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Welcoming a new school year of change, and promise | Kip Herren
The start of the school year is always an exciting time of renewal and opportunity.
As we begin the 2012–2013 school year, the Auburn School District continues an ambitious program for improving student learning through clear and high expectations, the creation of conditions for success, accountability to high expectations, professional collaboration and continuous improvement.
Last year, the district was recognized with more than 20 state and national recognition awards for educational excellence, making us top performers in the state. We have achieved this recognition despite a loss of more than $40 million dollars in state revenue to the Auburn School District.
Our students are performing at academic performance levels that are the highest in Auburn School District history despite dramatic doubling student demographics of 52 percent poverty and five-fold increases in English Language Learners over the past decade.
Unfortunately, the Auburn High School Bond failed despite the fact that the majority of patrons supported the project with 57-percent approval (a landslide victory in a democracy). A super majority is needed to pass the bond that will make Auburn High School facilities on par with Auburn Mountainview, Auburn Riverside and West Auburn. Below are some important points for patrons to understand about the Nov. 6 election:
• No increase in average school taxes.
• Saves $250,000 annually in maintenance and operation costs.
• The Auburn High School modernization and reconstruction project has similar costs as a remodel.
New, improved website
To enhance our communication efforts, the school district website has been redesigned and integrated with our schools and departments with an improved communication tool. Please check it out at www.auburn.wednet.edu.
The new site was designed to be more user-friendly to support parents and students in using school information.
As the third year of the District Strategic Plan concluded this past year, the district begins work on the design of another three-year plan. The school board invites patrons to be a part of the plan development process that begins in September.
The first strategic plan was remarkably successful. For example, in first-grade reading assessments, only 21 students out of 1,078 students were at risk for reading at the end of the year. Before the strategic plan, 300 students would be at risk at the end of the year.
If you have interest in working on the next strategic plan, please contact Rod Luke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you the very best for the new school year.
Dr. Kip Herren is superintendent of Auburn schools. Reach him at email@example.com.