Volume No. 13 Issue No. 3 March 2016  



  From the CEO - The energy of our opportunity
  Peter Hilts
  D 49 CEO

     One of the benefits of serving a growing community is the constant energy of expansion and addition. Every time I drive Meridian or crest the hills along Woodmen, I’m impressed by the new rooftops and neighborhoods emerging from the prairie. It seems like someone planted growth seeds 10 years ago, and now we see a bumper crop of new neighbors moving in next door. Our friends and newcomers to the Pikes Peak region need homes and schools to make their best life, and we’re hosting most of that new growth. With almost three-quarter-of-a-billion residents projected by 2020, there are a lot of people eager to live and learn in our community.
   
   That’s why I’m excited by the leadership and support we’ve seen from voters and residents in District 49. Two years ago, after a robust community campaign, our voters approved district plans to apply ongoing revenues to programs, safety, technology and teacher compensation. Our voters did not raise taxes to fund a bond, but they strongly supported the programs and people that make our district the best choice to learn, work and lead. Our residents expect us to deliver best-in-class education, but to also live within our means. We are taking that direction to heart, so it has been our purpose to find a way to grow our level of service without growing our impact on the tax base.
   
   In November, we’ll have another opportunity to build our future community. As neighborhoods fill in and our booming elementary population gets older, we are on track to lead the region as the most prolific provider of educational choice for all students. We are determined to build every learner firm foundations in literacy and math. Our three-year emphasis on primary literacy is already lifting student performance across the district. As students move on from elementary, we know that they will launch toward success in a broad range of endeavors after high school. Some will pursue college — and we are getting better and better at preparing them to thrive — but college isn’t the answer for all. Many of our best and boldest students will serve our country, minister in our communities and lead the businesses that all of us depend on.
   
   The emphasis on professional-technical careers is one of the most important developments in public education, and the portfolio of schools that make up District 49 are positioned well to deliver a generation of skilled workers who know how to contribute on a team. Our secondary schools are leading the way with career preparation in health services, cybersecurity, sustainable communities, manufacturing and business. Our graduates are already caring for our health, designing our cities, securing our networks and finding new ways to produce the food and energy our growing communities will need. They are troops and teachers — radiologists and white hat hackers.
   
   In November, we hope to ask our voters to continue supporting District 49 students by extending our level of local support into the future. By gaining the endorsement of our voters, the district can build the new programs our students need, construct the elementary schools that are missing in some neighborhoods, and keep teacher salaries competitive — all without raising taxes. By taking care of existing schools and building only what is most essential, we have a plan to optimize education and keep attracting great teachers who will pour into our students’ lives. Our plan will expand existing high schools to offer blended learning and college courses that our students crave, but it will also set aside a growing reserve so we can take on bigger maintenance projects over a 10-year cycle. Along with two new elementary schools and smart renovations at middle schools, we can serve our projected growth into the next decade.
   
   The growth and energy we see all around us is a challenging opportunity. So, we commit to meet the high expectations of our community, while preserving one of the lowest tax burdens in the region. The residents of District 49 can be proud of our schools, and we are proud to join with you in building our future community. Learn more about our plan at D49.org/OurFuture.
 
 
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