February Letter from the Principals

Posted: Feb 09, 2018

February Letter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

 

Happy February! As you know, we have some big changes coming to the Lowry community for the 2018-19 school year. As you saw in Dr. Cooper’s letter a few weeks ago, he is leaving Lowry to pursue opportunities closer to his home in Boulder. We wanted to send out some comprehensive information now about the upcoming school year as well as some updates.

 

Communication:

Thank you for the feedback on our January parent communication survey. Your feedback confirmed actions we have taken and gave us insight into your concerns. We did hear that many would like the opportunity to meet with leadership monthly to provide feedback and ask questions about our school. Based on your feedback, we will:

    • Continue to send a monthly letter from leadership
    • Continue to send our weekly school newsletter
    • Host a February parent meeting on Wednesday, February 21 from 5-6 pm (GT department representatives will also be present to answer HGT Magnet questions)
    • Send home notes from the Parent Meetings after they occur

 

Principal Vacancy and Naming Process:

After Dr. Cooper’s announcement was made, Alona Hastings (our instructional superintendent) visited our staff to discuss the process for the next principal selection. Typically, a committee is chosen and selected to create a hiring process and interviews multiple candidates to identify the next principal. The selection process can be different when there is an internal candidate that the staff and community support strongly. Support for a candidate can be shown through letters sent to alona_hastings@dpsk12.org. Alona will attend our next CSC (Collaborative School Committee) meeting on Wednesday, February 14 and facilitate a conversation about where we are in the process and next steps. CSC minutes will be posted at Lowry and on our school website after the meeting next Wednesday.

 

Budget and Staffing:

We have submitted our new budget for the 2018-19 school year. Based on district requirements and staff and CSC recommendations, we are moving forward with the following changes/additions to full-time staffing:

    • Changing from an Assistant Principal to a Dean of Culture. A Dean of Culture is an administrator who supports building-wide discipline, DPS whole child initiatives, and manages all school culture programming. (Change of Position – Vacancy)
    • Senior Team Lead/Math Intervention Teacher. This position will be a part-time coach and a part time math interventionist who will be a part of our Instructional Leadership Team. (Addition of Position – Vacancy)
    • Literacy Intervention Teacher (Same Position – Vacancy: Linda Meyer is retiring)
    • ELA Resource Teacher (Addition of Hours – Vacancy)
    • 1st grade Highly Gifted and Talented Teacher (Addition of HGT Program – Vacancy)
    • Part-time Music Teacher (Change of Program – Vacancy)

 

Aviator Fund:

 

As you may know, Colorado is one of the lowest funded states in terms of public education. This past Wednesday, our Superintendent Tom Boasberg met with other Colorado superintendents to ask that the Colorado Legislature both adequately and more equitably fund our schools so that we can ensure our students have the education they deserve. On average, Colorado provides $9,245 a year for each K-12 student. This is a staggering $2,147 less than the national average — even as our state economy continues to thrive and grow.

 

At Lowry Elementary, we are fortunate to have a very active and supportive parent community. We receive a yearly contribution from the Aviator Fund to add to our school budget and help meet the needs of all of our students. Over the past three years, this contribution has paid for a full-time classroom teacher. Without this important funding, we would have to make cuts in other areas by approximately $40,000-$50,000. Our Collaborative School Committee (a decision-making body for budget, staffing, and overall school strategy planning) reviews and makes final approval on all budget and staffing decisions. To try to make these decisions without the Aviator Funds would be extremely difficult and likely result in significant changes to programming.

 

Last year, the Aviator Fund raised approx. $45,000 and we were able to keep our programming in tact (our PTO covered $10,000 of this as we didn’t make our goal.) So far this year, we have raised $27,000 and are still working to support the 2018-19 budget plan. Our goal is a $40,000 contrinution. We encourage you to think about ways to support our school. A direct giving option is available on our website at lowry.dpsk12.org under support. Contributions can be set up for monthly giving as well. ANY amount helps. We know many of you may work for companies or corporations that may be interested in becoming a corporate partner. Please contact Amy Hulsey, chair of Aviator Fund at ahulsey@denverrealestate.com with any inquiries.

 

Thank you for your continued support of Lowry Elementary.

 

Dr. Ben Cooper                                                        Ms. Adrienne Nault

Principal                                                                    Principal Resident

Lowry Elementary                                                    Lowry Elementary