Superintendent's Corner
May 2018

A Message from Dr. Brad Meeks
It was just six months ago that our community voted “yes” on 3C and 3D, passing a seven-year, $12.9-million bond and ongoing mill levy that will allow our district to make basic, but much-needed, improvements to our facilities, including roof replacements, HVAC for the middle school, and renovations at Gardner Field. In addition to the “yes” votes we received on these issues last fall, what really makes us proud is the support articulated for our schools by individuals and organizations through editorials and letters to the editor. Our community sent, and continues to send, a strong message about the value it places on education generally and, more specifically, on the success and safety of our students and the longevity of district facilities.
In the 2017–18 school year, Steamboat Springs students, teachers, and schools earned many accolades, including the High Flyers Network, John Irwin and Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards, and the AP ® District Honor Roll, just to name a few. One of our challenges over the long term will be to sustain this tradition of educational excellence as we grow. Enrollment in our district has increased nearly 24% over the past 10 years. Steamboat Springs High School will near building capacity (97%) this fall, while the middle school, even with the addition of four new classrooms this summer, will be at 98% of its capacity, and the elementary school’s enrollment will be at 113% of its capacity. Enrollment is expected to grow in 2018–19 as much as 2.5%.
In the upcoming school year, we anticipate adding at least 15 FTEs to address continued enrollment growth and increase the number of staff serving English language learners and special education students, as well as those providing counseling services in our schools. However, finding space for these new staff members to serve students, in the context of increasing enrollment and the limited footprints of existing buildings, will be a challenge. These factors are also limiting innovative programs in our schools that require dedicated space, such as elementary science labs and project-based and small-group learning areas. Our facilities are quickly becoming insufficient in terms of what we need to meet students’ current learning needs, not to mention what will be required to meet their needs in the future.
Our district’s long-term growth issues were not addressed in the 2017 bond and mill levy override initiatives, which provided funding to repair current facilities—but not to expand them. In January 2018, building on the work of the Community Committee for Education, advisory committees were formed to focus on long-term infrastructure solutions. Currently, 32 community volunteers are serving on four advisory committees studying the district’s infrastructure, investigating current use and challenges, as well as aligning the district’s future needs with a professional master-planning process.
These efforts are focused on generating a long-term plan that the community supports for our facilities and programs— a plan to build for the future and continue Steamboat Springs School District’s tradition of high-quality education . We look forward to working with you in the fall to get your input on the forthcoming long-term infrastructure solutions developed by the advisory committees. Please take a moment this summer to visit to learn more about the work of the advisory committees.
Congratulations to the Steamboat Springs High School Class of 2018! We will see everyone back at school on August 21, 2018. Have a great summer.
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Scenes from Steamboat Springs Schools:
Steamboat Springs Early Childhood Center
Steamboat Springs School District preschoolers have been busy investigating pets. They recently took a field trip to Paws N Claws to discover all the different things pets need. Inside the classroom, they created habitats for pet rocks, operated a pretend pet store, and took care of the classroom pet fish. By studying pets, preschoolers are developing thinking skills as they observe, investigate, ask questions, solve problems, make predictions, and test out their ideas.
Steamboat Springs Middle School students Jade Caparelli and Colin Kagen were winners in this years’ Colorado Kids Create’s (CKC) contest. Jade placed first in the middle school division and Colin placed fourth. CKC is a state-wide program that offers students the opportunity to enter a drawing contest and illustrate books about Colorado and The West. The books are sold on Amazon and book sale profits go toward art scholarships.
The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs honored Steamboat Springs High School senior, Keelan Vargas, as Student of the Month in April.
Construction is underway! The Steamboat Springs School District held a public Construction Kickoff celebration at Gardner Field on Thursday, May 17 to thank voters for their investment in roof replacements, HVAC installation, and improvements to Gardner Field.

A BEST grant to assist with Steamboat Springs School District roofing projects has been approved by the BEST board! The approved amount is $537,491.34. Read more
Students at Steamboat Springs Middle School created collages with old issues of Steamboat Magazine and the magazine published their creations! Read more
The Steamboat Springs High School Sailors won the team's first individual track and field state championship in more than a decade, at the state track and field meet. Congratulations to pole vaulter Eric Casey and 800-meter runners Winter Boese, Maggi Congdon, Isabelle Boniface and Marcada Baker. Read more

Maggi Congdan also won a state championship in the 3A girls race and Winter Boese placed eighth. Read more
Steamboat Springs High School senior, Jon Ruehle, participated in the Paralympic state track races for the last time. Read more
News & Notes
Read recent Steamboat Pilot & Today articles.

Steamboat Springs School District’s educators and staff are exceptional. The entire community benefits from their hard work and commitment. Read Superintendent Meeks' Teacher Appreciation Week tribute

The Steamboat Springs Education Fund's Grants Committee unanimously approved the school district's request for $100,000 to increase the number of mental health specialists from the 1.4 full-time equivalent in 2017-18 to at least two FTE's in 2018-19. Read more

A recently approved compensation agreement sets pay increases for teachers in Steamboat at 3.5-percent and classified staff — custodians, bus drivers, clerical workers, paraprofessionals and the district's network support engineer for example — increases at 5-percent across most of the salary schedule and 2.5-percent for those at the top of the range. Read more

There are currently 278 English language learner students representing more than 8 percent of the student population currently enrolled in our schools, and they represent dozens of native countries. ELL teachers appeared before the school board asking its members to consider funding to support additional ELL teachers in the 2018-19 budget. Read more

Teenage entrepreneurs will get the chance to showcase their goods and services at their own trade show, after spending the school year under the tutelage of Routt County CEO. Read more

Health teachers in the Steamboat Springs School District are teaching middle and high school students about the dangers of marijuana by providing emerging 21st century adults with the facts they need to decide on their own to put off experimentation with marijuana. Read more

The Girls to Women conference brought together 166 eighth-graders who heard from 27 community women about career development and choices as well as opportunities for building awareness and self-confidence. Read more

The Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board will increase grants it awards to school districts around the county by 18 percent for the 2018-2019 school year. The grants have been made possible for 25 years by the willingness of voters in Steamboat to approve and renew a half-cent sales tax devoted to education. Read more
We're hiring! Click here to check out current SSSD job openings.

32 community volunteers are serving on four advisory committees that are studying SSSD's infrastructure The advisory committees launched a website,, to keep the community informed about their work.

With the generous support of Steamboat Springs taxpayers, improvements will be made to District facilities from May 2018 to October 2018Read more

Review Steamboat Springs High School's final's schedule here.
Calendar of Events
May 22 - June 5: The annual Clean Out the Classroom (collection of gently used, or reusable school supplies) will take place at Steamboat Springs High School. Students can look for labeled cardboard boxes in the hallways, pods or next to the "student share shelves" across from the Media Center. Donate reusable supplies such as three-ring binders, notebook paper, composition notebooks, writing instruments, art supplies, etc. Please help save supplies for other local students and keep useful items out of the trash, with assistance from Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and SSHS Eco-Club.

May 25: Steamboat Springs High School Seniors' Last Day

May 25: Strawberry Park Elementary School Bike Rodeo

May 28 : Memorial Day, No School

May 31: Strawberry Park Elementary School 3rd - 5th grade Talent Show, 8:30AM

June 1: Yampa Valley High School Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony

June 1: Soda Creek Elementary School Bike Rodeo

June 2: Steamboat Springs High School Class of 2018 Graduation Ceremony

June 5: Last Day of School

June 8: Annual Royalty Clinic in Hayden, Colorado. Read more