D11 Monthly Insights

A School District 11 Communications Publication

October 2018

  • Superintendent's Top of Mind: National Principal's Month
  • 2017 MLO Update: Employee Salaries
  • Student Spotlight: Malachi Ward
  • Making the Most of the Moment
  • Event: Superintendent's Listening and Learning Tour Stop
  • Event: Family Learning Institute

Superintendent's Top of Mind

I often say that being a principal was the best position in which I ever served. I was able to affect systemic change, but at the same time, witness the amazing outcomes of our work each day through the lived experiences of our students. John Hattie’s research affirms that second to teachers, building principals are the next influential factor to ensuring positive student outcomes. His research further validates the impact principals have on school culture and climate that I spoke of last month.

In honor of October being National Principal Appreciation Month, I want to recognize the phenomenal principals we have in School District 11. Their dedication to supportive and engaging learning environments allows our students and staff to be their best. The following link allows you to see the types of resources and commemorations our principals have across the nation (https://www.principalsmonth.org/).

Lastly, I am sharing a poem that I wrote for principals that captures the wealth they bring to our system:

Answering the call

You answered the call to lead

No one said it would be easy

Seemingly alone

You ask yourself "Why"

Was it for the power or prestige

Certainly, it is not that which sustains you!

Rather, it is the inner strength of servitude

That is only derived from

Witnessing the learning that occurs

With students each day

It is clear that you are called to a role with purpose

That is beautifully aligned to outcomes

Far greater than a bi-weekly paycheck

It is when a student says

"I wish I had a mom or dad like you"

"I wish I had a friend like you"

"It is only because of you!"

Then it is affirmed...job well done

You answered the call to lead

No one said it would be easy

Words do not come close

To capturing the lived experience

Of being an educator

The multitude of unsolicited demands

The average 14-hour days

The recognition of others' needs over yours

Is common place

Let us recognize the important role you play

In shaping the future of tomorrow

Let us uphold you and say

"It is only because of you!"

Let us pause in your greatness

That as an educator, you are changing the world

You answered the call to lead

No one said it would be easy

And we thank you for answering!

By: Michael J. Thomas, October 2013

2017 Mill Levy Override Update

Almost one year ago, School District 11 voters approved the $42 million dollar mill levy override, which is providing critical funding to our schools, students, and staff. Prior to the MLO passage, recruiting and retaining high quality staff was proving to be somewhat difficult, due to the competitiveness of salaries offered by other schools and school districts. We thank our voters who saw the value of providing competitive salaries for our teachers and support staff. Today, thanks to a portion of the 2017 MLO, employees from all three employee groups saw compensation increases that were effective July 1, 2018. This increase also includes raising the starting teacher salary for teachers with a Bachelor's degree to $39,000 from $34,750. You can read more about the 2017 MLO accountability by clicking here.

Student Spotlight: Malachi Ward

Columbia Elementary fifth grade student, Malachi Ward, is in this month's Student Spotlight! Malachi was nominated for his kindness and his love of his school and teachers. His nominator says, "Malachi is the sweetest boy. He tries so hard to catch up to everyone in his class. He loves his school and his teachers. He is kind to everyone. He got a kindness recognition the first week of school!" Keep up the great work, Malachi! If you'd like to nominate a student for the Student Spotlight, click here to submit your nomination.

Making the Most of the Moment

In the video below, educators at Twain Elementary School welcome Dr. Michael Thomas and lead him on a "learning walk."
https://youtu.be/LVMhOh_wMGI

Superintendent's Listening and Learning Tour Stop

Thursday, Oct. 18th, 10-11:30am

750 Citadel Drive East

Colorado Springs, CO

Join Dr. Michael Thomas as he seeks to gain feedback from D11 families and communities as we work to establish a new strategic plan. This tour stop will be held in the Celebration Place inside the Citadel Mall.

Family Learning Institute

School District 11 is happy to announce the first Family Learning Institute on October 30. All parents/guardians are invited to attend these valuable learning opportunities, even if they do not have children in a D11 school. Learn from experts in our community on ways to address difficult parenting topics such as mental health issues, keeping children safe online, child safety topics, and more! Food will be provided starting at 5:45 p.m. The invitation details for the first institute are below and you can learn more here. We hope you can join us!
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Colorado Springs School District 11

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