guests and parents to enter.  

We, as a staff are a group of people that not only focus on your child's learning, but also view ourselves as part of a learning community as a whole.  We are continually finding ways to improve our own skills and practice to ensure the best education for your child.  We do this by structures of continuous improvement through professional learning plans, opportunities for feedback, assessments, and various professional development opportunities.  

We utilize a variety of summative and formative assessments in order to gather data to determine the next steps for both student learning as well as instruction planning.  We utilize FAST (Formative Assessment System for Teachers) assessments designed for screening, progress monitoring, and program assessments in the area of Literacy and we use the iReady diagnostics to screen students in Math three times each year.  We also conduct a screener called SAEBRS (Social, Academic, Emotional, Behavior Risk Screener) to assess the social/emotional/behavioral/mental health capacity of students.  Later in the Spring, we complete the ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress) in grades 3-5, as well as the Conditions for Learning Survey.  

Of corse, none of this could be possible without the collaboration of you as the parent.  All of us at Harlan Elementary encourage and value your active involvement as a partner in learning and community.  We have seen that by and large children pursue the interests of their parents. When you are interested in your child's progress at school, your child's interest in their own progress will follow.  Your interest in your child's educational progress will motivate your child to want to learn and do his/her very best at school.     

You will find that my office is always open to parents, students, and staff.  Usually there is no need for an appointment, but please call ahead should I be away from the office spending time classrooms or between schools.  I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns...or just to drop by to say hello.  I look forward to getting to know you.  I love working with children, families, and fellow learners.  Rest assured I will work my hardest everyday to ensure that every child and adult at Harlan Elementary is safe, happy, and able to do their best.  

Your Principal,

Michael Gossen