In this blog site, I discuss a variety of timely issues and provide information that I hope will be helpful to BVSD staff, parents, students, and community members. Your comments are welcomed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

BVSD Ballot Measure 3A - Operational Levy

Thank you to voters for passing the Operational Levy for Boulder Valley School District. I appreciate the high level of support from the community.

Ballot Measure 3A approved by voters establishes an operational mill levy which will fund a portion of the $33.4 million in present ongoing maintenance, custodial, security, and technology expenditures. Resources from the levy will allow investment for ongoing preventative maintenance and repairs to extend facility life.

General fund resources freed up by the operational levy will be available to support the following services:
·         Maintain present level of educational services.
·         Invest in preventative maintenance for buildings and equipment.
·         Replace out-of-date textbooks and learning materials.
·         Fund compensation and benefits for all employees.
·         Provide training for staff.
·         Employ educators to meet student needs.

Initially the levy will generate $10 million dollars a year. The Board of Education has authority to increase the levy to 4 mills in future years which would provide more than $25 million dollars a year for district investment in services.

I appreciate voters approving this much-needed financial support for BVSD students. Resources from the levy will be used to offset inadequate funding provided by the state legislature.


Additional information is available at BVSD.org  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

November 2016 Election Information

Election ballots were delivered through US mail last week. Ballot Measure 3A operational levy for BVSD is on the November 2016 ballot. I encourage you to study the proposed levy and vote in the upcoming election. Nov. 8 (by 7 p.m.) is the last day to vote or drop off a ballot.

A lot has changed in Colorado since the last presidential election. Here’s what you need to know to vote in this election:
      Check your voter registration as all active voters are sent a ballot in the mail! Make sure your address is current. This is especially important if you have moved in the last year or if you haven’t voted for a few years. Check online at govotecolorado.com.
      Track your mail ballot. If you live in Boulder County, you can sign up for Ballot Track to receive messages by email, text, or phone when your mail ballot has been printed, mailed, and received back by Boulder County Elections during election periods.
      In person voting is available. If you prefer to vote in person, a list of Voter Service and Polling Centers will be included in your mail ballot packet.
      Vote early! Once you decide how to vote, return your mail ballot. Voting early helps reduce campaign phone calls for you and helps the county process ballots throughout the election period rather than just on one night. Note that no votes are tabulated before election night.

For more voter and election information, visit the following websites:


2016 Election Dates
October 17
Ballots mailed to voters
October 24
Voter Service Centers open (you can visit these locations if you would like to vote in person)
October 31
Last day to register and still receive a ballot in the mail (otherwise you need to vote in person)
November 8
Election Day - Last day to vote or drop off ballot (by 7 p.m.)



Friday, August 12, 2016

Welcome to a new school year!

Now beginning my sixth year as superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District, I am pleased to see the continued implementation of our long-range strategic plan – “The Success Effect.” Numerous parents, students, staff and community members helped develop this plan, which focuses on three key areas  – Learning, Talent, and Partnerships. We have identified six initial strategic priorities:
  1. Literacy and Early Learning
  2. Systems of Support
  3. Parent and Family Partnerships
  4. Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners
  5. Educator Growth and Development
  6. Educator Pipeline. 
Learn more about The Success Effect online at bvsdsuccesseffect.org. The site features a blog with posts from several leaders in BVSD on a variety of topics including innovative learning, family partnership, systems of support, district recruitment efforts, professional learning, and new graduation guidelines.

During the summer, district staff made progress on The Success Effect and related initiatives, including the Building for Student Success bond program. Over $55 million in work was completed at schools during the summer months. Students and staff will return to upgraded interiors and exteriors, renovated restrooms, enhanced security and innovative learning spaces. Essential repair and maintenance on building systems along with energy efficiency upgrades will take place in all schools. Construction of replacement schools for Creekside, Douglass, Emerald and a new PK-8 in Erie began a few months ago and will be completed in August 2017. Bond project information is available at bond.bvsd.org.

The environmental health of all learning spaces continues to be a top priority for BVSD. Last year, the  district launched a long-term, districtwide indoor air quality initiative with the University of Tulsa to improve indoor air quality in all district schools. This project will involve collecting indoor air quality data which will be used to make recommendations to building operations and occupant behavior and to identify building renovations to improve air quality.

Thanks to our generous and engaged community, highly qualified educators, excellent leadership, and dedicated support staff, Boulder Valley School District is known for its academic excellence and overall student success. We are committed to providing innovative and effective student learning experiences, employing and developing talented staff, and cultivating strong family and community partnerships to foster even greater student success in the future.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Building for Student Success

With anticipation of warmer weather and students and teachers vacating for the summer, construction crews are moving into high gear to make significant progress on a number of projects in the district’s $576.5 M bond-funded building program. The district Bond Program team currently has over 25 projects in progress. Construction of replacement schools for Creekside, Douglass, Emerald and a new PK-8 in Erie will begin this spring and continue through next school year, with anticipated completion for August 2017. Many phase 1 projects which began construction this past school year will be finished for the start of school in August. Students and staff will return to upgraded interiors and exteriors, renovated restrooms, enhanced security, innovative new learning spaces and, for some, newly air conditioned buildings. Very important but less noticeable repair and maintenance work on building systems and energy efficiency upgrades will take place in all schools. Five phase 2 schools kicked off design work this spring and will likely move into construction early in 2017.

Providing oversight for the entire bond program is the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee. The group has met regularly since May 2015 to review financial reports and project progress. When necessary, the committee reviews and makes recommendations for changes to project scopes of work and budgets. The committee’s meeting schedule and minutes are posted on a dedicated page on the Bond Program website. Meetings are open to the public and there is an opportunity for public comment at each meeting.

We recently launched a redesigned website for the bond program to provide families and community members with comprehensive information about how bond funds are being invested to improve learning environments and extend the useful life of buildings. The website can be accessed at bond.bvsd.org or from a link on BVSD’s homepage. The website provides financial reports, details about specific projects, information about renovations to support sustainability and more. I encourage you to visit it often. All of this is possible thanks to our very supportive and generous community.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Introducing the 2016 Annual Report

The 2016 BVSD Annual Report is being emailed this week to all students, families and staff. The report provides a glimpse of district goals, priorities, financial standing and vision for student success. 
The BVSD Board of Education, administration, educators, staff and parents in every school are vital to the success of all students. The strategic plan, called the Success Effect, is based on three principles: learning, talent and partnerships. The intrinsic objective of the Success Effect is to achieve individual success for all students.

Our commitment to achieving student success will be accomplished by various means, one of those being innovation, achieved by building for student success funded by the bond approved in 2014. Educational innovation is at the core of our effort to improve existing schools as well as new construction projects. Sustainability and secure learning environments are also high priorities. Financial transparency is a fundamental component of the report and our standing with the community.  

BVSD vision, mission and goals will be realized through a commitment to community and family partnerships. We rely on these relationships to achieve student success.

I am hopeful that you find value in this year’s report, and I look forward to our continued success this semester.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Six Pillars of the Success Effect

Boulder Valley School District has developed a dynamic strategic plan, The Success Effect, with an innovative approach to individual learning and instruction. The goal is to maximize every student’s potential to succeed through a personal approach that recognizes and fosters the unique talent of every child.

Our district is redefining what it means to succeed—building on our strengths, elevating the state of our schools and providing all students with the tools and confidence needed to meet the great challenges of their time. That’s The Success Effect in action.

More than 75 teachers, administrators, staff, parents and community members are presently developing implementation plans to accomplish The Success Effect. Six action planning teams are refining activities to achieve short-term outcomes for the next two to three years. Six priority areas are embedded in three organizing principles of The Success Effect:
Learning
  • Systems of Support
  • Literacy & Early Learning
  • Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners
Talent
  • Educator Pipeline
  • Educator Growth & Development
Partnerships
  • Parent & Family Partnerships
We believe that communication is key to keeping staff, students, parents, and the greater community informed and involved in The Success Effect as our work progresses. To that end, Boulder Valley School District is proud to announce the release of our newly redesigned Success Effect website. The website is designed to update all stakeholders about our goals and the priority action areas in the strategic plan. The improved website will serve as a gathering place for information about the strategic plan, school improvement plans, and innovation in our schools. There are expanded capabilities for learning, sharing and interaction.

We encourage you to visit: bvsdsuccesseffect.org.

Monday, January 25, 2016

BVSD graduation rates rise for fifth straight year


The Colorado Department of Education recently released graduation and dropout data for the state. I am pleased to report the overall rate for students in the Boulder Valley School District who graduated on time in 2015 is 92.3 percent, increasing for the fifth straight year. Statewide graduation rates for 2015 were at 77.3 percent. BVSD has considerably improved its on-time graduation rate from 84.7 percent in 2010 to its current 92.3 percent. Boulder Valley has the highest graduation rate of the top 20 largest school districts. Limited English Proficient, Economically Disadvantaged and Homeless all had an increases in their graduation rates. The dropout rate in Boulder Valley remains the lowest of the top ten largest school districts in Colorado.

Improvement in the graduation rate is the result of very intentional efforts to address student needs as early as possible. By providing prompt individualized support, students are more likely to experience success in school. Employees/educators in every school are committed to increasing student success which makes all the difference.

Boulder Valley has significantly improved credit recovery programming in all schools. Educators work to reach students who are in danger of failing and help them learn the content/skills. Students are able to restore class credits by utilizing various alternative programs during the school year and in the summer.
Counseling is an integral part of appropriate and early intervention for students. BVSD has secured additional resources to help with this effort, specifically the Colorado School Counseling corps grant and other sources, targeted to assist high-risk students through personalized intervention.  

Boulder Valley School District is committed to increasing success of all students and prepare them for life after high school. The district strategic plan, The Success Effect, will enhance services and opportunities in the future fostering student success. Boulder Valley schools are exceptional because talented employees/educators are working in partnership with families and community to provide exceptional learning opportunities for all children.