It is hard to believe that the school year is already half completed. Students are back from Christmas break hopefully well rested and ready to go!
As you may have heard the district achieved high marks on our Annual Performance Report again this year achieving 94.6 % of the possible points per DESE. I can recall when the district struggled with overall achievement and in fact was in district improvement at one time. Due to providing teachers with built in professional development time within the school day, miscellaneous interventions and successful implementation of Professional Learning Communities the district is on the right track for high achievement. Principals and teachers deserve much of the credit also for our high marks as they are responsible for student learning no matter what it takes. It is so nice to see our district achieve at such a high level even in comparison to other school districts around.
You may also have heard that the district is considering asking for a possible tax increase on our operating fund. The district's fund reserve balance looks pretty good right now at 32% however this is primarily due to receiving two federal programs payments in the same school year. The school district has lost nearly 10% of our fund reserve balance since 2010-11 due to increased costs for everything. The patrons of the Sturgeon R-V School district have been ever faithful in supporting the school with construction for the past 6 years by approving two no-tax increase bond issue proposals. Now that our facilities are current and up to date the district needs to focus on recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff. The district is currently not competitive with conference schools nor local schools in relation to salaries. The district's base teacher salary is near the bottom when compared to local and conference schools with a base salary of $29,580. For the district to be even in the middle of the pack a base salary of $31,000 would need to be realized. Increasing benefit costs for teachers and staff are an upcoming concern that will also need to be addressed. If the district was successful in increasing our tax rate on our General Fund it would enable the district to both recruit and retain highly qualified staff, administrators and teachers. It would also enable the district to continue to offer successful programs for students.
The schools track lighting project has been completed and was tried out at night prior to the winter. The district welcomes Sturgeon patrons to walk and run on the schools track anytime you would like.
I believe that is all I have to write at this point. I appreciate all the support the district receives from all district patrons. Thank you for all you do for our students!!
Yours in Education
Shawn C. Schultz
Sturgeon R-V School Superintendent