by Natasha L. Adams
This blog entry is the second in a six-part series that focuses on the district’s strategic plan.
There is a great quote from Helen Keller that goes like this: Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
I feel this quote directly speaks to where we are right now – as a school district and as a community. A foundational theme in our strategic plan is to Optimize Partnerships & Align Resources which means we must ensure all vital resources, partnerships, support, and capabilities are in place to serve the long-term success of the entire district, of each and every learner every day.
Successful partnerships and innovative leadership are how our district has progressed from a district in fiscal emergency status to a district proud of a brand new high school, two new elementary schools, one elementary school being renovated, and a more unified school community in a relatively short amount of time. The focused effort on facilities has made this district more attractive to families and has provided hope for a brighter future. Overall, enrollment is increasing each year and academic results are steadily improving. In a recent survey, the community was very positive in rating the direction of where the district with over 62% believing that we’re heading in the right direction. Such validation and affirmation! This positive momentum is due mainly to the innovative work that is occurring with the district and the strategic partnerships.
Now that most of the facilities have been addressed, it is vital that financially we renew our commitment to teaching and learning and ensure that the education provided inside our schools matches the excellence on the outside. But we cannot accomplish anything without the invaluable support from our residents. This partnership defines a school district.
Having pored over every aspect of the district’s financial health, it is clear this partnership will be critical to the future of the district. A 7.99-mill levy is being placed on the ballot this March 2020 to mark the first vital step in stabilizing the operational budget of the district, which pays for teacher salaries, utilities, busing, and supplies. Passage of this levy will provide our district the ability to fund day-to-day operations, including effective class sizes and the current level of programs and services without taking any steps backward. Failure of this levy forces the district to return to fiscal emergency status, which means once again that this district will endure devastating cuts to what we offer our students in a time when our students need us to invest in them more than ever.
We know it’s critical to stay focused on a robust partnership strategy not only with our students and families but with our communities. This includes placing a strong emphasis on the partnerships that will have the biggest impact on advancing educational opportunities for students through developing the local workforce, creating educational pathways, and providing work-based learning experiences that prepare students for success. We are grateful to the businesses and individuals that invest their time and talent into providing real-world context to engage our students. All of our partnerships can – and do! – make all the difference. Together, we can do so much.