I’m experimenting with yet another theme for the Communique’ – this time a WordPress blog format. I’ve tried to bring some of the components from the last effort over, learning as I go. Please feel free to let me know any feedback you may have as to the different formats.
One advantage of a blog format like this is the ability to post comments, which I can respond to directly. Feel free to drop a note for me if you have something to say or have a question. Keep in mind, your posts (and my responses) are all in the public view! In addition, a blog site allows for an archive of previous editions, so you can always work through and catch up on what you missed.
Global-Ready Skills Posters
Our awesome communications team has sent Global-Ready Skills posters in English and Spanish to all schools. There should be enough to post in every classroom. Please let us know if you need more of these. Our hope is that these are referred to in your classes and designed into your planning and team collaboration work, really bringing these ideas to life through the tasks we engage students through. I’ll also post electronic versions of these here, for your convenience.
Catching Up with the Board of Education
The ECS Board had a busy night this past Wednesday, reviewing an agenda of nearly 400 pages! Most of the packet is made up of the (now approved) Facilities Master Plan, which includes needed building upgrades for all our schools as well as some fascinating demographic studies, projecting fairly rapid growth for the Eagle and Gypsum areas.
Dr. Glass’ Vail Daily Articles
From 2.03.16, The Art, Science, & Judgment of the Snow Day
From 1.26.16, A Model to Transform Education
It doesn’t happen very often, but it happened this week! The Vail Daily helped us get the word out quickly, 3,400 Facebook shares! I hope everyone enjoyed the day and stayed safe. I could hear the cries of joy from my house Monday night!
Town Hall Meetings and Construction Plans
We held the first of our community meetings to talk about our facilities needs on 1.28.16 in Vail and Red Sandstone Elementary. The meeting was well attended (approximately 75) and we discussed future plans for a new or significantly remodeled school in Vail. We will also be holding a Town Hall meeting at VSSA on 2.9.16 to talk about that building and other potential improvements at Maloit Park.
District-wide, we are looking at upgrades for school safety/security, technology access, and energy/efficiency, but some we have some more extensive changes (significant remodels or possible scrape and rebuild efforts) needed in places like RSES, the 3rd Street campus in Eagle (EVE and EVMS), and the EVHS campus.
Town Hall meetings for Eagle (EVE/EVMS) and Gypsum (EVHS) had to be rescheduled due to the weather this week. Eagle is rescheduled for 3.7.16 and Gypsum is rescheduled for 3.10.16. Mark your calendars for these dates and look for more communication on them as the dates approach.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Local Trolls
As previously mentioned, we are hosting community meetings to talk about our facilities needs. Because this conversation necessarily also involves a discussion as to how we would pay for such improvements, the local anti-public education trolls are coming out.
Along with a(nother) half-baked property tax analysis, this “article” seems to imply that the school district needs no additional money because of a statement, taken out of context from the notes of a July 2015 board meeting.
In this meeting, I said that our school district was in “solid financial shape.” The district is in “solid financial shape” in that we have a budget and we are living within our means.
In fact, the district recently won a national award for our budgeting systems.
Being responsible and efficient with the dollars we have is not the logical equivalent of having all the dollars we need.
Expect more of this sort of propaganda and distortion to emerge as time goes on. Be sure and recognize this for what it is – the beginning of several intentionally uninformed attacks which lack both common sense and material credibility.
Legislative Update and Education News
I have little to report on this front except to say the school funding conversations are progressing as expected, meaning we are anticipating not receiving enough in new revenue through the state finance formula to cover our student growth and inflationary cost increases.
This situation is the result of two state constitutional amendments, the Gallagher Amendment and the TABOR Amendment. There are some efforts to address these issues with a state level effort, but those details are still in formation. I will update you as we know more.
On the education policy front, there seem to be fewer bills introduced compared to recent years – and this is just fine with us! In my professional opinion, we don’t need more “help” from the statehouse in educating Eagle County’s kids. I will again refrain from delving deeply into these areas until it becomes more clear what has a substantial prospect of becoming law.
I came across this great post from Edutopia, highlighting some of the best education research from 2015. Enjoy.
Also, see these 4 Critical Leadership Abilities Leading to Student Success.
Catching Up with Social Media
Click here for a quick look at what happened in our schools over the past two weeks!
Last But Not Least