2015-16 BUDGET PLANNING AND LEADERSHIP TRANSITION: UPDATE #2
Dear Shorewood Schools Community,
We hope your Spring Break was restful and restoring; the slowed-down change of pace can be helpful in recharging you for the last third of the school year. We are sending along this communication to update you on school events and changes this spring.
15-16 Budget Progress
This past week, the administration hosted the first budget information session. The session was well attended with a good representation of teachers, parents, and other employees. We reviewed the budget revenue and expense projections for the upcoming year and also shared and discussed a number of budget proposals, including possible additions to the budget. Even though we are currently projecting a $388,000 deficit, it is important to discuss needs and priorities related to things we would like to support through the budget. Most, if not all of the budget proposals, will not be included in the 15-16 budget due to revenue limits, but having open conversation about these ideas allows us to clarify what we need and what we most value as this process continues.
On Friday afternoon, the Administration evaluated each of the budget proposals using our priorities of Build Community, Focus on Growth, and Transform Learning. The prioritized list will be used to determine what items we would consider for funding if the revenue picture changes. The next budget information session is scheduled for Monday, April 13 at 4 p.m. in the SIS Commons.
Leadership Transition Planning
We will have a new Principal at Lake Bluff School. Eric Norland was the strong choice of the selection committee and others who have met with him and reviewed his work in Virginia. Mr. Norland will be around in May and June to work with Dr. Juffer to ensure a very good transition both with the Lake Bluff community and with the Shorewood leadership team.
We will formally ask the Board to hire Eric Norland as the next principal of Lake Bluff this week Tuesday. Please join us in welcoming Eric and in thanking the entire interview panel that worked together to find the next principal for the Lake Bluff school community.
The school board has requested proposals from several superintendent search firms to assist with finding us a new school district leader. We anticipate a search firm selection in the next two weeks and to then quickly begin to follow through with those many search activities. We are optimistic that we will have a new superintendent in place over the summer.
As you know, we have asked Dr. Jack Linehan to help with the transition to the new superintendent. Jack will be meeting with administrators starting this week, doing interviews and getting to know our leadership team and to listen for opportunities and for issues. His role is still being defined with the potential to work with teacher-leaders, community members and the school board through the end of the school year and possibly into the fall. He is working in partnership with Dr. Lexmond and will be in the District approximately 10 hours each week.
Finally, we have a new School Board member to replace David Cobb who chose not to run for a second term. Rodney Cain will be sworn-in at the School Board meeting on April 28th. We thank David for his years of service and look forward to working with Rodney.
Best wishes for another great week working together for the benefit of Shorewood Students and thank you for all that you do for our schools and community.
We have posted the SIS principal position, and have already received nearly 50 applications. The interview panel is forming and the timeline of events is being developed. The number of applicants with experience in school administration is encouraging, and we look forward to working with the team to hire the next principal for SIS.
Curriculum and Learning Initiatives
This past week we held a community forum on RtI and the MAP assessment. The participants shared a great deal of information, and the forum went longer than anticipated. We welcome the dialogue and will continue the conversation about these important efforts at the upcoming Curriculum Committee meeting which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15th at 5:00 pm in the SHS Conference Room.
We also continue to support the exploration of Expeditionary Learning for our elementary schools. Staff recently visited schools in the Denver area and returned inspired by what they learned. We are exploring ways to continue this work even within the budget challenges noted above.
Badger exam testing will begin this week at most of our schools. For specific questions about when your child will be tested, please speak to your teacher. And for parents interested in opting out, please send an email to your school counselor, who can give you more information about what your student will be doing during the exam time.
Finally we are preparing to launch some of our STEM/STEAM initiatives through Recreation and Community Services. We will be surveying families to determine interest in First Robotics and other programs that will involve students in learning about and applying engineering principles and collaborative problem solving through "sport" type competitions. This is an exciting opportunity to grow our engineering education model.
Marty Lexmond, Superintendent
Rob Reinhoffer, School Board President
Monday April, 13, 2015
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