Saturday, November 4, 2006
Dear community members:
It is the job of the District Accountability Committee to oversee the goal writing process in each of our district's schools, make sure the schools have the resources to reach those goals and then hold the schools accountable to those goals. We are a committee comprised of community members, parents, teachers and administrators.
During the week of Oct. 9, the principals of the five schools in our district reported their goals for this school year to the DAC. One of the biggest concerns we heard from each principal was the training of new staff each year. With the high level of teacher turnover in our district, schools must spend an excess amount of time and funding training those teachers, thus taking time and resources away from other priorities.
To help attract and retain quality staff, the Steamboat Springs School District is placing question 3C on the ballot in November for the voters of Steamboat Springs. Question 3C is a mill levy override that would help fund the recruitment and retention of quality staff. The levy has a neutral tax impact because the additional tax rate will be offset by a reduction in the bond fund taxes that are no longer needed as a result of bonds being paid off.
Also on the November ballot will be question 3D, which asks the voters of Steamboat Springs to approve a $29 million bond to rebuild Soda Creek Elementary School and build an addition to Strawberry Park Elementary School. There are many practical reasons Soda Creek Elementary needs to be rebuilt and Strawberry Park Elementary needs to be remodeled - poor ventilation, safety concerns, ineffective layout, etc. As a DAC, however, we are most interested in how the remodel and new school will improve education for our students.
One critical improvement that 3D will provide is an increase in learning space that facilitates grouping of students for instruction. Currently at Soda Creek and in the temporaries at Strawberry Park there is no room to pull out small groups of students for individualized instruction. This is a top priority when trying to meet the needs of all children through differentiated instruction.
For these reasons, we, the members of the DAC, urge you to vote "yes" on 3C and 3D to improve the education for our children.
Danielle Skov, Kristin Wilson, Julie Rabbitt, Laura Stout, Tawnya Fabian, Avrom Feinberg, Amy Cosgrove, Jude Black, Kevin Taulman, Marty O'Leary, Sally Howard and Mike Campbell