SSSD October Newsletter
Steamboat Springs School District October Newsletter
A Message from Dr. Celine Wicks, Superintendent
Dear Steamboat Springs School District Community:
My heart is heavy for the entire community after Wednesday’s situation in town. I would like to thank the Yampa Valley High School staff for keeping everything under control during the secure perimeter. All students remained focused on school while the incident was unfolding. I would also like to thank our Transportation Department and Steamboat Springs High School administrative team for their help in reunifying Steamboat Mountain School students with their families. Their organized and professional demeanor contributed to a smooth process for all. Please remember that we have mental health professionals in all our schools for any students who need to talk. We are also offering our mental health resources to Steamboat Mountain School Students. Our community also has abundant resources, including Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, for anyone who needs help.
September Board Meeting
Thank you to all of the community members who came to the September 26th Board meeting and spoke during public comment regarding antisemitic incidents that have occurred at SSHS and throughout the community. I would like to take this opportunity to say again (and will continue to say), that the Steamboat Springs School District strongly condemns all antisemitic behavior and expressions, and it is a priority of the District to educate our students against such actions. I also recognize that just saying these words is not enough. All of our school leaders will continue to communicate what is specifically happening in each building, and I will continue to give updates on a district level. Each school recently sent out community letters highlighting specific building initiatives. If you have any questions regarding those initiatives, please contact the building principal directly.
The regional director, the senior associate director, and the education director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have reached out directly to me and Jay Hamric, Steamboat Springs High School principal. They have kindly offered to support us with resources and strategies to create inclusive, diverse, and safe school communities. If you are interested in learning about their resources, please click here.
The Steamboat Springs High School administrative team, in collaboration with several teachers and community members, are implementing specific lessons for students. The kick-off was last week with an all-school assembly. Guest speakers included Rabbi Kolby Morris-Dahary, Chief of Police Mark Beckett, and teacher Gerald Verdoner. Each speaker had a powerful and personal message. The student body was respectful and engaged. The assembly set the stage to move forward with meaningful and impactful lessons related to all forms of hate and harassment.
In the upcoming weeks at Steamboat Springs High School, students and staff will delve deeper into hate symbols and their impact on our community. Students will reflect on the significance of specific hate symbols and identify what can be done by individuals, schools, and community members to confront hateful ideology. In future lessons, students will examine and discuss implicit and explicit bias. Students will learn how to recognize bias, and also learn what to do if they are targets or witnesses to hate crimes. These lessons are based on the materials that were supplied to SSHS by the Anti-Defamation League.
Garret Bock, an art teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School, has been collaborating with representatives of the City of Steamboat Springs to combat the hate-based graffiti that has been emblazoned throughout town. Garret will be working with middle and high school students to create murals over any hate-based graffiti with a message of love and positivity. We are looking forward to the designs being approved in the near future, and the art project starting soon.
Thank you to everyone who is taking this issue seriously, and to all of those individuals who have reached out to help.
Dr. Celine Wicks, Superintendent
A Message from the Steamboat Springs Board of Education
Dear Steamboat Springs Community,
The Steamboat Springs Board of Education wants to thank all constituents who reached out to share their experiences regarding past and recent antisemitic incidents in our community. The Board admires the courage of our students, staff, and community members who are willing to stand up within the community when they witness or experience acts of hate. Their voices bring attention to the issue and foster discussions around inclusion, understanding, and appreciation for all individuals.
The Board strongly condemns all acts of discrimination and hate inside and outside our schools. We are committed to doing everything we can to prevent further incidents and to fully participate in helping our community heal. By continuing to participate and partner with other community and national organizations, we will work to ensure all people feel safe in our buildings. We also applaud the efforts at the high school to educate our students on hate symbols and their impact on our school and the greater community.
The District and the Board have also committed to exploring ways to ensure a safe, positive, and inclusive culture and climate in our schools by reviewing the programming we have in place and reexamining ways we respond to discrimination.
– The Steamboat Springs Board of Education
Steamboat Springs School District’s School Bus Fleet Goes All Electric
Steamboat Springs School District is paving the way toward an all-electric fleet of school buses serving local routes. The Steamboat Springs School District has recently received a generous grant of $1,675,000 from the Colorado Electric School Bus Grant Program. It’s the third grant, totaling $2,454,290 in funding, received by the District to convert the fleet to electric buses. The program is designed to assist schools and nonprofits in purchasing electric school buses or other zero-emission vehicles to transport children. By the 2024-2025 school year, all ten buses used to transport students locally will be electric, making the entire daily route operation 100% electric.
Healthy Kids Colorado Survey - Opt-Out Information
This fall, our students will take the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), an important survey about student health. The survey asks students about health topics including unintentional injuries and violence; mental health; school safety; substance use; physical activity and nutrition; sexual behavior (optional); and risk and protective factors.
If you do NOT want your child to participate, please complete and submit this OPT-OUT form no later than today to ensure the school is aware that you have chosen to not have your child participate!
Universal Preschool Roll Out and Funding Information
Please refer to the information below for Steamboat Springs School District families and community members who have questions about the rollout of Universal Preschool in the District.
In the News
SpEd Spotlight: STARS’ partnership with SSSD shines light on enhancing special education
That’s why Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, or STARS, is such an important asset to the Steamboat Springs School District and the special education community in the Yampa Valley.
Sailors cross country gets first look at regional course during Warrior Lincoln Park Classic
Photos: Steamboat Springs sails to 5-0 win against Evergreen
Check out photos from last week's game! (Photos courtesy of Steamboat Pilot & Today)