Dear Chimacum Families,
As we reach the halfway mark I want to tell you a little about our planning for the future. We have a lot to think about this time of year with the legislature in session, calculating next year’s enrollment, implementing new programs, building master schedules, and thinking about capital upgrades among other to-dos. To say the least, there is a lot of complexity! And, we are in the middle of this school year!
We are anticipating stabilized enrollment in our district, mostly at the elementary level. Chimacum’s enrollment has fallen in half since 1998 as the area’s demographics shifted and families have taken other opportunities for their childrens’ education. Having stable or growing enrollment helps with planning for facilities use, staffing, and budgeting, and creates a higher level of certainty moving forward. Although we manage over $15 million annually, the margins for error are thinner than we like and we want to continue to be thoughtful stewards of our resources.
We are anticipating less staff turnover and more staffing stability. Outside of a few retirements, we are not yet hearing of a lot of people leaving our district, and some staff who have been on extended leaves are returning. Staffing stability at all levels also makes it easier to plan year to year, sustain improvement initiatives, implement new programs, and make positive culture changes.
As you may know we have been studying several different ideas to see if some structural or instructional changes are in order. As a staff and community we have been looking at the calendar year to see if we can make any changes to improve learning, prevent teacher burnout, and be more effective with the180 days we are allocated by the state. We have also studied the idea of a later school day start at the secondary level. A small team of staff has been looking at how we use technology to improve our instruction. Another team is studying facilities use and grade configurations. We also have ongoing committee and team work for Wellness, Literacy instruction, and PE curriculum adoption.
I remind you about these explorations to let you know that we may make some changes we think are in our community’s and students’ interest and are responsive to our budget realities, but those changes are likely to be incremental and limited. We don’t see a lot of community support, for example, for later start times. It doesn't appear that this otherwise good idea is a fit for Chimacum at this time, while other changes like adopting a new PE curriculum would be popular and have an immediate impact on our students and families.
I will keep you posted as new information or changes arise in as timely a manner as I can. If you want to know more or have questions or concerns, just reach out to me. Also, if you hear a rumor, it may not be true. Just call my office or send me an email and get clarification or share your thinking: email@example.com or 360 302-5896.
I am optimistic about our future as a school district. I am confident in our teams and proud of our staff. We have made tremendous progress in many areas, and I anticipate our continuing to focus on doing cool things for our kids!
Dr. Scott Mauk, Superintendent