November 12, 2015
Greetings HRCSD Educators,
Just before the boy’s soccer team fought to win their semi-final match at Henderson Field on Tuesday night, I sent the attached Key Communicator message to our Key Communicator group. As you know from my prior messages, Key Communicators are community members who have requested to stay informed about what’s happening throughout our school district. Anyone can be a Key Communicator, but the idea is to make sure folks stay informed, stay connected, and stay committed to our schools.
My message to you will be short, because I want to urge you to read the Key Communicator Bulletin - which I’m sure you will not categorized as “short.”
The two main topics of that communication are the Long-Range Facilities Planning activities and our progress on our 7th Commitment in our District’s Strategic Plan (the “20/20 Vision”), which states that we will “Target Human And Fiscal Resources Toward Achieving [the 20/20 Vision].” Please check it out.
Long-Range Facilities Planning
The attached Key Communicator includes information on the state of our facilities, enrollment/growth challenges and the multiple planning processes that are occurring as I write. In short:
- Our facilities are aging and many of the basic systems (roofs, heating/cooling, electrical, plumbing, windows, etc.) will require immediate and ongoing attention (about $100,000,000 identified as “critical” by external review).
- Our enrollment is growing (with housing starts and related growth occurring more intensely in the lower valley) with little to no classroom space available in lower valley schools or Mid Valley ES;
- The world is changing and so are we… what kinds of spaces and tools (technology/ curricular) do our students need in the 21st century? How can we improve the safety of our facilities without diminishing the community feel?
- We are studying the cost benefit in maintaining older schools (and expanding them) versus beginning the process of building anew - our newest school is nearly 50 years old.
- Our year 2000 bond is dropping off the books after this year and our Board will be considering a replacement of that bond at various funding levels.
Even without a bond replacement the roofs will still need replacement, the boilers must continue to function, we need to improve safety, and energy costs and we will still deliver for our students. At our all-staff welcome back in early September, I discussed the need for our community to continue to believe in us, and feel optimistic about us as an organization. We need to remember that we are the most powerful voices
for education in our community - when we speak with optimism about our schools and our direction, others will too. If we choose to focus on the frustrations (and at times there are many) and ignore all the positives - so will everyone else.
As we move into an important time of community engagement that may culminate at the ballot box, I know that together we will continue to deliver excellence, for every student, every day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving-