Weld RE5J School District

Message from the Superintendent - April 21, 2017

Dear Re-5J Families,

 

We are fortunate to have a community that is so engaged and invested in the success of our students and schools.  Over 900 people in our community engaged with the recent survey about the school district.

 

I wanted to say, "Thank you!" to the students, staff, parents, and community members who shared their valuable opinions, information, and input through their responses. Please consider joining us on May 9, at 7 p.m. at Roosevelt High School (616 N. 2nd St., Johnstown) for a community meeting.  Where we will begin responding to the feedback we received in the survey and addressing some common topics, such as overcrowding, a potential new high school, and a long-term plan for our district's future that is aligned with actual, planned growth in Johnstown and Milliken.

 

In fact, 56% of the people who took the survey about our school district last month chose "growing" as a word that they closely associate with our school district.  That is certainly understandable, given the growth we have experienced in our towns.  Over the past five years, our school district has grown by about 14%-that's about 900 students district-wide.  For a while, growth was rapid.  However, it has since slowed. From the 2015-2016 to the 2016-2017 school year, our district grew by just over 1%-about 40 students district-wide.  Projections are that this trend will continue and we will only see 1-2% growth for the next few years.

 

There is much more information to share and several issues that, as a school district and community, we need to address.  I want you to know that we are listening.  The survey provided many interesting insights, for example, that:

 

  • The most popular choice for the letter grade for the district and our schools was a "B"

  • Survey participants were pretty evenly divided in their reponses to their feelings about the future of the district ("confident," "content," "neutral," and "nervous")

  • 99% agreed that it is important to invest in our school district and schools

  • 66% believed that the district needs a new high school facility to replace the existing facility

  • About half of all survey participants put the urgency of replacing the high school at a four or five; the other half put the urgency at levels one, two, or three (five being the highest level of urgency and one being the lowest)

 

I want you to know that we hear your frustrations with issues such as overcrowding, gifted and talented services, transportation, parking at the high school, options for our students to explore the arts and prepare for college and careers, the number of students attending schools outside the district, and the composition of district committees.  We appreciate that you set a high bar for our district-many of you articulated that there is room for improvement.  Along with new or updated facilities, several of you also mentioned the importance of access to full-day kindergarten to ensure student success from the start.

 

We will need your input and support as we begin to address these big issues as a community.  I hope you can join us on May 9, but we will also make sure to share the information from the meeting with you if you cannot attend.  We know from the survey that most parents are very involved in their child's education and, given their busy schedules, have little time to spare.  We thank you again for responding to our survey and look forward to working with you to achieve our shared goals and vision for educating our children.

 

Sincerely,

Martin Foster

Superintendent of Schools

Weld Re-5J School District