Superintendent Sandra Smyser, Ph.D
The Superintendent's Office is responsible for management of the district's instructional and operational programs and projects. Under the Policy Governance model, the Superintendent is the "CEO" of the district and is the Board of Education's sole employee. The Superintendent retains authority to implement district policies within "Executive Limitations" outlined by Board of Education policies.
For the 2017-2018 school year, Superintendent Smyser has identified the following topics as priorities:
- District Ends (DE 1.0) Measures & Targets
The Poudre School District Board of Education sets broad policy that establishes the vision and direction of the district for the Superintendent to implement. The most significant policy the Board of Education creates is the District Ends.They are formed around the PSD vision: Poudre School District exists to support and inspire every child to think, to learn, to care and to graduate prepared to be successful in a changing world.
PSD's four District "Ends" are:
- Foundations for Success
- Above & Beyond
- Success in a Changing World
- Learn more about the District Ends and policy DE 1.0
- This year, PSD will continue to refine the measures and targets for the Ends, and will continue to administer its student connectedness survey.
- Graduation Rates
- PSD will continue its focus on implementing measures to raise the graduation rate. These efforts began in Spring 2015. This year, PSD will continue monitoring student performance and will also continue to implement plans for intervention to support our students.
- Post-Secondary Workforce Readiness
- The District will continue to expand its post-secondary and workforce readiness options for students, including implementation of career pathways/career clusters in PSD high schools, the expansion of concurrent enrollment opportunities with local community college and university partners, and improved partnerships with trade associations. Our goal is to ensure that our students have ample access to opportunities to pursue professional and academic interests while securing college credit in high school. PSD will continue its work to improve communication about PWR opportunities to students and their families. The district will also implement Career Cruising, a software tool designed to help students to track and engage in PWR experiences.
- Long Range Planning
- PSD's multi-year long range planning effort culminated with the passage of a $375 million bond and an operational mill levy override in the fall of 2016. The bond will support the construction of three new schools and a permanent addition as well as improvements to all of PSD’s existing school buildings. The mill levy override will provide funding to support growth throughout the district. Implementation of the 2016 bond and mill program have been delayed due to ongoing litigation. The district will continue to work to resolve litigated issues through the 2017-18 school year so that construction and renovation may begin as soon as possible.
During the 2017-18 school year, PSD will prepare for future construction by selecting an architect for new school buildings and continuing to study the changing demographics in the northern Colorado region and their impact on PSD’s future growth. The District will also invest time in developing new and innovative curriculum for all secondary schools, including the planned new facilities. PSD will continue to implement interim solutions, including School of Choice management and the placement of modular classrooms, at our existing schools to accommodate growth in the region.
- Blended Learning and Secondary School Curriculum
- PSD will continue exploring opportunities for expanding access to blended learning in all of our secondary schools. As we plan for the opening of two new secondary schools in the future, we are actively working to develop innovative curriculum that will engage our students. During the 2017-18 school year, the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools will collaborate with secondary principals and curriculum experts to explore innovative curricular options for future implementation in PSD.
- Student Data Privacy
- New legislation regarding student data privacy impacts internal PSD practices. PSD will continue its work this year to develop procedures to manage student data privacy in compliance with the new regulations. The District will communicate with families and staff as these procedures are implemented. PSD will continue to update the student data privacy webpage with more information as it becomes available.
- Technology in PSD Classrooms
- The district will continue its evaluation of the one-to-one technology program in place at PSD’s secondary schools. Through the generous support of our community, the 2010 mill levy override allows the district to provide devices to all of our secondary school students. As the cost of these devices increase and our district continues to grow, PSD is exploring creative options to update the technology that our students use daily. An Educational Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of members of the community as well as staff, will continue its work to explore new technology options for our students through the 2017-18 school year.
- Achievement Gap
- Over the last two years, PSD has worked to define the achievement gap and develop supports to close this gap. In 2016-2017, all PSD schools incorporated an achievement-gap related goal into their Unified Improvement Plan and have worked closely with the Assistant Superintendents to implement strategies to support this work. As this work continues, all PSD schools will work on building high-impact teams to support efforts to close the gap, and will continue to focus on supporting equity and acknowledging diversity across the district.
- Mental Health & Social Emotional Skills & MTSS/Severe Behavioral Issues
- As part of the Board of Education's interest in this area, the district has been working on developing social/emotional skills in students via a curriculum and collaboration between MTSS, Integrated Services and 504 plans for students as well as applying MTSS and Tier 3 services to support handling of severe behavior issues in classrooms and schools. This work will continue for the 2017-18 school year.
Additional priorities may be added throughout the 2017-18 school year.