Superintendent's Corner
March 2018

A Message from Dr. Brad Meeks
The Steamboat Springs School District is going to be the subject of an elite study by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and we couldn’t be more excited! Strawberry Park Elementary School has been designated as a High Achieving School and selected to participate in a CDE initiative called the High Flyers Network that will allow us to share our knowledge and practices with lower-performing schools in the state.

As part of the High Flyers Network Project, CDE will identify and document practices that have contributed to Strawberry Park’s overall performance and to the performance of its students, particularly English learners and students with disabilities. There are two phases of the project. In the first phase, CDE will visit Strawberry Park this spring to conduct interviews, focus groups and observations, and collect survey responses as part of a comprehensive study of the practices that have contributed to Strawberry Park’s success. In the second phase, called Connect for Success (CFS), lower-performing schools will compete for the opportunity to connect with, learn from, and replicate Strawberry Park’s best practices. In the spring of 2019, Strawberry Park will host teams from CFS schools so that they can see our practices in person and in action.

Strawberry Park’s High Achieving School designation and its participation in the High Flyers Network come with a $20,000 award. We want to congratulate Strawberry Park students, staff, and families. Our entire district shares in the success of Strawberry Park! This recognition adds to the distinguished list of honors our schools and district have accumulated this year, including the John Irwin Award, Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, Accredited with Distinction designation, AP® District Honor Roll, and English Language Proficiency Act Excellence Award.

Steamboat Springs School District is well on its way to setting the standard for education regionally, nationally, and globally. However, one of the challenges we are currently grappling with is sustaining our overall educational program excellence in the long term. The Steamboat Springs community is growing, as is the number of students in our schools. This long-term growth issue was not addressed in the 2017 bond and mill levy override initiatives, which provided funding to fix our current facilities but not to expand them.

As we announced in January, we currently have 32 volunteers serving on four committees that, over the next year, will be studying the district’s infrastructure, looking at current use and challenges as well as aligning our future needs with a professional master-planning process. This effort is focused on generating a long-term plan for our facilities and programs—a plan to build for the future so that we don’t, as a community, risk losing the high-quality education we currently enjoy.

The committees are still very much in the discovery phase of their work, touring our buildings, talking to our school principals, and reviewing presentations and reports. In the months ahead, we will launch a website with more information, and this fall, we expect there will be multiple opportunities for the larger community to engage in these efforts and provide important input. Through this work, we are committed to informing, engaging, and investing the people in our community in a long-term plan for district facilities and programs.
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Scenes from Steamboat Springs Schools:
North Routt Community Charter School
First and second graders studied how communities interact through the lens
of ants. “What do ants and humans have in common?” Students used critical thinking skills to infer commonalities.
Seventh and eighth graders engaged in a three-day fieldwork experience in March in Santa Fe, NM where they learned about how cultures have interacted with one another in the southwestern United States.
North Routt Community Charter School teacher , Katrina Wellman-Machut , was recently named an exemplar teacher by the EL Education organization under their Models of Excellence program, which is created in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jay Hamric has been selected as the district's new Director of Teaching and Learning . Jay is currently the assistant principal at SSMS.  Read more

Casey Ungs has been selected as the district's new Transportation Manager. Casey comes to the district after more than 13 years with UPS.  

Steamboat Springs High School juniors Aubrey Morrison and Eric Casey shared second place in hovercraft, third in chemistry lab and third in thermodynamics competitions in the Science Olympiad in February. Read more

Steamboat Springs School District staff member B Torres wrote and performed Between Borders , for SPEAK: Performances from Women in the Yampa Valley. Between Borders sheds light on Routt County's Latino community and white privilege on a local and national scale. Read more
News & Notes
Calendar of Events
Read recent Steamboat Pilot & Today articles.

The Steamboat Springs Board of Education tentatively approved plans to modify security at the entrance to Steamboat Springs High School including creating a vestibule within the main entrance. Read more

Steamboat Springs High School students joined other teens from across the country in a walkout on March 14, and in an Our View editorial, the Steamboat Today Editorial Board said, "The walkout was a powerful sign that the youth of our country want to make a difference and it should spur adults to action." Read more

Mental health, armed marshals and building improvements were discussed by the school board at a meeting on March 14 on school safety. Read more

Multiple school facility remodeling projects funded with the proceeds from the bond issue approved by voters in November 2017 are planned for this summer. Read more

Steamboat Springs Middle School and Emerald Mountain School students took to the Strings Music Pavilion stage to play alongside the band Shuffle. Read more

As part of Opera Steamboat's education outreach programming, Strawberry Park Elementary students were exposed to opera music. Read more

Routt County residents can sign up their children (birth to age 5) for Imagination Library and within two months, monthly, age-appropriate books will be mailed directly to the children at no cost to families. Read more

Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped, but according to the National Institute of Health's annual Monitoring The Future survey, nearly 1 in 3 students in 12th grade report using some kind of vaping device in the last year. Read more
Standardized student testing at Steamboat Springs High School will take place on Tuesday, April 10th and Wednesday, April 11th.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) requires that all students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade complete testing. The testing schedule has been compressed to minimize instructional disruptions. Read more   

April 2: Board of Education Meeting, 4:30PM

April 2: Positive Action Family Classes, Soda Creek Elementary School, 5:45PM

April 5 - 7 & 13 - 14: Footloose the Musical, Steamboat Springs High School, 6PM

April 13: Kids Carnival hosted by SSHS Student Leadership Class, read more

April 16: Board of Education Meeting, 4:30PM
Steamboat Springs School District is on Spring Break April 23-27.