BROOMFIELD – Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson’s first 100 days in Boulder Valley School District brings to mind an old Johnny Cash song – “I’ve Been Everywhere.”
Since arriving in July, he has criss-crossed our 500-square-mile school district, visiting all 56 schools – some multiple times. He has also met with thousands of employees and hundreds of community members.
“It has been very important for me to get out, be very visible and to begin to understand and meet the great people of this district and community,” said Anderson to the Board of Education on Tuesday night during a presentation marking the end of his first 100 days.
“I have had the chance to be in every school, and it has been really inspiring to me,” Anderson added. “It is one thing to hear about what is happening at a school, but it is different to see it with your own eyes. Visiting classrooms, meeting teachers and hearing their perspectives will serve me well as we move forward.”
The superintendent went beyond touring buildings, holding in-depth meetings with staff, where he was able to share about his background and experience and then hear directly from the district’s 4,000 employees.
“Education is a people business, so our teachers and our staff are our strength. I’ve been impressed everywhere I’ve been with the talent and the heart of the people that work in BVSD.”
At each of his stops he gave faculty and staff an opportunity to provide him feedback on four key questions:
- What is the one thing you are most proud of as a BVSD employee/parent/community member?
- What is one thing you think needs to change in BVSD?
- What is the most important piece of advice you would provide for me as new Superintendent?
- Please feel free to share any other thoughts/ideas that would make BVSD the best school district in the country
“We’ve heard from more than 1,200 staff members who have given us feedback on the four questions,” explained Anderson. “It is information that is extremely valuable. This has really helped me to understand the emerging trends that are occuring as we move forward.”
Community members had the same opportunity during Meet and Greet sessions that were held across the district in October and November
Anderson said one of the big themes he heard across the board is that one size does not fit all in BVSD.
“On a given day, I can start my day in Nederland, have lunch at Platt Middle School, stop by Monarch High School and then finish the day at Alicia Sanchez International School. All of those schools are all in different communities and have vastly different needs,” Anderson said.
\Superintendent Anderson provides Board of Education with update at the end of his first 100 days
During Tuesday night’s Board meeting, Anderson spoke about the successes during not only his engagement efforts but all of the tasks laid out in his 100-Day Plan. The plan, released in July after his arrival, provided an outline of the work he hoped to accomplish in the first few months in BVSD and focused on three areas: Engagement, Equity and Excellence.
He spoke about the successes in Equity, including the leadership and community summits held in September.
“We’ve had some really engaging conversations around equity, starting with our district leadership, “Anderson said. “We held a meeting in September in which we really talked about – as we think about equity – how do we go from ideas to action. We also had conversations around what measures we will use to determine if we truly gained greater equity across our system. Then, we expanded that conversation with about 150 community members on a Saturday morning.”
“It was a really inspiring and hopeful meeting for me to see the heart of our community,” Anderson said. “This community is committed to ensuring the success of each and every kid and looking at where we can do better by tackling challenges together.”
When it comes to Excellence, he spoke about the strides we are making in literacy, safety and efficiency.
“We always have to be looking at how to be more efficient and more effective with what we have,” Anderson said. “The Board approved our program inventory last spring and since then we have have been assessing 260 some programs. That information is going to help us to get better. We will use the data to better understand if there are things we need to do more of and things that we need to stop doing altogether.”
To that end, Anderson said the district will be reviewing its partnerships to ensure they are aligned with the district’s priorities and to ensure that BVSD eliminates redundancies, while finding additional ways for nonprofits and others in the community to contribute to the success of the district’s students.\
As promised, he also was upfront with the tasks that were not completed within the time allotted, including 1.4 Meet with each local chamber of commerce to learn about our community and its businesses.
“I’ve had a chance to meet with folks from the Boulder Chamber and still have meetings with the other chambers. That is important to me because we need to make sure that we are great partners with our local businesses, as well,” Anderson said.
He said that while 1.5 Meet with local municipal and county leaders to learn about our community is not complete, meetings have been scheduled and he hopes to meet with the leaders in the next couple months.
Work is also underway to accomplish 3.4 – Develop new recognition programs to celebrate student, staff, school, department and community achievements.
Proudest accomplishment: Collaboration with the Board of Education
Finally, the superintendent said that perhaps he was proudest of the work he has done with the Board of Education.
“This is certainly one of the highlights for me as we think about some of the progress that we have made,” Anderson said to the Board. “I have truly enjoyed getting to know each of you and working to make sure you’re informed, that you’re communicated with, that I’m listening, that we’re being responsive and that we’re working together as a team.”
“I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing together and the way that we are working together as a governance team. I think that has been a great success,” he added.
More information about the 100-Day Plan, including an interactive map showing all the places the superintendent has been, is available at https://www.bvsd.org/superintendent/Pages/progress