Public Education – Empowering the Future
Public education is one of the most powerful systems for driving positive change in our society. Across the United States, approximately 90 percent of our children attend a public school – and in the St. Vrain Valley, that percentage is even higher. With the future success of our community and nation dependent on the quality of our public schools, we have no greater responsibility than ensuring every child in our community receives a rigorous, engaging and high-quality education. To this end, it is an honor to stand alongside our Board of Education, teachers, staff, parents, principals and other community partners to celebrate our students and recognize their high levels of success.
This month, we honor 2,000 graduates who will receive their St. Vrain Valley Schools diploma. In St. Vrain, graduation is not easy to achieve, as we have some of the most rigorous graduation requirements in Colorado. All students are required to earn 24.5 credits – higher than any other large district in the state. These high expectations not only give our students a stronger education to further their future career success, they align to most college and university admission requirements. This ensures that all graduates from St. Vrain Valley Schools can be successfully admitted to a four-year college/university and/or pursue a two-year college degree, military service and numerous high-quality career and technical programs.
The opportunities in our schools extend far beyond the traditional classroom environment to include programs that are transforming schools into catalysts for student engagement and discovery. Through our high-quality instructional focus academies in Energy, Engineering and Aerospace, Medical and BioScience, Leadership, P-TECH, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Visual and Performing Arts, students are accelerating their education through industry engagement, cutting-edge technology, creative invention and innovation. Cultivating passion is what drives our students and empowers their achievement.
The impact of these opportunities is advancing student excellence throughout our community. The Class of 2018 enrolled in a record number of Advanced Placement exams, International Baccalaureate courses and concurrent enrollment college courses, giving them the opportunity to start their postsecondary education with approximately 12,000 college credits on their transcripts, potentially saving their families $3.4 million in tuition costs. Additionally, our 2018 graduates have earned many prestigious recognitions including Boettcher Scholarships, Daniels Scholarships, National Merit semifinalists and finalists, All-State athletic honors, All-State music recognition, and thousands of acceptance letters from prestigious institutions across the United States, including many Ivy League schools, military academies and other highly competitive colleges and universities.
The success of our students is a testament to our community’s enduring commitment to our schools. As St. Vrain has become nationally recognized for 21st-century learning, our entire community is recognized as a national model for community support for public education. From our industry partners who provide expertise and resources, to our senior volunteers who share their time, families, businesses, elected officials and everyone in our community who champion our schools, we are collectively building a strong foundation and future for Colorado and beyond.
With so much to celebrate throughout St. Vrain Valley Schools, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to our students, families, teachers, staff and community. Together, we are advancing public education and giving our students a strong competitive advantage that will continue to foster achievement and success.
Lastly, I want to share my heartfelt gratitude to all of our seniors and wish you the very best in life. Our schools will forever be strengthened by your time in our community – you are truly a class of compassionate, dedicated and outstanding people who will lead our country into the future.
Don Haddad, Ed.D.
St. Vrain Valley Schools