We are concerned that for five straight years the quality of education at SSD has been dramatically falling. We are now below the Colorado average for Math and Reading and actually had negative growth last year. This is absolutely unacceptable and it is a leadership problem - not a teacher problem. While COVID undeniably had an impact at SSD, our growth was dramatically worse than the majority of Colorado schools even before COVID. We will diligently work to return SSD's main focus to growing academic core competencies by removing politically charged distractions and getting "Back to Basics" for all students. Our focus will be on teaching kids “how to think”, not “what to think” and preparing them for further education or the workforce. We will ensure there is an emphasis on providing opportunities and support to special needs, dyslexic, gifted & talented students and every child that is struggling to succeed. We will lift the bottom but not forget the top.
One of the primary functions of the School Board is managing a budget that is well over $50M dollars. We have 50+ years combined experience in budgeting and program management. We know firsthand the importance of running an operation responsibly and transparently and eliminating waste. We will work hard to bring sound financial policies and detailed planning to end years of wasteful spending. The school board needs to regain the trust of our community. Specific areas of focus will be reducing legal costs, staff turnover and payoffs, and streamlining administration to make it more responsive to teachers.
Teacher Retention and Support
Improving teacher retention is paramount. The turnover at SSD is dramatic and has a significant effect on student performance. We will find additional funding to enable teachers to better afford to work and live in Summit County. We will set up a committee to assess housing options and incentives. We are talking to teachers to identify other "quality of life" concerns that we can address. Pay, housing, daycare, support from parents, are all things we will look at.
To regain the community's trust, SSD needs to be completely transparent with regard to curriculum and spending. We will adopt a policy to ensure all curriculum, supplemental materials, videos, articles, links, etc. are all placed on SSD's website for anyone to view. We will ensure there is robust public debate before making policy decisions and will avoid adopting controversial policies. We will be completely transparent with regard to budgeting and spending. We have found that people are more accepting of decisions when they understand how they were made.
Suicide Prevention / Mental Health
SSD leadership must be vigilant in addressing mental health with a rigorous suicide prevention program. We will work closely with parents and Summit County's mental health non-profit organizations to create a Suicide Prevention Plan for SSD. We are committed to bringing help, continuous awareness, and resources to our students and community.