"Safe, Smart and Happy!"
Board of Education Recap September 12th, 2018
News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens


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


News Release

Sept. 12, 2018

Spotlight on Fort Logan Northgate School; Board Unanimously Endorses Amendment 73


Fort Logan Northgate School was in the spotlight at the Board of Education meeting this week (Sept. 11) as the board recognized two key staff members and heard how the ongoing anti-bullying program is making a difference on campus and reducing referrals. The board also examined some bright spots in literacy instruction and the struggling marks in math.

The spotlight started with Fort Logan Northgate School principal Nelson Van Vranken and assistant principal Beth Joswick noting the contributions of discipline resource officer Eddie Chacon and school social worker Maggie Okoniewski.  “They are both so centered on supporting our kids and families,” said principal Van Vranken. “It’s a real privilege to work with them every day.”

Assistant principal Joswick noted that the pair collaborate well and are always focused on “stressors” at home before identifying supports to reduce discipline issues at school.  “We are lucky to have such an incredible team,” she said.

The board viewed a brief video clip about the school and the quality of teachers and programs, produced by Fort Logan Northgate’s video production class.  

Van Vranken said the school is focused on attracting and retaining top teachers. At the start of the new school year, 100 percent of teachers in grades three through five returned.  “Bringing back all those teachers is just phenomenal,” he said.  The school also serves grades five through eight. 

The school is implementing rigorous literacy work, working to boost students’ use of “academic discourse,” and is offering more career and college-readiness counseling. The school has strengthened its mental health team, too, including the addition of a school psychologist.

The school is in the second-year of a state grant that supports implementation of an anti-bullying campaign, including a program that gives students the tools to respond when they feel intimidated or disrespected by a fellow student.

Van Vranken and Joswick noted that students improve on literacy skills year after year—beginning in third grade and progressing through eighth grade—but continue to struggle in meeting state standards in math.  “We still have a lot of work to do,” said Van Vranken. “We have an incredibly dedicated staff and we are focused on getting better.”  

Key areas of improvement include improving math rigor and helping students work independently as they tackle math problems.

Superintendent Pat Sandos lauded the progress on improving the school climate and thanked Van Vranken and Joswick for acknowledging the hard work ahead.

Amendment 73

The Sheridan Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution supporting Amendment 73 (Great Schools, Thriving Communities) on the November ballot. The ballot proposal seeks to provide every student the opportunity to reach his or her full potential and to participate meaningfully in the civic and economic life of the community.  The proposal would raise taxes on incomes above $150,000 and on “C” corporations, among other elements.

The resolution notes that Amendment 73 will bring Colorado’s investment in public education closer to the national average, provide sustainable support for schools by stabilizing property taxes, and improve funding for full-day kindergarten and a significant increase in funding for Early Childhood programs, Special Education programs, students in poverty, English Language Learners and Gifted & Talented students.

The resolution states that if Amendment 73 passes, the board will commit to focusing on programs and services to meet the educational needs of all students; strategies and support to close the opportunity and achievement gaps; and maintaining and ensuring adequate district operational functions.

Mill Levy Update

Sheridan Educator Association president Peter Morris presented a $2,000 check from the association to Citizens for Sheridan Students First, the community-based organization managing the campaign for the board’s mill levy ballot proposal. Dallas Hall, the chair of that organization, told the board that the proposal will be on the ballot as Question 4B.

The board unanimously supported placing the question on the ballot at a meeting in July.  The resolution states that the money will address four priorities:

  • Improve safety and security infrastructure and operations to be able to maintain safer buildings for students and staff;
  • Repair leaking roofs and other district facilities and provide general maintenance in school buildings;
  • Improve and upgrade technology infrastructure and operations in schools to support 21st Century learning opportunities and achievement for Sheridan students; and
  • Make salaries and wages of district personnel competitive with those of other school districts in the metropolitan area.

Sheridan Celebrates—Saturday, Sept. 29

Superintendent Sandos encouraged participation and volunteer help for Sheridan Celebrates, a community event and morning parade on Saturday, Sept. 29 that features many school-related floats and parade units.

Pupil Count

Overall enrollment is down, Superintendent Pat Sandos cautioned, and there may be an impact on the budget. Under state law, the district’s income is a direct correlation with student enrollment.  

Pedro Noguera – Cultural Competency Professional Development

Sheridan School District staff will join Littleton Public Schools faculty on Monday, Jan. 7 for a special presentation by Pedro A. Noguera.

Pedro A. Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Faculty Director for the Center for the Transformation of Schools at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)> He is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. Dr. Noguera serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

Superintendent Sandos thanked fellow Littleton superintendent Brian Ewert for including Sheridan faculty in the event.

Chief Academic Officer Shirley Miles

Superintendent Sandos announced that Shirley Miles, who has been splitting her time between serving as co-principal of Sheridan High School and the duties of Chief Academic Officer, has decided to work fulltime as Chief Academic Officer. She will begin in that capacity on Oct. 1. Eileen Doolan, who has been Miles’ co-principal, will become he school’s fulltime principal. 

Consent Agenda

All consent 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