Spotlight on Winston-Dillard School District
We are curious, caring and unstoppable! Winston-Dillard School District prioritizes quality education for all students. Approximately 1,400 students from grades K-12 attend this six-campus district.
Winston-Dillard School District prioritizes quality education for all students. Approximately 1,400 students from grades K-12 attend this six-campus district. Preschool and Pre-K classes are also key parts of the district. This past fall, restructured classes at the middle and elementary schools expanded opportunities for learners.
The new school year is in full swing. From an elementary school assembly that included parents to the meet-and-greet ice cream social with the new superintendent, Kim Kellison, new connections are being made.
Moments before Kellison sat down to share highlights about the district for this article, she visited with McGovern Elementary School’s fourth and fifth graders, and the nutrition staff during lunchtime to celebrate National School Lunch Week. “Healthy school meals are important and support student achievement,” said Kellison.
The district is committed to continually discovering how to best serve students, staff, parents and the community.
In 2019 the passing of the General Obligation (GO) bond measure #10-169 allowed for infrastructure and safety upgrades at the Douglas High School campus, which included a new high school building, gymnasium and parking lot.
Safety continues to be a district-wide priority. A contract with the Winston Police Department provides the district with two school resource officers (SRO). The role of an SRO helps ensure a safe and secure campus, educates students about law-related topics and provides mentorship to students. “The SROs are great at building relationships with students and creating positive experiences as influential role models on our school campuses,” said Kellison.
With safety at the forefront of the district’s plans, educator support, curriculum development and student achievement are also vital.
The district provides a teacher mentor program to support educators new to the field that includes classroom management training. “We appreciate our educators and are committed to supporting their careers,” said Kellison. “There’s an entire team of welcoming professionals who are dedicated to each other and to students’ success.”
Reading fluency is a key component of student success. The district has provided professional learning training for elementary school educators to introduce Enhanced Core Reading Instruction (ECRI). This curriculum promotes foundational literacy skills and demonstrates evidence of improving the reading levels of students.
While a strong curriculum is essential, students’ emotional and physical wellness are important too. There’s a counselor or child development specialist in every school in our district. The district also partners with Evergreen Family Medicine to offer telehealth services. Plus, the district is contracted with Douglas ESD to provide nursing services.
The district finds ways that increase student supports but also offers new experiences that will inspire students to attend and succeed in school. Recent Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) federal funding provided a unique opportunity for the district to help meet these goals.
“At Winston-Dillard we approached this challenge and the increased emergency funding as an opportunity to provide for our students in ways that we have never been able to,” said Kellison. “The district looked for ways to use these funds in harmony with the Student Investment Account (SIA). We sought feedback from our stakeholders on what would be most impactful for students and improve their educational experience, as well as reinforce equity within our school system and music program.”
Music instructors created an extensive plan to improve the music program leading to increased equity in the district and higher rates of student success in music by having musical instruments available. A portion of the ESSER funds were used to purchase and repair instruments.
The vision also includes new construction. Currently, classrooms are being used for administrative offices. These classrooms will be lightly remodeled and used for special education areas and classrooms following the completion of the construction project. The new administrative offices are expected to be complete by the end of the year, which will be commemorated with a community open house. Stay tuned for more details.
These highlights mentioned represent a fraction of opportunities, improvements and success stories within Winston-Dillard School District. To learn more, visit www.wdsd.org