Update on Secondary Schools
Update on Secondary Schools
Interim Superintendent Jason Thompson
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dear MSD Families, Students and Community Members,

As we close out the school year, I want to thank you for involvement in our community engagement efforts over the past year and provide an update on where I am with my recommendations and the secondary schools decision.

I had said I would share my recommendation before the end of the school year. I developed a draft report and recommendation which was shared with our Board of Directors during Monday night’s work study meeting (June 18).

The Board of Directors provided great feedback that will strengthen the report, improve actions items, and support next steps. They also asked for additional details to be included.  

With graduation ceremonies, a busy year-end with many changes in our leadership structure, as well as preparing for my new role as Interim Superintendent, we want to take the necessary time needed to get this right. The Board and I will meet again soon to ensure the report and action items from the recommendation meet our goals and address the steps that need to be taken in the months to come.  I will present the final report and recommendation during the July 16 Board of Directors regular session meeting.

In the meantime, I want to share some positive steps we are taking in response to the community engagement work. Two of the major things we heard in the public poll, community and staff surveys, one-on-one and natural meetings, and the Dream Big Event, were around improving communications and school safety and security.

In response to this, we are adding a position to address our needs around engagement and outreach in our district and community. Jodi Runyon will now serve as the Director of Engagement and Outreach. With more robust staffing in this area we believe we can improve our engagement and communication with families on all levels, as well as enhance participation from everyone in our wonderfully diverse community.

We have also created a Director of Student Safety and Security position, which Greg Dennis, our current facilities and security supervisor will fill. Mr. Dennis has worked closely with our school resources officers and first responders in our community for several years. He has great knowledge of each school’s layout, their building strengths and potential vulnerabilities, security needs and necessary safety upgrades. His full-time leadership in this area will be a great benefit to our students, staff and entire community.

Mr. Dennis’ new position also means we will have an individual completely dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of our facilities. We have already developed a Master Facilities Plan that projects facility needs and includes timelines and a financial plan to support the work. This new hire in our maintenance department will enable our district to continue to move forward on the plan and address each of our facility’s most pressing needs.

These actions are just a few of many we hope to implement in response to public input, and we look forward to updating you soon on future plans and actions.

I want to thank you again for being part of the community engagement efforts. Each piece of feedback is helping us steer our district while we address the most important priorities for our students, families and community. Please continue to stay involved and look for a final report posted to the district’s website leading up to the July 16 Board of Directors meeting. For more information on our community engagement efforts and work up to this point, go to Dream Big 2.0.

Sincerely,

Jason Thompson
Interim Superintendent