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October 6, 2022 Community Engagement Session

Board of Education Community Engagement Session
October 6, 2022

Thank you for joining us for the recent Board of Education community forum. Please see the tabs below for a list of comments that were provided at the session, as well as questions that were asked and answers that have been provided by district staff. We appreciate your support.

“It is important for each student to be able to be successful.”
“Schools need to maximize teacher time for students; there is too much filtering down.”
“There needs to be less screen time in classrooms.”
“It is important for Thompson School District to adopt a sustainability plan.”
“There are too few school resource officers on campuses.”

Regarding District Policy AC, there was concern about communication with parents. There was concern that parents may not be notified about a different name or were not involved in regulations. There was concern about the legal rammifications.

Board Polices Section A

“Schools are working hard. Curriculum is not reflecting the purposefulness or student agency. There is a lack of connection and critical thinking.”
“The district should offer programs to get parents more involved in their child's education.”
“Local policy should reflect the morals of the community; concerned that critical race theory is taught in schools. Emails are not returned. Are we teaching what is best for the children vs. going with the flow?”
“KidsPak gave 950-$50 gift cards out to the community for a good meal. The district should connect with businesses to help support our students.”
“There is a lack of diversity, which should be included as much as possible. If we do not see us in the community, there is a lack of connection.”
“Career and Technical Education MindSpark certificate program artificial intelligence backed by large organizations should be introduced into schools. It would cost $14,000 to bring into the schools.”
“I appreciate the forum. I am concerned about what I am hearing.”

We currently raised our beginning teacher salary to $43,000/year and restructured our salary matrix to have a higher end-of-career pay. We continue to have tuition reimbursement as a benefit and conversations to meet our teachers' needs better.

We provide support to schools and rooms each year to help mitigate the high temperatures in schools that are not air-conditioned. Staff is also developing a plan to provide air conditioning in buildings at approximately $80 million.

We are not removing curriculum.

Each calendar year has five district professional development days and three Education Camp days in which teachers have the opportunity to receive professional development that has shown evidence to increase one's teaching effectiveness.

The main areas of expenditure of allocated federal stimulus funds (ESSER, ARPA) have been in

  • individual and network technology,
  • staffing to move to remote learning and then back to in-person,
  • addressing learning loss,
  • professional development to assist with new paradigms of education,
  • personal protective equipment,
  • and enhanced cleaning during the pandemic.

We align all of our curriculum with state and national content areas standards.

We currently have 519 licensed and classified substitute employees in our system. We just raised our sub rates for teachers to $130 per day with a $300 bonus for working ten days a month.

Our Master Plan Committee will work through the District's needs list next semester. This process includes growth, maintenance, educational, and safety needs. The Master Plan Committee will present those needs to the Board of Education for future conversations around future bonds.

After reviewing other buildings around the district, the early childhood education center at Monroe Elementary School was selected due to its size and location.

This is a school-based decision.

Thompson School District does not receive direct financial support from any LGBTQ organizations.

Thompson Career Campus is thriving as one of the highest-rated in the state. We provide several programs and partner with Aims and Front Range community colleges to offer students concurrent enrollment.

The adoption of new policies or the revision or repeal of existing policies is solely the responsibility of the Board. However, suggested proposals or issues for policy modifications, additions, or deletions may originate from a variety of sources, such as

  • Board requests,
  • superintendent requests,
  • staff member requests,
  • as a result of employee contract negotiations,
  • following a recommendation by the district legal counsel,
  • or as a byproduct of a regular, periodic review of Board policies.

The appropriate administrator shall determine whether the issue warrants policy adoption, revision, or repeal and shall prepare a clear, workable policy utilizing as many drafts as needed. After that, an orderly process is used in examining the matter, receiving recommendations from the superintendent, and hearing the viewpoints of persons or groups affected by the policy before final adoption or repeal by the Board.

The Board shall adhere to the following procedure in formally considering policy adoption, revision, or repeal to ensure a thoughtful examination of the issues:

  1. First meeting: The proposal shall be presented for discussion.
  2. Second meeting: The proposal shall be presented for further discussion and adoption, approval, or repeal by a vote of the Board.

During the discussion of a policy proposal, the Board shall hear the views of the community and staff. The Board shall take action only after hearing the recommendations of the superintendent and the viewpoints of persons and groups affected by the policy.

Since 2007, the annual birth rate in the United States has declined by 600,000 a year.
In 2020, the number of live births in the U.S. dropped by 300,000.
From 2019, public school enrollment in the U.S. has dropped by 1.3 million students.
Over that same period, Colorado's public school enrollment has dropped by 3.3 percent. Every state saw a drop during this period.

Declining Enrollment in School Districts from Spring 2020 to Spring 2022
District Percent Change
Poudre School District -2.6%
Estes Park School District -8.1%
Boulder Valley School District -6.4%
Weld County School District RE-5J Johnstown-Milliken -4.7%
Jeffco Public Schools -6.6%
Littleton Public Schools -8.6%
Thompson School District -5.4%

We are providing it as an option for the part of the community asking for the vaccine.

Parent involvement is required to use AC E3-6: "This form must be submitted by a parent to change a student’s first and/or middle name and/or gender in the online TSD Student Information System..."

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission issued rules (3 CCR 708-1) that state,

“All [public] covered entities shall allow individuals the proper use of gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. Gender-segregated facilities include but are not limited to, restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms and dormitories.”

The term “gender identity” is, in turn, defined by the rules as follows: “'Gender identity' means an innate sense of one’s own gender.”

A Colorado court case in 2013 supported the right of a 6-year-old transgender student in the Fountain School district to use the restroom that aligned with her gender identity.

Board policy on this Colorado Civil Rights Commission rule is covered in AC-E3.

Information is located in the "Community" tab of the homepage of the district website.