Community Message January 2018

Re-posted Community Message January 2018
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January 2018

Happy New Year! We hope everyone enjoyed a much-deserved break. If you had a chance to get together with your neighbors over the holidays, the topic of growth in our community probably came up. The largest number of comments we received from the survey we distributed in the fall were around growth and its impact on our schools. 
We want to assure you that we are keeping a close eye on growth in our community. While the school district does not have control over the number of building permits issued by Windsor, Severance, or Greeley, we do provide impact statements to help them understand the potential number of students and the capacity of our schools in the area. More than that, the district has a Long Range Planning Committee that advises our Board of Education regarding growth trends and the need for new, expanded, or remodeled facilities to support student enrollment.

The Long Range Planning Committee was instrumental in shaping the 2016 bond and mill levy request to voters and continues to work diligently to ensure the district is properly planning for the future. Last night, the committee made several recommendations to the board that we want to share with you.
Long term, the committee recommended a K–12 boundary realignment that would be effective in the 2019–2020 school year. It also anticipates the need to go to the voters in November 2020 to request funding for a new elementary school and additional capacity at both of our middle schools. In making this recommendation, the committee cautioned that the district will need to closely monitor enrollment growth and update timelines as necessary. 

Short term, the committee acknowledged the need to act now to address capacity issues at both Range View Elementary School and our middle schools. 
  • The committee recommended changing elementary school attendance areas for new developments including Hunter’s Crossing, Tailholt, and the Reserve, to divert attendance away from Range View Elementary School, which is already over capacity. Students in these developments will be bused to Grandview Elementary School.
  • At the middle-school level, the committee recommended utilizing modular classrooms at both Severance and Windsor middle schools to add temporary capacity. It also encouraged the district to start reviewing cost options for the east side of Windsor Middle School, which, as you may know, is closed for health and safety reasons. It is frustrating for all of us to have space sitting vacant in a building that is unsafe to use. 
With Windsor expecting to issue 500 building permits in 2018, Severance 150–300, and West Greeley 200–300, our community will continue to grow. The good news is that we are expecting the growth and planning for it.

We will continue to keep you updated on this topic as well as on opportunities in the 2018–2019 school year to engage in conversations around district boundaries. We want to thank the Long Range Planning Committee—comprised of community and staff volunteers—for both its examination of growth trends and the solutions it has offered. We know the growth in our community impacts families and staff in different ways. The best way to face this particular challenge is together. Your continued support and investment in our schools is critical to empowering the success of the students in our community. Thank you!

Dan Seegmiller
Superintendent, Weld RE-4 School District