"Safe, Smart and Happy!"
Board of Education Recap September 13, 2017

News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens mstevens@ssd2.org

303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)

News Release

Sept. 13, 2017

Election Forum Set for Sept. 27 at Sheridan City Hall

Sheridan School District 2 and the City of Sheridan are teaming up to co-host an election forum in the City Council chambers at Sheridan City Hall (4101 S. Federal Blvd.) on Wednesday, Sept.27 at 6 p.m.

Superintendent Michael Clough told the board at its meeting last night that all candidates for Sheridan School District 2 Board of Education and Sheridan City Council are invited to attend and answer questions, which will be posed by non-partisan, independent individuals from the community.

A drawing was held last week to determine the ballot order for the school board election. The ballot will appear as follows:

District A
Daniel Stange
Ronald Carter

District C
Sally Daigle
Karla Cuevas Flores

District D
Karla Najera

District E
Bernadette Saleh
Indira Guzman-Sais

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 7; ballots are due to be mailed on October 16.

Sheridan High School Facility and Learning Walk

Early Tuesday, board members and district staff toured Sheridan High School, guided by

students, to observe teaching and learning and check on the condition of the building, too. Reviewing their visit at the board meeting, board members complimented what they saw.

The kids were in the classes and things seem to be moving very well,” said board president Ron Carter. “There’s always more we can be doing but I think we’ve made huge steps this year.”

Said board member Bernadette Saleh: “They (the students) were engaged. The halls were clear and I really enjoyed the student leading us around.”

Board member Karla Najera said she observed “the power of the teachers, making sure that their students were engaged.”

The tour of the school started in the community room and sophomore Anton Velasquez stopped by the pre-tour gathering to thank the board for listening to student suggestions and to thank the school and district for taking care of things we don’t often hear about.”

Superintendent Clough noted at the board meeting that student interest in the new guitar elective at the high school means that more guitars are needed and anyone with a spare instrument should contact the school.

Pupil Count

More than a month since school started for the 2017-2018 school year, the district’s pupil

count is down by some 118 students. Pat Sandos, Executive Director of School Services and Student Behavioral and Emotional Supports, told the board that families may be leaving the community as rental rates increase in the community. In short, they are looking for cheaper housing. The impact to the budget could be powerful as enrollment drives the state formula. Superintendent Clough noted that the district receives extra money for students who are eligible for free lunch and those numbers also appear to be decreasing. Chief Operations

Officer Kristen Colonell said her office analyzes projections on a monthly basis and is monitoring pupil numbers as the district moves to the official count day of Monday, Oct. 2.

Sheridan Celebrates

The Sheridan Board of Education and Sheridan schools will participate in Sheridan Celebrates, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30. Superintendent Clough thanked Deputy Superintendent Jackie Webb and Fort Logan Northgate School teacher Ken White for leading the district’s assistance with the event.

Online and Blended Learning

Following recent legislation and the state’s support and accreditation of online learning programs, Sheridan School District 2 is developing plans to do more instruction through online and blended learning, Superintendent Clough told the board. The online approach helps reach students who disengage from regular classroom schedules for a variety of reasons including needing to work to support family income or becoming a young mother or father or health challenges. The approach will be particularly useful at SOAR Academy, added Superintendent Clough.

District Goals

Superintendent Clough presented three draft goals to the board for consideration. They are:

· Sheridan School District will increase academic achievement as measured by comprehensive state assessments including: PARCC, PSAT and SAT by:

a. 10 mean scale points if below the 10Th percentile* for PARCC;
b. 7 mean scale points if below the 20th percentile* for PARCC;
c. 5 mean scale points if above the 20th percentile* for PARRC.
d. 25 composite points for both PSAT and SAT

· There shall be an increase in academic achievement of 10 percent of students deemed at grade level in math and reading for grades K-2 as measured by Iready.

· Student attendance shall improve by 1 percent from current rate of 91.1 to 92.1 for all grades as measured by Infinite Campus end of year report. The 1 percent attendance goal represents 1.7 less days reported absent when averaged across all SSD2 students preschool through grade 12.

· Staff absences (all instructional days included) shall decrease by 15 percent from a 2016-

2017 (17.7 days missed) to 15.0 days. It should be noted that this goal includes all days including daily leave, FMLA, school and district business.

(*Percentiles can be located on the 2016-17 school performance frameworks for same studentsquasi-cohort.)

School Presentations

Early Childhood Center director Aimee Chapman, Sheridan High School principal Shirley Miles and SOAR Academy principal Christian Ramaker presented reviews of their Unified Improvement Plans.

At the Early Childhood Center, teachers are working with new literacy and mathematics programs to provide three and four-year-old children with early skills to help prepare them for kindergarten. There is new work with helping children with social-emotional skills, including “friendship kits” and problem solving kits that give children choices around problem resolution. Chapman said teachers at ECC are using a transdisciplinary approach to lesson planning and embedding literacy and math learning opportunities into other subjects, such as science and social studies.

At Sheridan High School, principal Shirley Miles provided an overview of the school’s ratings on growth, readiness, and academic achievement. The state’s current overall rating of Sheridan High School is performance.” Miles pointed to the “struggling” math results and more encouraging results with reading and writing. The school’s low dropout rate and high graduation rate, she said, can be thanked for keeping the school’s rating at performance, she said, but the rating masks some serious challenges in academic achievement. Miles said the school is focusing its work on ensuring that there is a “caring, competentteacher in every classroom with increased rigor, “bell to bell instruction,co-teaching, improved focused on preparation for college entrance exams, and more focus on writing and math.

Christian Ramaker, the principal at SOAR, pointed to progress on a series of measures thashow progress in reading and math. He also pointed with pride to the fact that SOAR had “zero physical altercations” in the last school year. SOAR Academy, he said, has worked hard on the culture and climate of the school and has seen a 33 percent decrease in suspensions and 60 percent increase in the number of graduates. In addition, SOAR has the lowest rate of staff member absenteeism in the district and the lowest teacher turnover rate, too. Ramaker said the school is developing a “multi-tiered support system” for students, is working to strengthen interventions for chronically truant students, and is implementing alternative pathways and supports for students, including blended learning and online learning programs. The school is also interested in expanding its externship and internship opportunities and is interested in building an alumni network, too. SOAR is working to increase the number of students prepared to graduate by 10 percent

Consent Agenda

All consent agenda items were approved.

About Sheridan School District 2

Located southwest of Denver, Sheridan School District 2 seeks high-level post-secondary options for all students through continuous improvement of quality instruction. More: www.ssd2.org


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Sheridan School District NO.2
4150 South Hazel Court
Englewood, Colorado 80110
email: info@ssd2.org
phone: (720) 833-6991
fax: (720) 833-6650