D11 Monthly Insights

A School District 11 Communications Publication

February 2019

  • Superintendent's Top of Mind: Strategic Plan
  • 2017 MLO Update: Energy Savings Project
  • Student Spotlight: Aniah King
  • Love the Bus Month
  • Video: School Counseling Week
  • Making the Most of the Moment

Superintendent's Top of Mind: Strategic Plan Update

“Strategic planning will help you fully uncover your available options, set priorities for them, and define the methods to achieve them.” – Robert J. Mckain

I am excited to share our strategic planning process. Recently, we conducted an internal survey of our staff and we heard loud and clear that we do not have a commonly known, comprehensive strategic plan declaring our core vision and mission. Without this in place, we will find ourselves working hard, but not getting the outcomes our students need. We also know that without the input of our students, staff, families and broader community, we will not be responsive to the needs that exist.

This is why we took an intentional approach to host a series of world cafes to ensure we received input from a variety of stakeholders so that in the end, we have a multi-year plan the community can own for the years to come. Once complete, every school and department will be able to develop strategic plans that will help guide their work on a daily basis. There will be key measures in place allowing us to monitor our effectiveness to attain the goals set to maximize the outcomes for our community.

The excitement that is already evident affirms we are on the right course and taking the right approach to re-envision what is possible for Colorado Springs School District 11. We strive to be the best and only want to provide the best to our students and families each day.

I thank everyone for their participation in preparing for our successful future!

Yours in Partnership,

Dr. Michael J. Thomas, Superintendent

2017 MLO Update: Energy Saving Project at Trailblazer Elementary

In June, School District 11 facilities crews determined Trailblazer's gymnasium lights needed to be updated due to "foot-candles," or the measurement of the light at given levels, that were impacting student activities, due to a glare from the old lights on the gym's floor. As you can see in the pictures below, new LED lights greatly reduced the glare, and will contribute to overall energy savings. Next month, we will share an infographic showing the District's overall energy and sustainability efforts.
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Student Spotlight: Aniah King

This month's student spotlight highlights Sabin Middle School 7th grader, Aniah King. Aniah's nominator says, "Aniah is very kind to everyone and a scholar. She is always willing to help out her peers and also volunteers in the community." Aniah's drama teacher, Julia Chung says, "Aniah came to drama class in the third week of the third quarter. She was able to interact very quickly as a new member of the class. She is articulate, professionally dressed, well-prepared for the academic requirements, and has presented herself expressively in all activities." Her social studies teacher, Clark Stroh says, "Aniah is an outstanding young lady who is thoughtful of others, she respects herself, and quite often takes an active role in her education." Pictured are from left to right: Superintendent Thomas, Aniah, Aniah's mom, Dominique, and Principal Welch. Congratulations and keep up the great work, Aniah!

Love the Bus Month

As part of the annual National Love the Bus program, parents, students, and teachers from Colorado Springs School District 11 are celebrating the men and women who take more than 9,600 District 11 students safely to and from school each day.

As a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport more than 26 million school children to and from school each day, the Love the Bus program is celebrated throughout the month of February in school districts across the country. It is also an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation. “We want to honor the bus drivers who safely take the children in District 11 to and from school each day,” said Nick Soto, District 11 Director of Transportation. “Love the Bus is a great opportunity to thank the people who protect our most precious cargo, our children, and serve as role models on the 120 school buses that transport District 11 students to and from school each day.”

To help celebrate Love the Bus, parents, teachers, and children are encouraged to visit the program’s website, www.americanschoolbuscouncil.org/Love-The-Bus/Stories-From-The-Road, to share stories about their favorite bus drivers and make interactive valentines to email or print and give to their bus driver.

Bus drivers receive specialized classroom and behind-the-wheel training in driving a school bus, student loading/ unloading procedures, student evacuation, student behavior and security management, and emergency medical procedures. All school bus drivers are also required to participate in pre-employment, random, and post-accident drug and alcohol testing, frequent driving record checks, and pass periodic medical exams to ensure they are physically qualified.

In addition to the qualified drivers, school buses are, by far, the safest vehicles on the road, with a safety record confirmed by government authorities to be better than any other form of transportation. School buses are designed and constructed with more safety features than any other vehicle, and the school transportation industry works continually to incorporate the latest technology, training, and testing to keep school buses safe. We would like to recognize the safe transportation that District 11 provides.

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National School Counseling Week

We also celebrate the work of our school counselors in February and every day! National School Counseling Week is celebrated this year February 4-8. Thanks to all of our valuable D11 school counselors for what you do every day to help students succeed!

Making the Most of the Moment

Dr. Thomas visits Edison Elementary School to celebrate 100 days of learning with the kindergartners, see the makers' space, and view the plans for the new playground coming soon!