Superintendent's Letter - Welcome Back for the 2018-19 School Year!
Dear Tanque Verde Unified School District Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members,
We have enjoyed welcoming our students, staff and families back to school for the 2018-19 school year, and we look forward to the opportunities ahead for engaging, teaching and learning as a community.
We will continue to place our focus on supporting student success, emphasizing individual student achievement, and increasing access to science, engineering, arts, and math education (STEAM). In addition, the emphasis on positive school climate and school safety continues with a renewed focus on community partnership development to support our students and staff and to provide resources to improve school security.
The district is focused on incorporating more STEM / STEAM instruction while increasing students’ exposure to fine arts programs, as well as college and career readiness at the high school level. An example of this is our new Elementary Orchestra Program, which joins our full array of fine and performing arts programs in our schools.
We will continue to collaborate with our community this year, with a goal of strengthening the partnerships which support our staff and students through bringing volunteers, training, and resources for our schools.
Last year, we expanded our community outreach by starting a TVUSD faith-based community collaboration. With input from leaders of approximately two dozen local faith-based churches and organizations, the group has developed projects to support our teachers and schools, including: summer back-to-school spruce-up projects, gathering items for teacher wish lists, planning for Make a Difference Day projects, student volunteer outreach projects, library book drives, instrument drives, and thoughtful gifts welcoming teachers back to their classrooms for the school year.
We were proud to have been one of five districts in the nation awarded a grant from FEMA to attend the National School Emergency Training Center, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Our school safety goals for the 2018-19 school year will be to continue our strong community safety partnerships, and to incorporate the emergency management strategies learned at FEMA. In addition, school security assessments have been completed, and our priorities for safety and security improvements were included in the bond recommendations addressed by the Governing Board.
We hope to reach out to local business owners this year, to explore how local partnerships might be mutually beneficial. Anyone interested in participating in the development of this business-focused community partnership initiative should contact TVUSD Community Liaison, Claire Place, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-749-5751.
District residents should be aware of two items that will appear on the November 6 General Election Ballot, as local election items. Following review and evaluation of the district’s programs and facilities needs last spring, a community-based feasibility committee advised the Superintendent to recommend the Governing Board pursue two ballot measures. The items which have been called for by the Board will appear on the ballot as the following:
• Prop 466 - Continuation of the 15% Maintenance & Operations Budget Override
• Prop 467 - Proposed $15 Million Bond
TVUSD has had an M&O Budget Override in place for more than 20 years. School district budget overrides are approved for seven years and are eligible for renewal in the fifth year. Funds received from the M&O Override support the educational programs which are currently in place in the district. If the continuation of the budget override is approved, it would not impact the current tax rate. The current estimated secondary tax rate would continue at $1.00 per $100 of assessed valuation, or $366 a year for an owner of a district home valued at $365,580 - the average value of a home in the district.
The proposed $15 million bond is being requested to address school facilities issues for which the district has not had adequate funds, due to state budget cuts resulting in the loss of more than $4.4 million dollars from the district’s operating budget over the past decade. If approved, the bond funds would be utilized with oversight by a bond committee, and would be directed to the following:
$5.5 M Upgrading School Security and Safety
$4.6 M Replace Aging Portables (with brick and mortar)
$2.0 M Technology and Technology Infrastructure
$1.9 M Repairs and Renovations
$1.0 M Bus Purchases
District Town Hall DatesThe District is hosting two town halls to provide residents with factual information about the two ballot measures. The scheduled dates are Tuesday, August 28th at 4:00 p.m. at Tanque Verde Elementary School MPR, and Monday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Emily Gray Jr. High School MPR. The presentation, handouts and additional information are available on the district website at http://www.tanqueverdeschools.org/DistrictInformation1.aspx.
Scott Hagerman, Ed.D.
The content of this letter was also published as an article, with additional information, in the Tanque Verde Voice, in the September/October 2018 edition.