David Ulrich: Another year begins at Moffat County School District
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! Moffat County School District continues to offer more new, different, and better opportunities for all our students. This is year three of the MCSD Strategic Plan, and the Board of Education remains focused on ensuring we are living the MCSD mission statement to inspire and educate students to thrive in an environment of change!
The 2018-19 school year was a great one to be a Bulldog! The MCSD Board of Education leveraged district funds with state level grants to improve our school district and it has paid off for our students and staff. All three elementary schools exceeded their reading goals for the year as prescribed by the Early Literacy Grant. Each school had three goals, so they were nine out of nine district-wide! The three-year, nearly one-million-dollar grant covers the cost of the new reading resource for grades kindergarten through grade three, provides professional development for staff, and provides two full-time Literacy Coaches. To ensure a consistent approach to elementary reading, district funds were used to purchase the fourth- and fifth-grade resources.
For the past three years, literacy, especially at the kindergarten through grade five level, has been the primary focus of our efforts. We have made great improvements in this area. We have developed a process that has led to improved outcomes for our students on literacy measures. Using this template, throughout the 2018-19 school year, we began to scrutinize our approach to teaching math in MCSD. Starting this fall, students kindergarten through grade 12 will be exposed to a new, evidenced-based math curriculum. Teachers will engage in ongoing professional development to ensure the curriculum is being taught with fidelity. This is an area where MCSD has historically underperformed relative to the state of Colorado. I am excited to see the positive results for our students moving forward.
In May, MCSD was awarded an $835,000 BEST grant for a new roof at Sunset Elementary School. The total estimate for the project is approximately $1.6 million. In February, we learned that MCSD received a security grant of over $100,000 from CDE to upgrade classroom door locks at Sandrock and the high school. The grant will also allow us to significantly upgrade our radio communications in buildings and on our buses.
MCSD’s commitment to continuous improvement efforts are critical to our students and staff. We strive to ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills that they will need for success after graduation. From early childhood education through high school, all students have the opportunity to participate in innovative, evidenced based programs and activities.
The district continues to give due diligence to living within our means operationally. In June, the Board of Education passed a fiscally responsible budget that includes increases in salaries for all staff, maintains a healthy reserve fund balance and addresses immediate maintenance needs.
Every staff member works hard for our students every day. We appreciate the support we receive from parents and the Moffat County community.
“A Long Time That I’ve Loved You,” this week’s picture book for children was written by Margaret Wise Brown, the author of “Goodnight Moon,” published in 1947 — a classic in children’s literature. The illustrations for this week’s book, done by Kate Hudson, are breathtaking.