News from Sheridan School District No. 2
Contact: Mark Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org
303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)
Nov. 28, 2018
Superintendent Pat Sandos Details Agenda for
Academic Plan, Infrastructure Repairs, Technology Upgrades, and Safety
During the Board of Education work session this week
(Nov. 27), Superintendent Pat Sandos and district staff outlined a broad agenda
for sharpening classroom instruction and implementing other major district
Superintendent Sandos emphasized that the work will
be significantly bolstered by the additional $3 million mill levy ballot
initiative, approved by Sheridan voters on Nov. 6, and pledged a cautious
approach to spending the new resources.
Formal certification of the ballot results, Sandos noted, are still
pending from Arapahoe County election officials. The unofficial results show
the mill levy winning easily. Sandos said both general fund and mill levy
resources will be used to support the new initiatives.
Sandos said the district is in the process of
implementing a series of changes, some of which began before the new school
The work will focus on getting a few things right,
particularly ensuring students are on grade level by the time they exit third
grade. “I’ve got this huge sense of
urgency,” said Sandos. “Being purposeful sometimes loses its way because we get
too complex. We forget what our job is.”
The review of the action steps ahead drew praise from
board members. “Good job,” said board
member Daniel Stange. “I am impressed. You have covered a lot of ground.”
As outlined, the plan calls for:
- Establishing a viable curriculum
framework that is aligned to standards. (This work began with the arrival and
implementation of Beyond Textbooks earlier this year.)
- Establishing a district expectation for
a quality caring and competent teacher in every classroom. This will involve
training in cultural competency for all staff as well as strengthening
formative assessment practice in the classroom.
- Establishing strong instructional
leadership in all schools and district offices. Again, this also involves
cultural competency training.
- Adding additional instructional support
in kindergarten through third grade, with educators trained in literacy and
numeracy. Unless students are on grade level by third grade, said Sandos,
educators will be “fighting an uphill” battle for the rest of a student’s
academic career. These new educators, he
said, will not be used for playground duty or simple classroom chores but will
focus on instruction, including planning alongside teachers using new learning
strategies. “If we don’t approach literacy and numeracy differently, we’re
going to get what we’ve got,” said Sandos.
- Bolstering schools with improved
libraries, particularly restoring a strong library and instructional media
center at Sheridan High School, with a heavy emphasis on improving students’ online
research skills and improving student capacity to be responsible digital
citizens and scholars.
- Bringing teacher and staff salaries in
line with neighboring districts to improve the district’s competitiveness for
teaching talent and retain teachers, too. Chief Financial Officer Kristen
Colonell said implementing Jeffco Public Schools’ salary schedule would cost
approximately $400,000. However, Jeffco voters recently approved a mill levy
package in part to remain competitive with salaries and the final cost to
Sheridan could be higher than $400,000.
- Making facility repairs including
drainage issues at Alice Terry Elementary School and the district stadium; a
new roof for the building that houses both SOAR Academy and the Early Childhood
Center; and converting to LED lights across the district.
- Conducting an audit of all district
technology hardware and technology systems and selecting appropriate upgrades
to support classroom instruction.
- Conducting an audit of safety and
security systems with an eye toward upgrading security cameras, radio systems,
and badging procedures for school visitors. Additional security staff for
schools may also be considered.
- Implementing district-wide program
evaluation. “We will look at all of our programs to see what is working, what
to keep, and what to eliminate,” said Sandos.
Language, Culture & Equity—New Teacher
Christine Muldoon, the district’s new Director of
Language, Culture and Equity, outlined how the district will support teachers
in meeting new requirements from the Colorado Department of Education. The new
requirements tie directly with the district’s new focus on Culturally
Responsive Education and the district’s new plan for academic
New rules this year require educators with
elementary, math, science, social studies and English language arts
endorsements to complete a “Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD)
Education” training or professional development. These teachers must complete
the new licensing requirement with their next five-year license renewal period.
Sheridan School District,
said Muldoon, will kick off the District new focus on Culturally
Responsive Education with
an opportunity for teachers to attend a talk by distinguished Professor Pedro
Noguera at neighboring Littleton Public Schools on January 7. Noguera has an
extensive background in education and is presently a Distinguished Professor of
Education at UCLA. His message focuses on how equity can lead to excellence. He
recently coauthored Excellence Through
Equity. To earn professional development credit, Sheridan teachers who
attend the talk can write up a summary on what they learned from the workshop
and how it relates to their classroom practice.
Throughout January, staff
will be invited to a book study of Culturally
Responsive Teaching and the Brain which will delve deeper into the equity
issues Pedro Noguera surfaces.
The District is also is
collaborating with the International Consortium for Multilingual Excellence in
Education and the University of Colorado at Denver to offer two online courses
for K-12 teachers.
Early Childhood Center – Learning Walk
Earlier Tuesday, board members toured the Early
Childhood Center as part of their regular series of “Learning Walks” in
“It was great to see,” said board president
Bernadette Saleh at the work session. “I’m always impressed. Kids are well
behaved and wanting to learn.”
Superintendent Pat Sandos also complimented the
school for the “authentic” learning taking place. “I really enjoyed the
classes,” he added, “you could tell the kids had a strong comfort level in the
Board member Karla Najera said she noted that “every
adult in those rooms genuinely cared for the growth of the child” and lauded
the school atmosphere for being safe, clean and promoting education.
Head Start Training
Aimee Chapman, director of the Early Childhood Center,
provided the board with training connected to the board’s legal and fiscal
responsibilities as the governing body over the district’s Head Start
School Year Calendar
Superintendent Pat Sandos said the district is
beginning to look at the 2019-2020 school year calendar and will begin a
process of gathering feedback around the idea of starting later in August and
shortening the Spring Break from two weeks to one.
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: