Sherwood School District pleased with its new high school
As students navigate their way through the first official school year at the new Sherwood High School, officials are pleased with the progress, so far.
According to Jim Rose, the district's chief operations officer, "We are ecstatic to have students in the new building full time, utilizing many state-of-the-art facilities such as our career/technical education (CTE) classrooms. It's a great place for education."
The school was built for 2,000 students, but as of Nov. 29, enrollment is reported at 1,686.
According to Ken Bell, the district's director of facilities and operations, "We now have space for all of our programs to thrive and for students to explore their interests."
However, there have been challenges the district has had to contend with.
"One of the challenges we have faced this year with the majority of our students returning to school in-person every day was learning the traffic patterns at the high school for the first time," Bell said. "During the early weeks of school, we worked closely with the city of Sherwood and the Sherwood Police Department to review this issue, and our amazing Transportation Department worked diligently to help identify solutions."
Bell continued, "We are always reviewing issues such as these, and consistently working on solutions in an ongoing effort to make pick-up and drop-off times more efficient."
With the new high school came transformation projects in the district, such as the old high school transitioning into a unified middle school and the two existing middle schools becoming elementary schools.
Bell was asked if this process has gone smoothly and if the district has encountered difficulties or challenges with the transitioning.
"The transformation of existing schools into new uses has allowed the district to expand capacity at each level (elementary, middle and high school)," Bell said. "Despite supply chain challenges during the pandemic, all projects reached significant completion on time and within budget."
Bell added, "The transformation projects have gone well because each school has focused on building community."
Bell noted that the capital improvement bond helped with the transitioning.
"The bond allowed the district to address deferred maintenance needs and make improvements at each district school building," Bell said. "Additional work was done at the transformation buildings to support their new uses."
As part of the process, new school boundaries were announced.
"The boundaries at the elementary level were adjusted and eliminated at the middle school level," Bell said. "This allowed the district to spread the newly available capacity across all elementary schools."
The new high school resulted from a bond measure voters approved in November of 2016.
"For many years, our schools had been at or over capacity district-wide," Bell explained. "The planned growth of Sherwood means more students are on the way, and the district must ensure our buildings, programs, academics and athletics facilities have the capacity for growth, allowing them to continue to serve students at the high level that they do today."
Bell continued, "An important solution to addressing anticipated growth became possible for the Sherwood School District in November 2016, when the Sherwood School District Bond Measure 34-254 was passed by voters."
According to the district, the bond was expected to fund a variety of projects, including safety and security upgrades, curriculum materials and deferred maintenance projects, including seismic upgrades, construction of a new high school to increase capacity and transformation of existing schools to new uses and technology upgrades.
Bell said these priority projects were identified through several public Bond Visioning Committee meetings, as well as community forums where community members, parents, staff, city partners and students participated.
Tours of the new high school were conducted last summer.
"The district has received very positive feedback from students, parents, staff and the community about the new high school and the opportunities it creates," he said.
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