District #7 May Updates

Watch a video version of this communication here

Dear District #7 Families,   

We are only three days away from the end of the 2021-2022 school year and I know you’re all looking forward to some time away from school. The past 10 months have taken us through the most challenging school year we may ever encounter, and despite all those challenges, today is the most exciting time to be part of District #7! 

At the monthly Board of Education meeting last night, the Board unanimously approved the 2022-27 Strategic Plan that has been in development since last September. We’ve received input from hundreds of community members across District #7 and we are excited about the five goals and the potential outcomes of the strategic plan. Each goal area – Student Success, Thriving Workforce, Safe and Supportive School Climate, Family and Community Engagement and Efficient and Effective Operations – will contain action steps and strategies that, in some cases, will have an immediate positive impact on students.  

For example, we already have developed more pathways for student experiences through our partnership with Lewis and Clark Community College, where students can participate in welding, fire science, and industrial technology. And as a part of the Safe and Supportive School Climate team, work is already underway to provide students and families new to our schools with a new first day experience for the 2022-2023 school year. I’m looking forward to sharing even more about our plan in the coming months, and more information will continue to be available on our website. You can view a PDF of the strategic plan here. 

Last night, I also announced a slight change in the start times for each of our schools for next year. Over the past several months, I have been working with First Student, our transportation provider, to reduce the number of buses which arrive after the school day has ended, which causes students to be late arriving home. District #7 covers 185 square miles and drivers cover 1.3 million miles per year, or an average of 7,500 miles a day, and the increased traffic within the District #7 footprint continues to make transporting our students more challenging than ever before. 

However, moving our start times is only a short-term solution. I’ve also asked First Student to conduct a comprehensive review this fall of the bus routes, start times, and tiers of transportation and provide us with a recommendation that is efficient but also honors the many activities, instructional day, and developmental needs of our students. I look forward to providing an update to the Board this fall. 

School start times for the 2022-23 school year will be:  

Finally, I would like to congratulate all the graduates who will be completing their journey in District #7 this weekend. The class of 2022 has endured all kinds of challenges and yet has provided us and continues to provide countless success stories that will provide them with memories for a lifetime. We’re proud of you and excited to watch you as you continue to represent District #7 proudly.  

I hope each of you has a wonderful end to the school year, and I look forward to seeing you on August 17 for the start of the 2022-23 school year. 

With Tiger Pride,  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.
Superintendent