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Board of Education Recap March 14th, 2019

News from Sheridan School District No. 2

Contact: Mark Stevens

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

News Release

March 14, 2019

Alice Terry Elementary School Highlights Progress in Reading, Mathematics; Students and Staff Recognized

Alice Terry Elementary School principal Diego Romero gave the Sheridan Board of Education a

glimpse of academic progress and also lauded three students, three teachers, and his food

service staff.

“We are all there for the same reason,” said Romero. “Our students come first no matter

what—no excuses.”

Second grade teacher Ashleigh Elsner, said Romero, runs a “warm and inclusive classroom

environment” and has not missed one day of school. Kindergarten teacher Stacy Waechter has

dedicated herself to Sheridan students for 29 years, he said, and willingly mentors and supports

her colleagues.

And special education teacher Kathy North, said Romero, has built strong community

partnerships and has organized an ongoing food drive that delivers food weekly to 28 needy

families, in collaboration with St. James Presbyterian Church.

Food service staff members Nancy Bottlemy, Penny Deden, and Michelle Nevarez were

recognized for “working together in harmony” with the school. They create meals from scratch,

said Romero, and create menu items to match instruction themes (such as “Dinosaur Toast”).

Kindergartner Ava Huff was recognized for her strong reading skills, for counting up to 200, and

for being a “born leader.” And both first grader Jose Mosqueda Paramo and second-grader

Michelle Macias Montoya were recognized for being strong readers and overall excellent


Romero shared data reflecting progress from the beginning of the year as well. For instance,

the number of kindergarteners reading on grade level has grown from 3 percent at the

beginning of the year to 30 percent now. And in math, the number of kindergarteners on grade

level has grown from 3 percent at the beginning of the school year to 43 percent today.

The number of students more than two years behind grade level in both reading and

mathematics has dropped dramatically across all three grade levels served at Alice Terry

(kindergarten through second-grade).

Romero told the board that the recent addition of Instructional Support Assistants has been a

big support in terms of being able to deliver “very targeted” instruction to both students who

are behind and strong performers, too.

Superintendent Pat Sandos praised the school for its progress. He noted the “caring and

compassionate” school environment and thanked the food service staff for their “extra touch”

in supporting student work.

District Accountability and Advisory Council

District Accountability and Advisory Council (DAAC) chairman Adrian Vigil, who is a teacher at

Alice Terry Elementary School, provided an overview of the group’s work this year, which has

been focused on increasing enrollment.

The District Advisory and Accountability Committee (DAAC) represents a cross-section of

parents, district staff, and the community. It serves only in an advisory capacity to the Sheridan

Board of Education.

Vigil recapped various efforts to improve “social connections” in the community through

carnivals, games, movie nights, and family nights. He noted that DAAC recently held a “Chili ‘n

Chat” at Sheridan High School to gather community and parent ideas. Parent classes have been

held to support parent understanding of technology, reading and math strategies, and Infinite


Vigil said the DAAC is intent on “celebrating the culture of learning” and is working on extension

and enrichment activities with Sheridan High School and nearby Mullen High School, too.

DAAC will return to a school board meeting in May with an additional update.

Online Registration

Superintendent Sandos briefed the board on efforts to shift to an online student registration

process. Testing of the system is underway, he said, and it will be implemented later this year in

time for the 2019-2020 school year registration process.

Beyond Textbooks

Chief Academic Officer Shirley Miles briefed the board on a recent trip to Arizona with Sheridan

staff to see Beyond Textbooks in action, in schools where the program has been fully integrated

in classrooms. Beyond Textbooks involves a philosophy of planning, teaching, and sharing

among teachers. It also ensures that teachers are keeping students on track and on pace with

what Colorado state standards expect students to learn.

Miles said Sheridan staff “are on a good path” to improve the rigor, including work on the “reteach” and “enrichment” strands of the Beyond Textbooks program. Miles told the board that,

at the urging of Superintendent Sandos, the implementation of Beyond Textbooks will focus

this year on a few key elements, such as posting learning targets and Demonstrations of

Learning (DOL) expectations, with new elements being added next year.

Safety Grants

Chief Operations Officer Cyndi Wright provided the board with an overview of two grants that

the district recently received to improve school safety and security. The grants will provide a

multitude of items including new public address systems in Alice Terry, SOAR Academy, Early

Childhood Center and Sheridan High School; improved key-card access systems at all front

doors; improved visitor management badging; improved cell phone coverage; window

replacements; and radio interoperability.

Wright also announced installation of LED lighting for all buildings, both interior and exterior,

and the stadium lights as well. The lighting has a 10-year warranty and the investment will pay

for itself, in electrical savings, in 2.6 years.

Delayed Start

Superintendent Sandos also outlined new “Delayed Start” procedures that will be used when

weather is bad—but not bad enough to declare a full “Snow Day” or other weather-related

closure. The delayed start will mean that schools will start 90 minutes later than a normal

school day and buses will run their routes 90 minutes later than normal. When a delayed start

is declared, parents will be notified by automatic email or telephone message and

announcements will be posted on the district webpage and on social media, too.

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: