Have You Heard What’s Happening with Douglass Schools?
Exciting things are happening at Douglass Schools. The Community of Douglass has spoken and shown their support for the school district. The importance of education and the belief that the children of the community should have safe and secure schools is a message that we have heard loud and clear. The May passage of the $8.99 million bond issue was approved by voters with an 83% margin. The staff and school district are grateful for the overwhelming support and very appreciative of the confidence the citizens have in the Douglass School District. We are pleased that through the efforts of our district steering committee of over 30 district patrons, a transparent approach has garnered overwhelming support for the bond issue.
The school improvement project is moving along and the pieces are falling into place. The project is focused on three major areas; safety and security improvements, aging facility upgrades and facility renovations and additions. The improvements at Seal Elementary will help bring our oldest building in the district up to modern standards, while keeping the focus on creating a safe and secure learning environment. The updates to the high school and middle school not only focuses on safety and security, but utilize existing space to make much needed upgrades to enhance the learning environment for our students. During the information phase before the bond election, it was estimated that the bond issue would increase the tax rate by 4.25 mills. I am pleased to report that the bond issue actually did not raise the mill rate, as a matter of fact the total mill levy dropped 2 mills. The district is currently working with the architects to finalize the designs of the project and the board will be issuing requests for proposals for a Construction Manager at Risk. The initial timeline has construction slated to begin in December 2016 and end in the fall of 2017.
Enrollment numbers at the elementary and middle school have increased for the first time in over 15 years. Due to the welcomed increase in enrollment, the district hired two new elementary teachers to help keep the class sizes manageable. We are very excited about the signs of growth and the stabilization of the numbers at Seal Elementary and look forward to providing a wonderful education to the children of the Douglass Community.
In keeping technology at the forefront of preparing our children for the future, Douglass High School rolled out Chromebooks this fall. Our students are engaged in a full one to one implementation of Chromebook devises, which will support the implementation of Google Classroom. With the outstanding efforts and preparation of the Douglass staff, our kids are already taking advantage of improved learning opportunities through the use of technology. Improvements to the districts wireless infrastructure through the use of e-rate funds, the district has been able to cost-effectively maintain the district’s technology infrastructure. Elementary and middle school students are also receiving enhanced technology opportunities with additional IPads and laptop availability in their classrooms.
On behalf of the staff, students and Board of education I would like to thank the community for its continued support and we look forward to the exciting opportunities in store for the students at Douglass Schools.