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Yukon PS moves forward with community wide bond planning

Yukon Public Schools is preparing for its next bond proposal package with the help of the community.

Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth gave a presentation Monday during the regularly-scheduled Board of Education meeting about Yukon bond planning.

“For those that aren’t familiar, bonds basically pay for everything. They are the lifeblood of the school district,” Simeroth said at the beginning of his presentation. “Everything from a chair to a roof, air conditioner, band uniforms, band instruments, everything that we really need to do to make our schools—continue to make our schools—as excellent as they are and keep it in that top 70 workplace is supported by bond issues.

“Without bond issues, the schools that can’t pass them tend to go broke then you see the schools fall apart and the children not being educated well. You see families leave cities, a lot of those things. Fortunately, Yukon has a great history to not having to deal with that.”

Simeroth said one thing that is really important to YPS administration is transparency and community engagement, and that’s why they are going to go through this process.

The full presentation would be posted to the district’s website at www.yukonps.com Tuesday, Simeroth said Monday.

There will be a total of eight community meetings to allow people “to provide input and help identify and prioritize needs for [the] next bond proposal package,” according to a post on Yukon Public Schools’ Facebook page.

The meeting are from 6-8 p.m. on:

—Feb. 16 for Surrey Hills at Surrey Hills Elementary School, 10700 Hastings Ave.

—Feb. 20 for Myers, Parkland and Shedeck at Parkland Elementary School, 600 Maple Ave.

—Feb. 23 for Yukon Middle School at Yukon Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Center, 801 Garth Brooks Blvd.

—Feb. 28 for Skyview at Skyview Elementary School, 650 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—March 30 for Independence at Independence Elementary School, 500 E. Vandament Ave.

—April 4 for Lakeview at Lakeview Elementary School, 872 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—April 6 for the high school and Yukon Alternative Learning Experience (YALE) at Yukon High School, 1777 S. Yukon Pkwy.

—April 13 for Central and Ranchwood at Central Elementary School, 300 S. 9th St.

Simeroth asked for people to review the presentation and attend the community meeting that applies to them so they can get everyone’s input.

“Really, this is important that you attend these because you to provide input. That’s the whole purpose. That’s why we’re here—to educate our kids and support your desires for those kids,” Simeroth said. “I said our kids—and really, when they come here, they’re my kids so we want the support.”

The meetings will be facilitated by an outside entity so the district’s opinions won’t be forced upon any attendees and they can give unbiased and honest feedback.

The plan is to host the eight community meetings then move on to district prioritization, and strategic planning committee prioritization.

The strategic planning committee is involved because during the strategic planning they set specific goals so they want to go over anything that comes out of the community meetings and district prioritization align with those goals.

“If it doesn’t then we’re not going to do it because it’s not what the community wanted,” Simeroth said. “I find it hard to believe that anything that come out of this stuff won’t fit into one of those, but there may be some and if there is we just won’t do it because that’s what we said we weren’t going to do.”

The school board will then come together to review everything during a work session from 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 18, in which the time and date was decided upon during Monday’s meeting.

During the work session, the board will decide upon the priorities for the next five or 10 years, depending on the items that come forth, Simeroth said.

“We’re going to start big then get small,” Simeroth said.

After all of those steps, Simeroth said he hopes to have the board call for an election with the ballot language during the June 5 School Board meeting and move forward to vote.

“Great things—a lot of it is designed to where we’re going to do our best to reduce class sizes, make kids safer—I mean, like I said, your kids are our kids. There’s not an administrator out here who doesn’t want the best for the kids,” Simeroth said. “We’re going to do our best through this process to make sure our kids are taken care of.”

None of the School Board members had any questions about the presentation.

For anyone who does have questions, call or email Simeroth at 354-2587 or jason.simeroth@yukonps.com.

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