St. Francis Area Schools eNews

Independent School District 15

February 2018 | Update #1                

Building Our Future Together

 

On November 7, 2017 the community of St. Francis Area Schools approved an $80,060,000 bond referendum to address critical deferred maintenance and physical facility needs, improve districtwide safety and security and accessibility and enhance educational spaces and learning environments. Why haven't we seen construction starting? Why does everything look the same in the buildings? How come you have not seen any public meetings? So what is going on?

 

Even though you have not visually seen the progress yet, plenty of work is going on behind the scenes right now. The district has formed a Bond Oversight Committee (BOC), which has met five times since November 7. The BOC meets regularly to monitor and review scope and ongoing activities throughout the project process, monitor the schedule and project budgets and evaluate and recommend changes. The BOC is also working on a timeline for projects, which includes critical and time sensitive projects. It is common for us to want to see immediate progress, but careful planning and phasing is essential to the success of the projects.

 

Teams are being formed to provide a districtwide focus on all projects. Areas of focus include special education, media centers, technology, elementary schools and district standards. These teams will have up to 10 members each and will collaborate to ensure consistency across the district.

 

Building design teams are also being formed. These teams will guide overall design within the building, establish criteria, review options and make recommendations to the BOC. Design teams will have between 10 and 30 members, depending on the size of the school and may consist of a combination of staff, parents, community members and students. Participation is voluntary to be on a design team and it's important for members to be forward thinkers as this bond brings us into the future.

 

User groups will be established at a later time and will have 3-5 members each. An example of a role a volunteer in a user group would be to add detail to specific spaces such as science classrooms.

 

The design flow is as follows: district focused teams decide on big picture criteria and standards and get those to the design teams; design teams work on standards within each building and get those to user groups; user groups add information on individual spaces; finally the BOC will do a final review and make recommendations to the school board.

 

St. Francis Area Schools has bond projects webpage at www.isd15.org/bond. The design teams will have progress presentations at school board meetings and work sessions and will also have open house events for the public. It is an exciting time for St. Francis Area Schools staff, students and community members as we build our future together.

 

"Building Our Future Together - Update for February 2018" was originally published in the February issue of The Courier.

 
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