Fast Facts and Awards
3 months ago
Earlier this year, in an article titled Steamboat Springs School District Still Tops, Steamboat Today called our school district “top performing” and said of the district, “…we’re proud to call it our own.” We hope you are too!
Steamboat Springs School District (SSSD) has secured its place among the top 10 school districts in the state and outperforms neighboring school districts. Our status with the Colorado Department of Education is “Accredited with Distinction.” Several of our schools are recipients of the John Irwin Award and the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award and, as a district, we also earned the English Language Proficiency Act Excellence Award. We are on our way to setting the standard for education regionally, nationally, and globally.
SSSD is unique. What sets us apart is how our schools utilize our natural landscape and resources, take advantage of the immense school spirit within our community, and provide students with experiences that will serve them well throughout their lives. However, what also sets us apart is the fact that SSSD ranks in the bottom 75th percentile for per pupil funding —134 out of 178 school districts in Colorado.
What our students and teachers deserve, what our community expects, and what our budget allows for simply don’t add up.
One of the tensions we are grappling with is that, although we expect students to come to school prepared and ready to learn, not all of our facilities are prepared to adequately and equitably serve them. In particular, the roofs on five of our facilities are at the end of their 20-year lives, most of the Steamboat Springs Middle School facility does not have a comprehensive HVAC system to ensure acceptable indoor air quality, and the once state-of-the-art Gardner Field, a “classroom” and central gathering point in our community, is now deteriorating.
These are not new issues, and the time has come to address them. It’s also time to secure a permanent source of funding for the ongoing maintenance and improvements that will allow us to promptly address issues that put health, safety, and equitable environments for students at risk. This November, voters will have the opportunity to consider bond and mill levy ballot issues to fund SSSD’s most critical projects and ongoing maintenance.
We want to extend our gratitude to the Community Committee for Education (CC4E), which, for more than a year, has worked to bring the community together, raise awareness of the issues and challenges faced by the school district, and prompt meaningful discussion and thoughtful solutions. With their help, we are on our way to creating a long-term and comprehensive infrastructure plan tied to the SSSD strategic plan.
As we keep an eye to the future, we will also focus on individualizing learning and creating experiential and innovative programs for students today. Our exceptional educators are busy designing lessons and relevant experiences that will advance SSSD’s trademark culture of excellence in the year ahead.