The time and effort given by community members toward the development of a new vision for the Steamboat Springs School District won't go to waste, School Board members said this week.
On Monday, Superintendent Donna Howell presented the School Board with a draft of new district mission, vision and beliefs statements that reflect input provided by the community during a series of focus forums held in November and December.
Though not yet formally adopted, School Board members said they support the statements, though where the statements fit into the board's policy manual is under consideration.
Howell stressed to the School Board the importance of the statements for the district.
"These (statements) should be driving everything we do," Howell told School Board members during Monday's study session. "I think this creates a strong statement from the board on where we want to be and what our beliefs are."
The draft mission statement reads: "The mission of the Steamboat Springs School District is that all students are prepared for success in an ever-changing world."
The vision statement says the district is a community of learners who share a passion for exploring meaningful ideas, promote intellectual agility and lifelong learning, maximize individual talents, foster confidence, respect diversity and beliefs, provide a safe and trusting environment, develop emotional intelligence, social engagement and community involvement and inspire.
The beliefs of the district include: all students can achieve a high level of social and academic skills, all students are valued and included, student success is contingent upon the partnership among schools, families and the community, curriculum and instruction need to be relevant and varied to meet the needs of all students, well trained, highly skilled teachers are the most important factor for student success and our schools reflect the heart and soul of our unique community.
A small group of representatives from the focus forums wrote the draft statements. Under direction from the School Board, Howell will identify an appropriate place in the board's policy manual to insert the statements.
The new and revised statements are part of Howell's effort to re-establish a direction for the school district based on community desires. Howell hosted more than 15 focus forums with a wide variety of district stakeholders during the past two months. At each focus forum, participants were asked to identify the factors most important in education and where they wanted the school district to be in three years.
Input from those forums was synthesized into a thick packet of information, which was handed to each of the 66 people who gathered Dec. 16 for a final forum to discuss a new vision. Feedback from that meeting eventually led to the drafting of the statements.
"We worked very hard to honor all the input," Howell said.