I am thrilled to begin my second year at Sidney City Schools. There are so many exciting things happening for the 19-20 school year. Our current Board of Education has worked tirelessly to make changes to raise the awareness and positivity of our district, and I am so happy to be able to work with them.
Our new preschool at the Whittier Early Childhood Center will house 3-5-year-olds; we already have 250 students who have started the registration process. The reconfiguration of our schools will be so advantageous as we can streamline our support services, enable greater teacher collaboration, and enhance curriculum for better test results. Having all kindergarten through second grade at Longfellow and Emerson Primary Schools and all third and fourth graders at Northwood Intermediate will help continuity among all the grades. Emerson Primary School’s new principal Stephanie Klingshirn has been working closely with Longfellow’s principal Fran Dembski so that both buildings will be on the same page all year. All of our 5th graders together will have access to many more opportunities at SMS.
Our new high school principal, Denny Morrison, along with his assistants, Kevin Boerger and Greg Snyder, has been planning for a fantastic year. They have met with student leaders to help guide the direction of the year. By moving our alternative education program back to the high school, those students who fall into the alternative pathway will have many more choices and opportunities to grow while still receiving the small group support critical for their success.
Financially, for the very short term, we are in good shape. We were able to trim over $800,000 from last year by not filling positions that were redundant, moving the alternative school program back to SHS and trimming positions within that program, reorganizing the central office and not filling a secretary position, and many more changes. However, the state budget did not help much with our finances. We are still showing a large deficit 2-4 years from now. We are continuously looking for additional ways to trim costs but there is an absolute need for new money. Sidney City Schools has not had any new money for over 10 years now.
Last November, voters passed a renewal levy but it was not an increase. We will be forming committees in September and October to start looking at March 17 for a new money initiative. This isn’t something we take lightly but in order to not go backward, we must do something soon.
This past year saw us plan for many new changes for the coming year. We also added 3 achievement indicators on our school report that will be out sometime this fall. Our teachers and staff will be training to continue to raise our results and I am so proud of all of them. My final thoughts are about the incredible kids we have here in Sidney who have welcomed me and my family. I wake up every day eager to come to work to be with them and to keep Sidney City Schools the great district that it is. To hear the great stuff happening here at Sidney you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @realrangerbob.
Thank you all for your support of our kids!
In Jacket Pride,
Bob Humble, Superintendent