Voter-approved funding creating strong investments with community's ELEVATE plan
During the 2017-2018 school year, over 7,000 parents, students, staff and community members from the Five Star community came together to create a new strategic plan that will continue to elevate student success for years to come. The new community-driven strategic plan was approved by the Board of Education in Fall 2018 and features new directions for the district, including social and emotional learning, expanded career and technical education, reducing class sizes, and improvements in technology and teacher salaries, among other initiatives.
In its commitment to jumpstart the work outlined in the new strategic plan by the Five Star community, the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education prioritized a series of investments aligned to ELEVATE to be featured in a mill levy override ballot measure. Thanks to the support of the Five Star community, Ballot Issue 5C was passed on November 6, 2018, which provides $27 million in additional funding to jump-start the community's priorities identified through ELEVATE.
>>View a 5C update flyer on the progress being made in each promise
Efforts have begun this spring to implement the new plan and fulfill the promises outlined in Ballot Issue 5C. Highlights include:
- In December 2018, district-level fees for students at all grade levels were eliminated. Retroactive to the start of the 2018-2019 school year, families will no longer be asked to pay the following district-level fees per child, equating to between $15-45 per student. Families who already paid these district-level fees for the 2018-2019 school year received a refund of their payment.
- A major need the additional funding was aligned to meet was reducing class sizes. Schools are currently planning their budgets for next year and this year, middle and high schools have funding to pay for additional teachers to reduce class sizes. Middle schools will add two teachers and high schools will add three. For elementary, nearly 17 teachers will be added across the district to address targeted areas with high class sizes.
- Employees in the Five Star District received a promised one percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in January.
- Other staff salary implications are confirmed but the details are being negotiated in our Interest-Based Strategies Negotiations, including increasing the cost of new teacher salaries and increasing the amount of years that teachers get credit for when transferring into the district from six to ten.
- Another major component of the ELEVATE plan was increasing social-emotional supports and learning opportunities for students. Social-Emotional Learning Specialists will be hired to start in August 2019 at elementary, K-8 and middle schools, and additional counselors will be hired in our high schools. Schools will begin adopting and implementing social emotional-specific curricula next year.
- Career and Technology Education (CTE) is expanding in the Five Star District thanks to the 2016 Bond Program which is building a new CTE site at 124th and Washington. In addition, 5C is providing funding for new pathways and hands-on learning opportunities for students. Funding will also be used to hire staff as well as the learning materials and resources for the new location.
Updates on mill levy override spending and allocation are ongoing. To see updates and the identified priorities in the plan, visit www.adams12.org/ELEVATEfunding