Community Engagement
Posted on 03/24/2022

Golf School District 67 is a unique and special district. Our school and community are synonymous, partnering together to inspire our learners for lifelong success. Families want to be here and stay here.

This creates a challenge. With more and more families looking to send their children to our highly rated schools, our enrollment has been growing at an unsustainable pace and it’s starting to show.

We have run out of space, and even with using temporary trailers our average class size is the highest of all neighboring districts. Without adequate space, our students have limited access to the 21st century programming that is readily available to students in other districts. As a result, our academic ratings are starting to slip.

We face other challenges as well. Our student-teacher ratio is by far the highest compared to our peer districts. Our instructional time is limited. Our resources are being spread thin trying to maintain two buildings, also leading to inefficiencies in staffing and limited choices in electives. And using mobile classrooms leads to significant safety and security concerns that must be addressed.

Even with these challenges, we have all the foundations for success. Our staff, school board, and community work tirelessly and creatively to make our district the “little engine that could.”

Nowhere is that more obvious than in our district’s finances. We have made incredible progress improving our finances by implementing a zero-based budgeting philosophy and better utilizing our resources. We now spend the least per pupil of any peer district in the region. We have reduced spending on administrative costs and staffing so we can invest our limited funds in classrooms. As a result of our fiscal responsibility, we have steadily increased our fund balance to a much healthier level while maintaining a tax rate that is 20% lower than our neighboring districts.

Over the past year, our community has come together to collaborate on a solution to our space issues. We have developed a new community-driven strategic plan that benefits everyone. This consensus $56 million plan would build a new school building to educate all Golf 67 students on the current Hynes Elementary School campus. The plan will now appear on our ballots in the upcoming June 28th election for community approval.

If the referendum is successful, we will be able to:

  • Finally Solve Our Current and Future Space Issues
  • Provide a Safer School for Our Children and Teachers
  • Give Our Students 21st Century Learning Environments

The new school building will give us additional and larger classrooms, larger hallways, improved building layout, better access to nursing staff, and increase storage. This increased capacity will support increased student collaboration and small group instruction, more efficient use of space, and the future potential to reduce class sizes. The new building will also eliminate the need for mobile classrooms, provide more secure entrances, and update our security and intercom systems. Finally, it will allow us to provide our students 21st century learning environments that support high-quality teaching and active collaboration through modernized learning spaces and media centers.

Building a new school building has two additional benefits to the community. It will allow the district to become even more efficient and effective with the public’s tax dollars. And once construction is complete, the district will be able to sell or lease the current Golf Middle School, which would provide additional revenue that could be used to fund additional teachers to lower class sizes and provide more specials for students.

This consensus plan will overcome our space and staffing issues and provide our district with the tools needed to inspire learners for lifelong success.