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Board of Education Recap December 14th, 2017
News from Sheridan School District No. 2
Contact: Mark Stevens
303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)
News Release
Dec. 14, 2017
Search Firms Interviewed, BEST Grant Given Green Light, Parent Satisfaction Rates Up
The Sheridan Board of Education this week (Tuesday, Dec. 12) interviewed two firms that are interested in guiding the search for a new superintendent. Two representatives from Ray and Associates, Inc. and a representative from the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) were interviewed separately by the board for 20 minutes.
Board of Education Bernadette Saleh urged the board to review all the submitted materials and information before making a decision. The board set a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22 to select a search firm.
Ray and Associates, Inc. national executive director William Newman told the board that his firm has 42 years of experience and is able to tap a “large, diverse” recruiting network around the country. Ray and Associates will “aggressively look for candidates who are not out hunting” for work, he said. The Iowa-based firm set a proposed fee of $16,000 for the work, which would require roughly 90 days to complete.
Randy Black, director of member services at CASB, said a “full search” would cost $9,000 or a “modified” search would be $4,500. He pitched the organization’s “lean” approach to expenses, which he said would be a maximum of $1,000. Black also touted CASB’s constant presence and support throughout the process and said CASB would stay engaged with Sheridan Schools through the new hire’s first year of work. “We are fairly famous for a very good outcome,” he said.
Both firms said the work would begin with developing a portrait of the ideal candidate’s profile built on community input from all stakeholders—teachers, staff, students, parents, the business community, and the community at large.
BEST Grant
The Sheridan Board of Education approved a motion that supports district staff’s proposal to apply for a BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) grant from the state of Colorado.“Let’s do this,” said board member Sally Daigle. “I feel very, very confident.”
The plans for a BEST grant application were developed throughout 2017 by a Facility Master Plan Committee, including staff and members of the community. The committee reviewed and assessed the district’s facility needs. The committee work was led by Cyndi Wright, Director of Facilities and Transportation and included assistance from WOLD Architects & Engineers. The committee identified such priorities as replacing the Sheridan High School building and addressing the most urgent needs with safety, roofing, mechanical and electrical systems at Alice Terry Elementary School, the Early Childhood Center and SOAR Academy. Additional safety needs were also identified at Fort Logan Northgate School.
BEST grant applications are due in late February, 2018. A previous BEST grant, along with local voter approval in 2012, led to the construction of Fort Logan Northgate School and many other improvements across the district, including major upgrades for the Early Childhood Center and SOAR Academy.
Parent Satisfaction Climbs
Pat Sandos, Executive Director of School Services and Student Behavioral and Emotional Support, briefed the board on survey data that shows “great growth across schools in parent perception of safety and security.”
Survey data showed a strong upward trend in parent perception of school security and safety, which Sandos attributed to The Sheridan Way, an initiative to provide more consistent and uniform approach to student discipline and social and emotional supports across the district. “The Sheridan Way is beginning to show indications of a more safe and secure environment,” said Sandos. He emphasized that the district is working to build capacity in each school so staff members closest to the students become the experts on social and emotional needs.
At Alice Terry Elementary School, 96 percent of parents rated the school “excellent,” “very good” or “good,” the same as the prior year.
At Fort Logan Northgate School, the positive perception increased significantly, from 74 percent rating it “excellent,” “very good,” or “good” in 2016 to 96 percent rating it “excellent,” “very good,” or “good” today.
A similar jump occurred at Sheridan High School, from 70 percent in 2016 to 93 percent this year, and also at SOAR Academy, from 70 percent in 2016 to 100 percent this year.
MyOn Reading Program
Deputy Superintendent Jackie Webb, Alice Terry Elementary School principal Joe Hayes and two second grade teachers, Sheridan Hirsch and Ellen Reber, reported on progress with MyOn, a reading program that selects books (in English or Spanish) for students to read online. The program comprehension tests after each title is read.
The second grade classrooms at Alice Terry have embraced MyOn with enthusiasm, said Webb. Ninety-two students have read 1,207 books with a total of 31,963 pages in all.
“This is a great tool to extend the learning,” said Reber. The database of options is so large, she said, that teachers can assign or suggest titles based on subjects in class, such as bicycles or ant farms. MyOn is also a great tool for newcomers, said Hirsch, because students can listen to the audio version of a book in Spanish while they are reading the words in English, which strengthens vocabulary and comprehension in their new language.
Students access MyOn through Chrome Books in school but have log-ins to access the program from home or the library as well.
Mill Levy Rates for 2018
As required by law, the board certified the mill levy rate at 20.947 mills under the Public School Finance Act of 1994. An additional 4.964 mills are also being levied under a voter-approved override and .148 mills under the provisions of Senate Bill 184. The bond redemption fund requires a levy of 9.2 mills.
The levies are applied against a net assessed valuation of $201.4 million, which is up $35.6 million over the previous year. While the district will collect more from local property tax owners as a result of that increase in assessed valuation, explained Chief Operations Officer Kristen Colonell, state control of per-pupil funding in each district means the state’s contribution to Sheridan’s general fund will decline proportionately.
Superintendent Michael Clough and Colonell emphasized that Sheridan School District’s mill levy rate is among the lowest in Metro Denver.
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