April Update -
I hope all enjoyed a restful, relaxing Spring Break filled with family, fun, and safety. As we return to regular classes, State Assessments are awaiting. I know that some oppose the tests and many of your concerns are valid. However, I encourage you to view the assessments as an opportunity for a snapshot of your child's progress in those areas the state deems important. The tests are not necessarily an indicator of your child's future success or a reflection of their abilities. They can be used as one (of many) tools to provide you and your student additional insights into his/her performance compared to the level our state has determined he/she should be. Please help your child to do his/her best on the tests and provide them support and encouragement during the coming weeks when the tests are administered. Regular sleep and healthy diet are always important - and test time is certainly no different in that respect. If you have questions or concerns regarding the testing, contact your school's principal and they will seek to assist and clarify for you.
We continue to work with our Regional Program Manager (CDE), Owner's Representative, and Architects to augment our application with additional supporting and clarifying materials. The Capital Construction Assistance Board meets April 06 and April 26, ahead of the May 17/18 meeting where we will have opportunity to present (2 minutes) orally our need and project. There has been a large amount of funds requested from across the state and the process will be highly competitive. We are optimistic about our request and it is undoubtedly strengthened by the fact that our voters have already demonstrated their support (passage of the Bonds last November), and the fact that our contribution exceeds the required amount of the matching funds. Rest assured that we are continuing to monitor the situation and positioning ourselves optimally for receipt of the grant in May. If you seek additional information about the program, process, or our application, please check the CDE website (Policy and Funding tab) or contact the school district office (842-5176).
Development of the district's budget for the 2017-2018 school year is nearly finished. Due to a number of variables that could impact the budget (BEST Grant, Head Start Grant, CO Legislature) we are planning to approve a Preliminary Budget at our April 18 meeting. This will allow us to move forward with issuance of contracts to our staff with the caveat that the FINAL budget will not be likely be approved until after this Legislative Session has concluded and the Capital Construction Assistance Board has made its recommendations for the BEST grant awards.
Contact Your Legislators: In closing this month's letter, I would like to encourage you to contact our state legislators and share the need for the state to step up to their constitutional obligation to provide for K-12 education. Your voices are more powerful than mine (they expect Superintendents to advocate for schools and school funding). The stories you can share regarding the negative impact cuts to our district have created and the additional tax burden it has placed on our community to meet the needs of our kids are the ammunition they need to convince their peers to more adequately fund our schools.
If you have any questions about our schools, the MLO, the BEST grant, or other ways we can partner with you, please do not hesitate to contact me at the District Office. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you in the interest of our kids and community.