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Weld RE-8 getting their priorities in order

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Goals formed after school board embarked on Listening Tour last fall

By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — Since last fall’s election, the Weld Re-8 School Board has met with all the teachers, principals and assistant principals in the Fort Lupton School District as part of an ongoing Listening Tour.

The School Board announced the results April 9 of this listening tour, and the accompanying retreat the board conducted to analyze the results.

“We thank those who shared their ideas and comments with us on the Listening Tour.  We were able to share the data we received from the Colorado Department of Education, and other data discovered locally, with those in attendance,” A press release from the school board stated. “The data [were] clear that the school district has faced significant challenges over the past 30 years and it appears student achievement bottomed out in the late 1990’s. Achievement has been on a general increase over the past 10 years but has still not reached the state averages.  Our goal is to put a plan in place to break through this “average” barrier and achieve excellence at all levels of our school district.”

The board acknowledged the challenges within the district including poverty and language acquisition.  

“About 70 percent of our children come from low income families and/or are English speakers as their second language. We have students who come from families with two working parents and others in families who are just barely making ends meet.” 

The comments from the Listening Tour helped the board form the priority list, which calls for, among other goals, the creation of a structured after (and possibly before) school program to help enhance and/or reinforce what children learn during class time.

After taking into account all the comments from the Listening Tour and the unique.

“This list is not all inclusive — there are many other issues we will address,” the statement read. “These are items we felt need immediate attention. Our next step is to have our staff gather information as to how to best accomplish our priorities. We would love to fund all the needs of our district but, as we all know, there will be financial constraints we will have to address.” 

To accomplish this list of priorities, the board called for help and support from local businesses, governmental agencies, available grants, and community members.

“Success will require everyone in our community to contribute in some way, if they are able. The future of our children depend on it so be prepared for us to ask for your help. A community is only as strong as its schools,” the board said. “Once we are comfortable with the progress of these issues we will move on to other important priorities. Your Board of Education will not settle for average. If we don’t demand excellence we won’t achieve excellence. We firmly believe every student matters without regard to financial or social status, the primary language they speak or ethnic background. We understand that students’ different circumstances often require individualized learning environments.”

The school board thanked all participants for their time, effort and passion displayed in the Listening Tour.  

“You taught us a lot. We would also like to thank our Superintendent and staff for responding to our requests for information in a very quick and comprehensive manner,” the release stated. “And we very much appreciate Aims Community College for providing the meeting space for our retreat.”

 

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.