USD 323 is Growing!!
Growing Student Population @ Rock Creek, Good News; How Do We Capitalize On It?
The answer to the question above is up to us. In this, my third communication over the last 6 weeks, I hope to challenge the patrons of USD 323 Rock Creek to attend upcoming school facilities planning session dates on:
January 19 @ Rock Creek Jr/Sr High—Auditorium
January 24 @ Westmoreland Elementary--Gym
January 26 @ St. George Elementary—Cafeteria
All meetings will begin at 7:00pm. During these sessions we will discuss district growth, needs, and wants from a variety of perspectives. From my perspective as superintendent, I watch and plan for the benefit of the entire district and in ensuring success of each child. Our principals primarily look to advance their school and students. Teachers are more focused on their students and programs. Parents focus on a quality educational experience for their child. In addition, USD 323 is made up of a multitude of other groups including: business owners, agricultural producers, former school parents and students, persons without long-term community ties, and others. Each person has his/her own idea of what the school should provide for students and the community. We must engage as many viewpoints as possible in exploring the selection of facilities and program growth in the next bond issue at USD 323 Rock Creek.
Our school buildings are approaching student capacity. Student growth has continued over the past several years. We must add learning spaces in the near future. We may consider adding programs and peripheral spaces for them. Do we grow by…
-adding classrooms at current schools?
-constructing a new elementary school north of Highway 24?
-creating a separate Jr. High or Middle School?
-adding on to accommodate more vocational programs?
-building a district-wide fine-arts auditorium?
-improving WES building security?
-aspiring to reach Kansas State Board of Education Outcomes?
-ensuring our students are defined as “Successful Kansas High School Graduates?”
-meeting USD 323 BOE Goals in staffing, facilities, and instruction & learning?
-a combination of any above ideas?
Some of these questions arise as we have a challenge that many schools in Kansas do not face; a rapidly growing student population. Others address needed college and career ready programs our schools could implement, and facility options that would allow our students a venue to better hone and showcase their talents. Our community recently (within the past 10 years) passed bond referendums that addressed facility improvements (2006) and space issues (2012). Space issues must be addressed again, but this time should we also look at amenities and programs that our schools could offer?
Growth and improvements will come with two price tags. First the initial cost of the project, and then the expense of faculty, staff, operation, and maintenance. With patron and staff input into a bond proposal, the USD 323 Board of Education will decide whether or not to have a bond election. The school board will also determine which, if any, proposed projects to place on the ballot. Finally patrons of the district will decide if the plan is worth their vote of support. Please consider having your voice heard early ensuring we have a shared vision for our Rock Creek Schools. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 785-457-3732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.