Kremmling " Conversation with … Jeff Perry, West Grand schools superintendent
July 29, 2008
West Grand School District Superintendent Jeff Perry isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
As the start of school approaches, he is doing his part to pitch in with capital improvements while preparing next week’s board agenda. On Monday, he took a few minutes to talk about how the district has progressed and his outlook for the upcoming school year.
What are some of the changes you have seen since you started as superintendent?
Some of the more significant changes that we’ve seen, of course, is the creation of the new PK-8 School. We had two schools, an elementary school and a middle school, which were both in pretty old buildings, so that piece has probably been one of the most significant pieces. We’ve also done a lot of work in terms of capital improvement needs. We put a brand new roof over the high school, which was pretty significant because we have had a lot of structural and engineering problems with that roof.
We’ve done quite a bit of work on curriculum in terms of aligning our curriculum with the state standards. … We’ve increased a great deal and made a lot of advancements in technology. (We) put a lot more computers into the classrooms … to better improve instruction.
What other changes would you like to see?
The thing that we want to continuously work on is improving the instructional program, making sure that we increase student achievement. We want to make sure that we are serving the needs of this community, parents and students, and we also want to continue our efforts to improve the working environment for teachers and staff and making sure that people feel this is a good place to live and work.
What are some of the benefits of having the new school, and having all the children together?
It’s more efficient to operate when you have one principal. I think the communication can be better … The transition from elementary to middle school is not as difficult because kids already know the procedures. It allows us to consolidate some staff members and operate more cost efficiently.
Do the kids like being together?
We haven’t heard any serious complaints from anybody. It really seems to have worked out well … The issues of the middle school kids and the elementary school kids kind of harassing each other, or some of those types of things, we have not really seen or heard.
What will happen to the old school buildings and property?
Right now we do have a contract on the middle school. So, hopefully we will be able to sell that particular piece of property.
We demolished the (elementary school) and put a playing field on top of that … It’s going to be a soccer field/football field/playground area.
Is enrollment up this year?
“We do know we have one of our largest kindergarten classes coming in … Enrollment has kind of dropped off a little bit each year ” this we won’t know until the fall.
Do you have any goals for the school year?
We do have several goals. We’re going to finalize those goals when we get the teachers back in the fall. One of the things we want to do, of course, is to finish all of the capital projects that we have going on right now.
The second thing is we really need to work with the (K-12) writing program a little bit … We want to make sure we have the right curriculum in place, that we’ve got the right instructional methods and strategies being used in the classrooms.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I love the community. This is really a great place to work. We have a lot of people who are hard workers, have a lot of dedicated teachers and administrators. We’ve got a super (school) board to work with.