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Board or Education Recap January 24th, 2018 Budget Challenges on Horizon

News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens

mstevens@ssd2.org

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

 

News Release

Jan. 24, 2018

Budget Challenges on Horizon

 

Chief Operations Officer Kristen Colonell told the Sheridan Board of Education that significant spending cuts will be needed to balance revenue and spending for the 2018-2019 school year.

Final numbers won’t be known until the Colorado General Assembly sets per-pupil funding in a few months. However, Sheridan issues student-based budget allocations to school principals at the end of January so schools can begin planning—and staffing—for next school year.

Enrollment this year is down 124 students compared to last year. While the new Habitat for Humanity Sheridan Square project continues to bring families to the district, rising rental rates also appear to be prompting other families to leave. The enrollment dip means that projected revenue from the state is lower than what was budgeted for the current school year. The year-end fund balance will be lowered to make ends meet, among other budget reductions. That also means there is less money to carry forward.

Colonell said the board will decide on the precise methodology to balance next year’s budget but estimated a need to reduce 10 to 12 fulltime staff positions.

Enrollment is also down at the Early Childhood Center, which serves students funded through the federal Head Start program and through the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP). Sheridan is only using 29 of 40 allotted CPP slots this year and may need to close one classroom next year to make ends meet.

Colonell said additional budget stresses next year include a likely increase in the district’s contribution of $90,000 or so to the state retirement system (PERA), and increases of up to $100,000 for health insurance.

Superintendent Michael Clough said the district is renewing efforts to market schools and promote the programs and opportunities in Sheridan School District 2 as a means of reversing the declining enrollment trend.

 

Board Appreciation Week

January is School Board Recognition Month (courtesy of the Colorado Association of School Boards). Superintendent Clough read aloud a series of comments he received from school and district leaders praising the four members of the Sheridan Board of Education. The comments lauded board members for their “thoughtful and forward-thinking” approach to their work, for their “tireless” service and dedication to students, for always making “the well-being of students and families” as the board’s first priority, and for believing in teachers and staff.

One note praised the board for “tirelessly supporting public education, despite criticism and threats to dismantle it.” Superintendent Clough also presented the board members with certificates of appreciation.

Stakeholder Meeting at Sheridan High School

Following the board meeting last night, board members attended a community forum being held at Sheridan High School. The forum was part of the process to find and hire a new superintendent. Superintendent Michael Clough is leaving in June after 10 years of service to the district.

The meeting last night was facilitated by Ricardo Medina, a consultant with Ray and Associates, the firm hired by the board to run the search.  At the forum, Medina quizzed a handful of parents and community leaders about the district’s strengths and needs and also about the type of leader who would be best suited to run the district. Similar conversations were held all day Monday (Jan. 22) with specific stakeholder groups. 

Participants last night praised the small community flavor of Sheridan School District 2, the dedicated teaching staff, the state-of-the-art Fort Logan Northgate School, community pride, “great kids,” diversity, and the “great” board of education.

Among qualities needed for the new superintendent, participants urged that he or she have experience and skills with exceptional student services, parent outreach, racial issues, cultural education, school funding, student recruitment, teacher retention and recruitment, and classified staff retention and recruitment. They urged the new leader be a collaborator and someone who is willing to tackle controversies head-on. They called for a “strong, effective leader” who is honest, approachable, visible, and has a sense of humor.

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