One of the most important institutions in our society is public education. Of the approximately 55 million K-12 aged children in the United States, it is estimated that 90 percent are enrolled in public schools. Second only to parenting, the longstanding institution of public education will have the greatest influence on America’s future.
In Colorado, we’ve experienced an ongoing discussion around the adequacy of resources for our public schools with mixed results.
Thank you for your continued partnership and unwavering support which has contributed significantly to student achievement and success. I am deeply appreciative of our community, as you have consistently demonstrated your value for public education through the generous passage of several mill levy overrides and bond initiatives, among many other ways that you have strengthened our schools. Together with our excellent teachers and staff, our students are receiving the benefit of an outstanding education.
As we move closer to the end of another outstanding year in St. Vrain Valley Schools, I want to take a moment to recognize the achievements and growth we have seen across our system. In the coming weeks, we will be championing the thousands of students who will be transitioning to kindergarten, middle school, high school or graduating with their St. Vrain Valley Schools diploma. It is through our outstanding educators, dedicated parents and unwavering community support that we have seen our students and schools excel to the highest levels of achievement.
Each spring, the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley hosts the Tribute to Teachers, which honors and recognizes the excellence of our teachers. Students, parents, colleagues and community members are invited to nominate teachers, and three from each school are selected to attend the event as finalists. During the event, one teacher from each school receives an Encore Award and a $100 gift card. Additionally, several teachers are honored as Spotlight educators and one as Teacher of the Year for their outstanding efforts on behalf of their schools and students.
Student safety is a top priority across St. Vrain Valley Schools. This is the core of our work and we are committed to a consistently proactive approach to fulfilling our highest responsibility – ensuring the well-being, safety and growth of our children. We have implemented many programs and protocols to ensure the highest levels of school security, many of which are being replicated across the state and nationally. Along the way, we have heavily involved our community in shaping the safety and quality of our learning environments. In the past year alone, we have featured stories in district publications, developed news articles, earned media coverage, delivered school presentations and hosted 12 public meetings across every community in our district – all emphasizing our work to increase school safety and support student advancement.
Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy. The impact of our schools and their role in shaping the future success of our society extends far beyond the smart boards, desks and walls of our classrooms. From economic development, to national security, to home and commercial property values, to business and corporate development, and community growth, our public schools provide a strong foundation for advancing the quality of our lives and the direction of our future.
The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive, proactive bullying prevention initiative, reaching millions of students during the last full week of January every year. The Great Kindness Challenge was created by Kids for Peace to provide schools a tool for creating a positive school environment and a culture of kindness. In 2017, 10,493,866 students participated and performed over half a billion acts of kindness nationwide. Main Street School will be joining The Great Kindness Challenge this year to demonstrate solidarity in this effort. From January 22nd to the 26th,