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El Paso County Colorado District 49

FROM THE CEO ñ Busy summer for D 49

Hard work continues at District 49 during the summer months. While the classrooms are empty, our facilities crews are taking advantage of the opportunity to complete minor repairs across the district. Some schools are getting a fresh coat of paint. The work doesnít end to create a welcoming and safe environment for our learners.Summer is also a time to check in on long-term district initiatives. We did that in June, and the analysis shows that the district has been increasingly efficient and frugal with taxpayer dollars.As you may recall, in the í10-í11 school year, your Board of Education directed the district leadership to become a district of innovation. We changed the number and function of administrators, pushing more administrative support to zones and schools, while reducing the overall number of administrators district wide.Our student and teacher population has grown rapidly over the last six years. Our administrative overhead has not. As board secretary Marie LaVere-Wright noted at the June 25 Board of Education special meeting, ìIf you look at anything above building principal and beyond, we are still 11 people lower than the baseline year of í10-í11.îComments and questions from the big rocks survey and other district communications reflect a concern that the innovation configuration of the district has increased administrative ratios and caused duplication of functions. A careful analysis shows that not to be the case.Your innovative district has a preference for leadership at the school level, only adding staff to support growth. The Board of Education will use the data presented this month to direct administrators and set strategic priorities, making our district the bestplace to work and lead.The board has settled on a school finance plan and will vote in July on sending it to the ballot for your consideration in November. We have used feedback you gave us in the big rocks survey to help prioritize what you have told us is important. That includes traditional neighborhood schools, a high school for non-traditional and charter students, career-technical education and concurrent enrollment with the ability to earn free college credit for our high school students.While we have included much-needed new classroom space and additions to several existing schools in the plan, we are also committed to district-wide safety and maintenance measures for each school aswe continue to take care of the buildings we already have.The plan has many pieces and can appear complicated. For example, building a new elementary school on Londonderry Road will reduce student load at Woodmen Hills and Meridian Ranch. The elementary and middle school combo proposed in Banning Lewis Ranch Village II will provide that rapidly growing area with needed elementary space; and, at the same time will reduce the number of students at Falcon Middle School and Skyview Middle School. Our communications team is creating school and zone specific information sheets as I write, so look for them very soon.Summer is a time of hard work in a district that is the best place to learn, work and lead.

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