We are off to a strong start here in the Sherwood School District, with K-12 enrollment hovering right at 5,030. We are also excited to welcome over 50 new staff members to our district. The addition of staff is a result of a budget created where resources were actually added, as opposed to having to be eliminated (which is a first for my tenure here).
There is a great deal of wonderful work taking place throughout the District, none of which would be possible without our talented and dedicated staff; we are thankful for the strong relationships and the spirit of collaboration we enjoy with our classified, certified and administrative colleagues.
A few of the highlights from a long list of successes in the past year, include:
133 staff participated in technology training and there is a plan to double that number this year, while offering more diverse and advanced classes.
Administrative leaders who care about their teams and are always open to professional and personal growth.
An engaged network of parents that volunteer and give thousands of hours and dollars to support our work and our students’ growth.
A strong relationship with the City of Sherwood.
Competitive student achievement results relative to the state.
A thriving pre-k program at Hopkins Elementary.
The establishment of 38 dual credit classes at SHS, with 51% of our seniors graduating with 9+ college credits.
A transportation department where buses safely carried students almost 300,000 miles to school, field trips and sporting events during the year.
Middle school teachers who are making it a point to get into each other’s classrooms via lesson studies and collaboration.
A partnership with the YMCA, who hosts the Independence Academy Program.
Additionally, we are undertaking a couple of processes that I want to be sure and share with you. First, this fall we are engaging a diverse group of stakeholders, including Board members, local business leaders, teachers, classified staff, and administrators in a visioning process that will lead to the creation of a 3-5 year strategic plan. Ultimately, the strategic plan will guide our areas of focus, inform the creation of our budget, and provide clarity and alignment based on clear outcomes and metrics.
As communities grow and morph, school districts within them occasionally experience what ultimately becomes an imbalance across schools, relative to student enrollment. This leads me to the next process that will be a focus this school year -- a boundary adjustment that will ultimately take effect in the 2015-16 school year.
We have created a process by which parents apply to be the members of the boundary adjustment committee, which is facilitated by an outside entity who is experienced in school boundary adjustments/processes. Several committee meetings will be held over the course of the fall and winter; community forums will be offered in order to provide opportunities for two-way communication; and the committee will make a recommendation to the District in the spring. There can be a great deal of emotion associated with an adjustment of boundaries, so it is our intent to create and deliver a collaborative, transparent process with timely communications and frequent opportunities for input and comment from all stakeholders.
As I enter my fifth year as superintendent of the Sherwood School District, I continue to be humbled by the supportive nature of our community and to be proud of the work of our staff.