Welcome to the new year, a new semester and new endeavors!

Welcome to 2018!

I hope everyone in the PSD community had the opportunity to rest and relax over the winter break. Second semester is going to be busy and I, for one, am really excited for all we plan to tackle this year!

First, we will be talking with students and staff about their expectations and needs for classroom technology. Making a $4 million purchase of student and teacher devices is an important decision and we want to make sure the equipment we buy meets the needs of our users. Classroom technology is a critical component of how our students prepare for the technological demands of college or career, so we need to make sure we take the time to make the best decision possible.

The Board of Education and my leadership team will also begin the process of studying potential changes to start times for secondary schools. There are many facets to this discussion and a variety of factors to consider including transportation, athletics, instructional time and the employee contract. As such, this will be a long process that features several opportunities for the community to provide ideas and input. We do not expect any decisions to be made until next January, so rest assured your voice will be heard! Keep your eyes peeled for emails from PSD with links to surveys and information about the process and how you can get involved.

January also marks the beginning of the budget process. What next year holds for school financing is anyone’s guess at this point, but rest assured, we will be actively monitoring the state legislative session for new laws and school finance discussions. We are hopeful that based on the Governor’s November budget proposal that K12 education will not be the recipient of state funding cuts this year. However, we must continue to prepare for the instability of Colorado school funding and maintain our fiscal prudence when it comes to spending.

To this end and as part of our ongoing efforts to improve how we support student learning in the classroom, we continue to evaluate central resource allocations including both instructional and operational programs. This is a huge undertaking, but I am committed to ensuring we remain good stewards of taxpayer dollars and that PSD uses this money effectively to support teaching and learning. We are already engaged in review of our instructional programs as well as Information Technology, Finance and Human Resources systems and support. We will look at other centralized services next year and then annually to ensure we are supporting our schools as best we can.

I am excited for all 2018 holds for PSD, our students, schools and staff. I am proud to be a part of this amazing community and look forward to a great second semester.