By Lance Post
Weld Central and RE3j recently were able to pass their proposed Mill Levy and Bond in the 2016 election. For those who don’t understand the details of these issues, especially the differences between Mill Levy and Bond, they are relatively simple. The Mill Levy funds are to be used mainly for school funds to be directed towards teachers’ salaries and other budget issues, while the Bond is more for construction purposes within the school buildings.
Lochbuie Elementary School is teeming with students, their building currently over capacity. In order to help with this, the district is planning to build a new elementary school in the town in order to help with this congestion. Construction for the school is going to begin this summer. Secondly, RE3j intends to remodeling the elementary school in Hudson. The Hudson Elementary school already went through some reconstruction, but not with the building itself, The name was changed from Hudson Elementary to the Hudson Academy of Art and Science, and changed a few ways they teach students. It’s the same curricula being taught, but with a twist to it.
This change will continue throughout next year, when each of our schools makes the transition to STEM learning. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. People may be asking, why are we switching to a new learning system again? The reason is that colleges are pushing for students to further their study into these fields earlier in their education, to help them when they enter the workforce. This transition will certainly be a big change, but it will be made easier with the funds from the Mill Levy and Bond, and ultimately better for the students. The middle school will be putting in an upgraded science lab for this new STEM program, which means more lab work for the students.
Other renovations coming to the middle school are new water purifiers, that will also be installed at the other RE3j schools. These improvements to school buildings and facilities will be a great addition to our district, thanks to the Bond.
The Mill Levy is just as important for the teachers and the school. Teachers will receive salary, benefits, and professional training. This will not only help our current educators reach students, but it may draw more to our schools. If so, we may be further able to decrease the classroom congestion. Teachers benefit from the Mill Levy, but students ultimately get the best out of this. All the schools in RE3j will be receiving technology and infrastructure improvements and/or replacements. This means new computers that will be better suited to education, with better software and faster operation.
The school, kids, and teachers are also excited about the district’s plan to “reinstate bus replacement cycle[s], and do preventative maintenance funding” which will allow better bus maintenance and care. This will hopefully eliminate, or at least lower the amount of times the bus faces problems in the year.
With this new funding, each of the RE3j schools will be running smoother than they already are. We are looking forward to the 2018-2019 school year, with all of these major changes and transitions for a better school district.
Photographer: Shalon Patton