No School 4/27/2018

Dear Five Star Community,

Adams 12 Five Star Schools will be closed for students on Friday, April 27, 2018 due to labor shortages.

The Colorado Education Association (CEA) is planning a statewide rally of educators at the Capitol on Friday, April 27, to advocate for greater state funding, and hundreds of teachers from Adams 12 Five Star Schools have indicated they will take personal leave to participate in the event.

The lack of sufficient staff would impact the district’s commitment to provide a productive learning environment and that is why we have decided to not have school for students on Friday, April 27. This remains a workday for all Five Star District staff and employees not at work that day must use personal time.

Here are some additional details about April 27 that you should know:

Field trips and activities originally scheduled during the school day will not proceed unless you hear differently from your school.

After-school athletics and activities will proceed as scheduled, unless you hear differently from your school.

Childcare will not be available districtwide, due to a majority of our BASE staff having full-time obligations during the day outside of their district responsibilities.

The following elementary schools will offer free grab-n-go meals to any district student between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. — Centennial, Coronado Hills, Federal Heights, Hillcrest, Leroy, Malley Drive, McElwain, North Mor, North Star, Rocky Mountain, STEM Launch, Stukey, Thornton Elementary and Westview.

No make-up day will be necessary unless we have multiple snow days before the end of the school year.

Students attending Stargate, Prospect Ridge and Westgate will receive separate communication from their building leaders as to whether students will have school that day.

I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause families. My hope is that by making you aware of this situation a week in advance, it will help families make arrangements for Friday, April 27.

I've visited with many educators during this past week regarding next week's rally — including those who plan to participate, and those who do not. While there have been differences of opinion in those conversations about the best means for advocating for change in funding public education in our state, all voices have been united in saying that:

We are grateful to the Five Star community for its support, including the recent passage of ballot measure 3D that is allowing us to address critical facility needs throughout the district;

We're not able to give our students what they need and what they deserve given a state funding system that has gone backwards over the past decade. There are so many opportunities for us to better serve our students through expanded extracurricular activities, technology enhancements, differentiated and personalized academic supports, mental health education, etc. — but the failure of state funding to even keep up with inflation over the past decade has left us unable to make those investments;

Our staff members have elevated student achievement throughout our district, making the Five Star District the most improved large district in Colorado over the past three years — and yet a growing number of our staff members struggle to afford housing and other basics because state education funding has not been adequate to support fair and reasonable wages for jobs that are incredibly demanding and complex.

The Legislature has some critical decisions to make in the next few weeks that can help education funding take a few steps forward and begin to address some of the challenges I've outlined. It will not, however, be able to solve the entirety of the funding challenges that we face. Our legislators struggle to address widespread needs for critical services throughout our state that outstrip resources in the state's general fund, and they do not have the power to solve the long-existing structural constraints on how we fund those services in Colorado.  That will ultimately be left up to us to change as voters.

Thank you for your partnership in supporting student success in the Five Star District.

Sincerely,

Chris Gdowski
Superintendent