Superintendent's Corner
January 2018

A Message from Dr. Brad Meeks
Resolutions and goals are a major focus this time of year, and that’s certainly true for the Steamboat Springs School District (SSSD). After last November’s successful election, we announced our commitment to continue work on a long-term, comprehensive infrastructure plan. This process will further examine the potential of our existing facilities and the need for renovated or newly constructed facilities to maximize educational experiences for our students. A few months ago, we asked for volunteers to serve on citizen/staff Advisory Committees. 

I am excited to share that our Advisory Committees met for the first time this week. Over the next 12 months, 32 people will work in four committees to:
  • Identify opportunities to fund projects that strengthen and/or enhance the district’s academic programs and provide the space needed for program implementation;
  • Identify current and future extracurricular/co-curricular space needs and potential projects that increase community partnerships for the benefit of both students and the community;
  • Identify renovations, additions, and/or new construction that will require additional funding to support SSSD’s projected capacity and programming needs for current and future students and staff; and
  • Increase communication with community members—especially those who do not have a connection to the school district—with the goal of informing the community of the need for future public funding initiatives.
Building on the work of the Community Committee for Education (CC4E), the Advisory Committees’ work will be influenced by feedback from the roughly 865 people who completed the district’s perception survey in November 2017. Survey results were shared with the Board of Education this week, made available to the Advisory Committees as a resource, and are available here . More than 90% of parents and nearly 100% of staff say they would recommend that other parents send their children to our district. This is just one of the many data points that positively reflect the remarkable things happening in our schools. 

While the survey results give us much to be proud of, they also give us much to focus on. Specifically, we noticed a significant perception gap between parents, employees, and community members in some key areas. For example, there were gaps regarding perceptions of whether SSSD provides good value for money in terms of tax dollars—only 66% of community members agreed or strongly agreed, whereas parents and employees agreed or strongly agreed at rates of 80% to 90%. This trend persisted in response to the question about supporting a larger bond/mill levy increase to fund the district in the future. Additionally, we saw numerous comments about the need to address teacher salaries in relation to the cost of living in our community.

These are all things that the Advisory Committees will tackle this year. On behalf of the school district, we want to thank the Committee members for volunteering their time to develop recommendations for long-term solutions and strategies that address academic programming, enrollment, and facility issues to serve the needs of our community’s students far into the future. We look forward to updating you on their work.
Let us know what you think of our district newsletter. Email us at steamboatschoolnews@ssk12.org
Scenes from Steamboat Springs Schools:
Strawberry Park Elementary School
Kindergarteners took a field trip to Mt. Werner Ski Mountain where they went on a nature walk and looked for things referenced in the story book "Over and Under the Snow". Thanks to Mike Loots with Yampatika, Nelson Carmichael an Olympic Skier, and the Ski Patrol for a wonderful educational experience. 
Through a wacky science assembly, students learned about science and the scientific process.
SSSD second graders skied during two field trips this month thanks to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Congratulations!
The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council presented Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth-grade math and science teacher Mindy Mulliken with the educator award for her role as head of the school's Green Team. Ms. Mulliken led students in weighing and auditing food waste from the school’s lunch program and successfully lobbied the school administration to reduce styrofoam usage in the lunch room. Read more

Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Kyle Taulman was chosen to go to Pyeongchang 2018 as an ambassador for the Paralympic Games with the National Ability Center. Read more

The Steamboat Springs Teen Council selected Steamboat Springs High School junior Caitlin Smith as Teen of the Month in December because she demonstrates that teens are valuable community assets, acts as a leader and/or a positive role model among her peers, and is committed to community service. Read more
News & Notes
Read recent Steamboat Pilot & Today articles.

The construction firm FCI Constructors has been chosen as the general contractor for two key pieces of the school district's summer 2018 construction project dedicated to cleaning up long-deferred maintenance on school facilities and buildings. Read more

Steamboat Springs High School's 22nd annual Dance Showcase features 77 student dancers and more variety of styles that are new to the repertoire. Read more

The  Junior Achievement  program on the Western Slope, Destination Success, is exposing middle and high school students in Steamboat Springs to what it takes to succeed in business by taking them on a trip to Denver to hear first-hand from business employees about their working lives. Read more

Soda Creek Elementary School physical education teacher Erin Early is reaching out to the community and thinking out of the box with hopes of inspiring the next generation to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. Read more

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland are participating in the Every Kid in a Park Program, which allows fourth-graders and their families to visit day-use areas free of charge. To obtain a pass, current fourth-graders can visit everykidinapark.gov . Read more

Partners in Routt County is working to recruit 30 mentors in 30 days in honor of National Mentoring Month and in the hopes of matching every youth on their waiting list. Read more
The city of Steamboat Springs is hosting a free ski night for middle school students from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26 at Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Read more

Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership and Emerald Mountain School will host "Healthy Kids Health Community," a conversation with parents and educators to raise awareness about prescription drugs, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 at Emerald Mountain School. Read more

January 22 - 26: Steamboat Springs High School Drugs & Alcohol Facts Week

January 29: Positive Family Training Classes start - contact Tracy Metzler for more information at tmetzler@ssk12.org

January 30: Steamboat Springs High School Mandatory Spring Sports Parent/Athlete Meeting

February 5 - 8: Steamboat Springs High School Snowcoming Week

February 9: Staff professional development day, no school for students

February 14: Middle School/High School Concert, 7PM


February 19 - 23: Mid-Winter Break