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Superintendent News


Message from Superintendent Mabbott 


Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! We had a great opening for the 2017-18 school year.  We are very excited about changes this year - AVID program (see our website front page), high school seven period day, a District wide Instructional Leadership Team, etc.   

Our enrollment is up at all three schools and we are running out of space quickly.  In addition, our facilities for our students are less than stellar.  As most of you know, our Middle School building is very near the end of its lifespan.  Our Elementary building (houses the Primary and Intermediate Schools) is in need of remodeling and we are out of space.  Our High School is in poor shape and it does not contain the needed amenities that a modern high school should have to offer an outstanding education.  With its current design, it is also very difficult to supervise.  

So, what is the plan?  First, we need to decide where to build a new Middle School - the land it sits on now is way too small for a middle school campus.  Our District is fortunate in that we have plenty of land so we will not have to go out and purchase land like many other districts have.  We have two options: one option would be to place the Middle School adjacent to the Elementary Schools.  The other option would be to place it next to the High School campus.  Both are viable options and both have their pros and cons.  

We have scheduled community forums (see the home page again) throughout the month of October.  At these forums, you will learn all about the needs, why our students need and deserve improved educational facilities, the pros and cons of the two possible middle school sites and about the November 7th Advisory Vote on the issue of where to site the Middle School.  You can read about it in the Voter's Pamphlet.  You will also learn about what the School Board is thinking regarding a possible Bond Issue in the future.

Please plan on attending these forums - your opinion is wanted and needed!  

I am grateful for the community support that is shown every day.  

Jim Mabbott, Superintendent

Superintendent's News Feed

  • Testing Time... Our spring statewide testing schedule is in full swing for students in grades 3 and up.  You play an important part in helping students give their best performance on this important test. As you know, we have been busy preparing and reinforcing the skills necessary for students to demonstrate their learning. Even though this assessment is a snapshot—one single perspective on one day in time – it is important that our students have every advantage to do their very best. We don’t want to cause test anxiety, rather we want our students to be as prepared as possible and show what they know. There are many ways in which you can help your child put his/her best foot ...
    Posted May 11, 2018, 10:19 AM by Patty Gelbrich
  • Bond Election - April 24 Great news!  Thanks to our incredibly supportive communities, our two-year levy passed on Tuesday, February 13.  The final count was a strong 66% yes!  As always, we pledge to be excellent stewards of the public funds and stretch every dollar to meet the needs and goals of our students.  As you may recall, the new 2019-20 tax rate for the levy will be $1.50 per thousand of assessed value.  That is a drop from the 2017 listed rate of $2.63 and will remain lower even if the state incorporates any new taxes.  Our School Board, following the work and recommendations of a 45 member community committee, has voted to place a bond issue on the April ...
    Posted Mar 7, 2018, 8:44 AM by Jim Mabbott
  • Levy Information... We have made great strides to strengthen the school district/cities/communities partnerships within the Castle Rock School District. These partnerships are critical as we work together; quoting our Mission Statement: "Together we inspire pride and achievement for all through relevant learning and great expectations." Our students need this levy to continue the improvements that we are seeing every day.Ballots for the Castle Rock School District levy election have arrived by mail. The current levy is set to expire in 2018. The new levy will be for two years and will cover 2019 and 2020.In 2017, legislation was passed that requires all school district levies in the state to not exceed $1.50 per thousand of assessed value ...
    Posted Jan 30, 2018, 2:50 PM by Patty Gelbrich
  • Castle Rock School District Advisory Vote UPDATE:  Final Vote Count was: Adjacent to the current High School campus 63%;  Adjacent to the current Elementary School campus 37%.      Castle Rock School District has an Advisory Vote question for its citizens on the ballot for November 7. The question involves where the District should place a new Middle school -as most of you know, the current Middle School has outlived its life according to all building experts, students, parents and staff. It is estimated that renovation would cost 150% more on that building than new construction. We plan on building a new Middle School either next to the current High School or the current Elementary School campus. Please read the pros and cons of each site identified by ...
    Posted Jan 23, 2018, 12:09 PM by Shawna Guest
  • Community Forums on Advisory Vote and Possible Bond Issue! Mark your calendars and please attend one of our community forums. Your input is essential to our success.10/26 @ 6:00 p.m., Vader City Council10/30 @ 7:00 p.m., Castle Rock Primary School
    Posted Oct 24, 2017, 4:08 PM by Shawna Guest
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 12. View more »

Testing Time...

posted May 11, 2018, 10:19 AM by Patty Gelbrich

Our spring statewide testing schedule is in full swing for students in grades 3 and up.  You play an important part in helping students give their best performance on this important test. As you know, we have been busy preparing and reinforcing the skills necessary for students to demonstrate their learning. Even though this assessment is a snapshot—one single perspective on one day in time – it is important that our students have every advantage to do their very best. We don’t want to cause test anxiety, rather we want our students to be as prepared as possible and show what they know. There are many ways in which you can help your child put his/her best foot forward.  They should feel proud and prepared to show their learning!

Throughout the year: 
1. Read to/with your child and make time to discuss what you’ve read. 
2. Encourage reading for pleasure regularly. 
3. Know what kind of homework teachers expect and make sure your child completes it. 
4. Provide a regular, quiet place for your child to read or complete homework. 
5. Set high expectations for grades and attendance. 
6. Take an active interest in what your child is doing in school. What is he or she learning? Parents who communicate daily about what their children are learning build a strong foundation to demonstrate that learning on tests. 
7. During the weeks leading up to the test, begin to talk with your child about doing his or her best. You know your child better than anyone. Emphasize the importance of the test, but remember to build confidence, not anxiety. 

The night before a testing day: 
1. Make sure your child goes to bed on time so he or she is well-rested. 
2. Keep your routine as normal as possible. Upsetting natural routines may make children feel insecure. 
3. Be positive and confident in the fact that you know your child will do his/her best. 
4. Plan ahead to avoid conflicts on the morning of the test. 

The morning of a testing day: 
1. Get up a few minutes early to avoid rushing and make sure your child arrives at school on time. 
2. Have your child eat a nutritious breakfast. There is a strong correlation between eating breakfast and memory and cognitive functioning. 
3. Have your child dress comfortably. 
4. Be positive and communicate that this is your child’s chance to show what he/she knows. The most important thing you can do right before the test is to build confidence about doing his/her very best. 

Bond Election - April 24

posted Feb 14, 2018, 2:26 PM by Shawna Guest   [ updated Mar 7, 2018, 8:44 AM by Jim Mabbott ]

Great news!  Thanks to our incredibly supportive communities, our two-year levy passed on Tuesday, February 13.  The final count was a strong 66% yes!  As always, we pledge to be excellent stewards of the public funds and stretch every dollar to meet the needs and goals of our students.  As you may recall, the new 2019-20 tax rate for the levy will be $1.50 per thousand of assessed value.  That is a drop from the 2017 listed rate of $2.63 and will remain lower even if the state incorporates any new taxes. 

Our School Board, following the work and recommendations of a 45 member community committee, has voted to place a bond issue on the April 24th ballot.  This will be the first time in 20 years that a bond issue has come before the Castle Rock School District voters.  The last was a small bond in 1998, which the voters passed, and was used to remodel part of the Elementary building.  So, as you might know or guess, after all these years, the District's facilities are in great need of assistance. 

We have recently performed a formal study of our facilities and the results validated some known issues and brought to light some new ones.  For instance, we know that the Middle School is far beyond it's lifespan.  All expert reports have stated bluntly that it would be more expensive to remodel that building than to build a new one (for example, the updating of electrical, plumbing and infrastructure costs would be tremendous in that building). As you most likely know, the community voted overwhelmingly last November to place the new Middle School on land near our current High School site. 

So, the bond would cover a new Middle School, modernize/remodel both the High School and Elementary buildings and completely update our Security, Safety and Technology systems.  These were all identified and recommended by the 45 member committee based upon the expert facility studies. 

The 25 year bond would be $42.4 million and the District would receive $17 million in match from the state.  That means that we would have over $59 million to pay for the projects, with $17 million that wouldn't be included in the bond issue and therefore would not have to be paid for by our community.  That amount of match is amazing for a community of our size - but it is due to the fact that we haven't had a bond issue in so long.  Now, that sounds like a lot of money - but believe it or not, it won't cover everything identified by the committee.  Because match dollars were utilized in 1998, the Elementary building is not eligible for match dollars until 2028.  Therefore, the Elementary building allocation will be less than the Middle School and High School but we will make up for that by dedicating our annual capital levy funds to the Elementary building until those needs are completed.  We will also budget sufficient annual maintenance dollars to keep the facilities properly maintained and up-to-date.

You are probably wondering what this bond issue would cost, right?  The bond tax rate would be approximately $2.85 per thousand.  When you combine the drop in our annual levy with the new bond issue, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $20 more per month over current home taxes. 

I know this is a lot of information but we want complete transparency in everything we do.  We are planning many neighborhood meetings over the next couple of months to disperse all information and answer all questions.  There will also be mailers, forums, live video broadcasts over computer, etc. with the same information. 

Please watch this website, your mail box and other announcements so that you can choose the way you want to receive the information.

Stay tuned...

Levy Information...

posted Jan 30, 2018, 2:47 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Jan 30, 2018, 2:50 PM ]

We have made great strides to strengthen the school district/cities/communities partnerships within the Castle Rock School District. These partnerships are critical as we work together; quoting our Mission Statement: "Together we inspire pride and achievement for all through relevant learning and great expectations." Our students need this levy to continue the improvements that we are seeing every day.

Ballots for the Castle Rock School District levy election have arrived by mail. The current levy is set to expire in 2018. The new levy will be for two years and will cover 2019 and 2020.

In 2017, legislation was passed that requires all school district levies in the state to not exceed $1.50 per thousand of assessed value. The current levy is $2.63 per thousand. That is a $1.13 drop per thousand for the levy.

The District recently sent a flyer in the mail with factual information about the levy election. Information included: The monthly bill for the owner of a $150,000 home would be about $18.75, down from the current $32.88 per month. Also in the flyer are examples of what the levy currently funds since the state does not fully fund the costs of education: Athletics, Extra-curricular programs/clubs, advanced placement courses, classroom supplies and other non-employee costs, grounds, utilities, maintenance, technology support and professional development and training for staff.

The Castle Rock School District has a strong history of community support and we thank you for making our schools such a source of pride. These levies help us ensure excellent educational opportunities in a safe and secure environment.

Please vote.
Castle Rock Levy Flyer

Castle Rock School District Advisory Vote

posted Oct 24, 2017, 4:04 PM by Shawna Guest   [ updated Jan 23, 2018, 12:09 PM ]

UPDATE:  Final Vote Count was: Adjacent to the current High School campus 63%;  Adjacent to the current Elementary School campus 37%.      

Castle Rock School District has an Advisory Vote question for its citizens on the ballot for November 7. The question involves where the District should place a new Middle school -as most of you know, the current Middle School has outlived its life according to all building experts, students, parents and staff. It is 
estimated that renovation would cost 150% more on that building than new construction. We plan on building a new Middle School either next to the current High School or the current Elementary School campus. 

Please read the pros and cons of each site identified by our building experts and attendees at our community forums. Your vote will advise the School Board going forward as to the placement of the future Castle Rock Middle School. 
Thank you! 

Community Forums on Advisory Vote and Possible Bond Issue!

posted Oct 10, 2017, 2:40 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 4:08 PM by Shawna Guest ]

Mark your calendars and please attend one of our community forums. Your input is essential to our success.

10/26 @ 6:00 p.m., Vader City Council

10/30 @ 7:00 p.m., Castle Rock Primary School

It's Attendance Awareness Month!

posted Sep 5, 2017, 3:59 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Sep 5, 2017, 4:01 PM ]

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit as soon as kids start school so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work in the future.

Four Tips to Prepare for School Starting!

posted Jul 10, 2017, 2:10 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Jul 10, 2017, 2:12 PM ]

As parents, we have a key role to play in ensuring our child transition successfully from relaxing, summer fun to school routines. Your involvement in your child’s education is a powerful contributor to his or her success in school and in life. Setting expectations and creating positive habits can go a long way!

Here are four simple things parents can do to set their children up for success for the school year.  School time will be here before we know it!  Have you noticed that school supplies are beginning to take over the shelves at our local stores?

  • Get back in the routine. Ease transition from lazy summer days to the structure of the school year by re-establishing bedtime, mealtime, reading and homework routines.
  • Create a homework zone at home. Work with your child to designate a specific time and quiet place in your house for homework. Make sure that the area is free from potential distractions and that study tools are at your child’s fingertips to keep them focused on homework and studying. Without a daily routine, it’s easy for your child to put off or forget to do their homework.
  • Set education goals. Help your child set goals at the very beginning of the year. Whether it is striving for an “A” in reading, handing in all homework on time or preparing for tests well in advance, setting goals can help set the routine for the new year. Then be sure to celebrate your child’s successes along the way with a small surprise such as pizza, a trip to the park or watching their favorite movie.
  • Meet your child’s teacher in the fall and stay in touch during the school year to learn how they’re doing in class. Take time to meet your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year. Our schools offer “meet the teacher” or “back to school” nights. Teachers can be the best source for information about your child’s academic performance and they can recommend ways to help your child or resolve any difficulties he or she is having in the classroom.

Congratulations Class of 2017!

posted Jun 12, 2017, 6:50 AM by Patty Gelbrich

Friday evening was the perfect evening for graduation.  The clouds parted and the heavy downpours took a break while the graduating class of 2017 and their families took part in a lovely graduation ceremony.  Staff from the high school, middle school, and elementary school all were there to help celebrate our graduates.  Julia Collins, Nancy Chennault, and Jim Mabbott had inspirational words for the graduates.  The band played, the choir sang, and a lovely evening was had by all.

To quote Dr. Seuss, "Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!" (Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!) Best of luck to the graduating class.  We will miss you!

Focus Groups - Summary

posted Jan 19, 2017, 2:56 PM by Patty Gelbrich   [ updated Jan 19, 2017, 3:04 PM ]

Eighteen focus groups were held in the fall regarding school district, programs, and issues.  We promised to produce a summary report.  It is now available for viewing.  Thanks to all community, families, staff, and students for your involvement and participation.  We appreciate you!  FOCUS GROUP SUMMARY

Castle Rock School District Water Testing

posted Dec 14, 2016, 2:21 PM by Jim Mabbott   [ updated Dec 20, 2016, 11:53 AM by Patty Gelbrich ]

Hi Everyone,

As you may know, we recently had every water faucet/spigot of any kind in the District tested for levels of lead and copper.  We have 235 water sources in the district. Of those, only twelve of them came back over the acceptable levels of lead and/or copper.  While we were pleasantly surprised, we took action immediately to shut down those twelve sources.  Fortunately, none of the twelve are important to the operations of the district.  While they are currently shut down, we realize that is a short term solution. We are developing a plan for each of the twelve with these options: permanently cap the source; or run for several hours and retest because the source is rarely used which tends to cause false positives.  If there is one that we want to use in the future and the second test comes back bad, we will install comprehensive filters that filter out both lead and copper.  We will test those again after the filters are installed before allowing usage by anyone.

Here is the list of the failed tests:

Retest

Portable building in back of the Elementary School: Short drinking fountain
Baseball Concession Building: Men's restroom sinks (2)
District Office: Women's sink and Men's sink
High School Classroom: One of four sinks
Middle School Office: Faucet
Elementary School: Classroom drinking fountain and classroom sink

Cap off permanently

High School: Storage room sink; 
High School Classroom: One of four sinks 
Elementary School: Band room sink

Happy Holidays!
Jim Mabbott, Superintendent

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