Sherwood Families and Staff -- Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!
We start this year excited about all of the wonderful opportunities a new school year brings, proud of the accomplishments of our hard-working staff, and diligently focused on our District’s next endeavors.
We have exciting things happening all across our district this year! For starters, we are continuing the important work of our Strategic Plan. We are able to celebrate the completion of many goals related to last year's Strategic Plan - such as the creation of the monthly District Newsletter, IRLA reading assessment ready to be implemented, improved evaluation systems, and the completion of a new equity plan. With the Strategic Plan now in year two, we will be introducing new initiatives that we will focus on in 2016-17. None of these great achievements, of which there are many more, could be accomplished without the amazing teams and commitment to excellence that our staff give every day in Sherwood Schools, and we are very grateful for all our staff.
In addition to having a staff who cares deeply about the growth and well-being of the students we serve, we are also fortunate to have a group of parent volunteers all across our district whose hours of service are unparalleled. All of this is happening while our community is simultaneously growing and, therefore, so is our student enrollment.
As you'll recall from our ongoing updates in the District Newsletter last year, an area that has been a focus for our District for the last many months is the challenge we are facing relative to overcrowding in our schools; succinctly put, all of our schools are either over capacity or quickly approaching that point. As you know, this is a tremendous challenge for both our students and staff and the Board of Directors and District leadership have been engaged in several conversations during the past year with our stakeholders - including staff, students, local business partners, City representatives, administrators, and Board members - to determine potential solutions for resolving the academic and environmental needs of current and future learners. After careful consideration of community polling and feedback from input-gathering sessions with staff and the community, the Board unanimously approved placing a bond measure on the November 2016 ballot. The ballot measure number for that bond is #34-254.
The final bond measure recommendation reflects the guiding principles that emerged during community forum discussions we hosted throughout the year, and includes projects that would:
1.Relieve existing overcrowding and meet projected enrollment needs throughout the District by adding approximately 2,000 additional student capacity district-wide, including replacing Sherwood High School with a new high school on a new site.
2. Improve student safety and security district-wide with secure building entry lobbies (aka safety vestibules), seismic upgrades throughout the District, closed-circuit TV cameras, and improved emergency alert and lock-down systems.
3. Protect community investment in existing facilities by addressing deferred maintenance needs of school buildings, converting the existing Sherwood High School to be the District’s one middle school, converting existing Sherwood Middle School and Laurel Ridge Middle School buildings to elementary schools, and relocate district programs and departments to the current Hopkins Elementary site.
4. Create 21st Century learning opportunities with the purchase of curriculum offerings such as math, science and language arts for all school levels, upgrade technology infrastructure in all school buildings, purchase new and replacement technology devices for students and staff, and create flexible learning spaces that will support current and future teaching and learning strategies that will better prepare students for college and career.
As a school district, we will be focusing our efforts on developing and nurturing relationships in the coming year, especially those with our students. We also are thankful for and look forward to continuing to strengthen the relationships we share with our students' families, Sherwood community members, and local business partners.
I wish you nothing but the best in this new school year. Just as they all are, it will no doubt be a year filled with excitement, challenges, and opportunities to learn and grow together.