D50 superintendent gives her State of the District address

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During the recent Adams County School District 50 school board meeting, Superintendent Pamela Swanson gave her annual State of the District remarks. She touched on many areas of improvement the district has made over the past year as well as her thoughts on the future of the district.

“There is no more important task in our society than educating our young people and preparing them to lead meaningful, productive lives when they leave the school environment,” she said. “If we do our job well, my hope is many of them will choose to remain in this community and their children and grandchildren will come to our schools and find multigenerational success.”

One of the most significant subjects Swanson discussed was student achievement. In August 2012, the Colorado Department of Education announced the district’s improvement from a turnaround district to a priority improvement district after an increase in its performance indicators. The district no longer has any schools in the turnaround category, with seven schools now in the performance designation.

“Our very focused goal is to get the district and all of the schools to the accreditation level of `improvement’ as quickly as possible,” she said. “A ‘priority improvement’ label is far from acceptable. We literally need to earn our way to `improvement or performance’ designations by 2014.”

Swanson also spoke about the importance of STEM, science, technology, engineering and math, education in the district and the new district STEM school, Colorado STEM Academy. The school is set to open in August and will serve students in grades third through sixth, eventually expanding to third through eighth grade.

“The motto for our STEM school is `Connecting Classrooms to Careers’ an apt description because current information indicates the jobs of the future will rely heavily on skills in math and science,” she said.

Swanson also mentioned her appreciation for the many partnerships the district has with outside organizations including: the Morgridge Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Center on Time and Learning, the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District and state leaders.

“Our long-standing community agencies and partners that support our children and families year in and year out are so appreciated and needed,” Swanson said. “We have benefitted enormously from our partnerships with outside groups who are all committed to the children of this community.”

During her remarks, Swanson also spoke about the district’s facilities, the new online school Westminster Virtual Academy and the importance of student safety. She said as the district moves forward with the important task of educating the students, she is certain the district will endure both ups and downs during the 2013 journey.

“There are rarely simple solutions to complex problems, but I can confidently assure this community that all of us will continue to work as hard as humanly possible to see that every child reaches his or her fullest potential and is better off because of the work done here in Adams County School District 50,” she said.

To view Swanson’s entire State of the District, visit the district’s website at www.adams50.org.

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