Decisions for RE-4 district

RANGELY I For one hour on Feb. 15, the impact of the proposed state budget cuts to education was forgotten.
The Rangely RE-4 School District held its board meeting in the auditorium, giving parents, students, teachers, administrators and community stakeholders an opportunity to view a different approach to a regular board meeting.
The district recognized Black History Month with presentations on stage to commemorate the significant events and achievements of the African-American population in the United States.
Parkview Elementary students were rewarded for their accomplishments in the classroom and attending school every day (Consistency Club). Several proud parents watched their children shake hands, receive their certificates and smile for the camera.
Dr. Barry Williams, Superintendent of RE-4 Schools, opened the board meeting with a question: “what is a successful student?”
According to Williams‚ “A successful student is an individual who is able to experience a high degree of success in a variety of challenging academic and social endeavors in Kindergarten through 12th grade. A successful student is also an individual who matures into a responsible citizen, a productive member of society, a person with impeccable character and one who adds a great deal of value to the community. As an educator, it is my primary responsibility to ensure that each student has the ability to reach his or her academic and social potential. This can occur only when there is a carefully developed instructional program, a meticulously developed curriculum and a clear focus and vision for the school district. As superintendent, it is my direct responsibility to ensure our school district provides this type of challenging and appropriate educational program.”
The following day, Dr. Williams delivered the following information via e-mail.
“Over the past 24 hours there have been a number of decisions made that will impact all of us in the coming year. Governor Hickenlooper submitted a budget proposal for the 2011/2012 fiscal year yesterday to the Joint Budget Committee. As you are aware, this is only a recommendation and may be modified over the next few months first by the Joint Budget Committee, and then by the full legislature. We may not know until late April or early May the final impact to our budget. However, his proposed budget does give us some indication of the financial picture we will face for the next school year.
“If the governor’s proposal is not modified, then we can anticipate a revenue reduction of more than $494,000. In addition, we need to address other unavoidable cost increases to the general fund that total approximately $21,600 due to increased PERA payments and the expiration of ARRA stimulus funds.
“Together, these financial changes result in a need for us to reduce up to $515,600 out of our operating budget. These numbers could be higher if we experience a decline in enrollment. The board is responsible for the final budget decisions. They have been reviewing potential savings opportunities and will now begin working through scenarios that will help us achieve the necessary results.
“Last night it was recommended not to offer the Rule of 75 nor the 110/110 this year. This decision will continue to be made on an annual basis. Though this may be difficult news to hear, it is important that we keep our focus on the success of our students. Meeting the needs of all children and meeting the requirements of mandated tests is a process that must involve all stakeholders (CSAP IS AROUND THE CORNER). In-depth knowledge of the testing requirements and standards is essential for all teachers and administrators. Knowing what is tested and how it is tested is the key to instruction for success on a standardized test. Once the school personnel (certified and classified) have established that base of knowledge, the method for providing an appropriate education for all children, from special education to gifted students, is differentiated instruction.
“Each child’s needs and abilities must be taken into consideration when lessons are developed and delivered. Getting to know the students and being a positive influence in their lives can give the greatest rewards. Teachers and administrators in the RE-4 School District will continually seek the best methods and best practices for instruction while keeping the individual child in mind to achieve the greatest success in these tough economic times we are facing. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.”

Special to the Herald TimesRANGELY I For one hour on Feb. 15, the impact of the proposed state budget cuts to education was forgotten.The Rangely RE-4 School District held its board meeting in the auditorium, giving parents, students, teachers, administrators and community stakeholders an opportunity to view a different approach to a regular board meeting.The district recognized Black History Month with presentations on stage to commemorate the significant events and achievements of the African-American population in the United States.Parkview Elementary students were rewarded for their accomplishments in the classroom and attending school every day (Consistency Club). Several proud parents watched their children shake hands, receive their certificates and smile for the camera.Dr. Barry Williams, Superintendent of RE-4 Schools, opened the board meeting with a question: “what is a successful student?”According to Williams‚ “A successful student is an individual who is able to experience a high degree of success in a variety of challenging academic and social endeavors in Kindergarten through 12th grade. A successful student is also an individual who matures into a responsible citizen, a productive member of society, a person with impeccable character and one who adds a great deal of value to the community. As an educator, it is my primary responsibility to ensure that each student has the ability to reach his or her academic and social potential. This can occur only when there is a carefully developed instructional program, a meticulously developed curriculum and a clear focus and vision for the school district. As superintendent, it is my direct responsibility to ensure our school district provides this type of challenging and appropriate educational program.”The following day, Dr. Williams delivered the following information via e-mail.“Over the past 24 hours there have been a number of decisions made that will impact all of us in the coming year. Governor Hickenlooper submitted a budget proposal for the 2011/2012 fiscal year yesterday to the Joint Budget Committee. As you are aware, this is only a recommendation and may be modified over the next few months first by the Joint Budget Committee, and then by the full legislature. We may not know until late April or early May the final impact to our budget. However, his proposed budget does give us some indication of the financial picture we will face for the next school year.“If the governor’s proposal is not modified, then we can anticipate a revenue reduction of more than $494,000. In addition, we need to address other unavoidable cost increases to the general fund that total approximately $21,600 due to increased PERA payments and the expiration of ARRA stimulus funds. “Together, these financial changes result in a need for us to reduce up to $515,600 out of our operating budget. These numbers could be higher if we experience a decline in enrollment. The board is responsible for the final budget decisions. They have been reviewing potential savings opportunities and will now begin working through scenarios that will help us achieve the necessary results. “Last night it was recommended not to offer the Rule of 75 nor the 110/110 this year. This decision will continue to be made on an annual basis. Though this may be difficult news to hear, it is important that we keep our focus on the success of our students. Meeting the needs of all children and meeting the requirements of mandated tests is a process that must involve all stakeholders (CSAP IS AROUND THE CORNER). In-depth knowledge of the testing requirements and standards is essential for all teachers and administrators. Knowing what is tested and how it is tested is the key to instruction for success on a standardized test. Once the school personnel (certified and classified) have established that base of knowledge, the method for providing an appropriate education for all children, from special education to gifted students, is differentiated instruction. “Each child’s needs and abilities must be taken into consideration when lessons are developed and delivered. Getting to know the students and being a positive influence in their lives can give the greatest rewards. Teachers and administrators in the RE-4 School District will continually seek the best methods and best practices for instruction while keeping the individual child in mind to achieve the greatest success in these tough economic times we are facing. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.”