What’s in store for the 2021 school year, and beyond
Dirk Dirksen, Morrow County School District Superintendent
Education is all about taking the long view.
The school-age years go by quickly, but the lessons, skills and confidence students learn will last for a lifetime. The Morrow County School District has not only the responsibility, but the honor to play a role in those important developmental years.
As we head back to the classroom this fall, we’re keeping those long-term investments in mind.
Our mission is to make the most of this time for students in the classroom, on the field of competition, at concerts and performances, out in our communities, and everywhere else they’re learning and growing.
We carefully plan to put our financial resources to their best use year by year and over the long-term, considering the impact of every dollar we spend and looking to invest in Morrow County’s young people – our future.
One way we help students prepare for that future is by giving them the educational tools to focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and music through STEM and STEAM programs. We’re finding these opportunities often spark the interest of students who otherwise might not be engaged with their education, helping them explore possible careers and lifelong passions.
Through a $868,000 Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility grant, each community and school will receive dedicated funding for specifically tailored staff and programs. In 2021 this will fund science, technology, and music teachers throughout the district as well as facility renovations to create the best use of the space we have.
We are also doing a careful review of all our current facilities to ensure we are anticipating repairs as we care for these community resources. Maintenance costs have the potential of eating into a school district’s budget if problems aren’t addressed, and ongoing costs caused by a leaky roof, aged HVAC system, or other inefficiency aren’t a good use of those dollars.
Our school buildings play a vital role in each of our communities, and we want to make sure they continue to function at their best for years to come.
Health and safety have become a growing concern in schools, and we’re able to address a wide range of needs through our wellness hub partners. These services include CARE coordinators, nurses, mental and oral health professionals, resource officers, and workforce coordinators.
For every $1 the school district invests in our students’ health and safety, our partner agencies pitch in $1.13. Like all our investments, the health and safety of our students is a fundamental building block of a successful life after graduation.
It can be easy to get caught up in the immediate challenges, and there are more than a few to start this school year. But as we work through them, we’re keeping our eyes on the end goal and what’s best for our students and communities.
Making the right investments today will pay big dividends in the future.