Yuma-1 has a full agenda for 2020

It is obvious what is up with Yuma School District-1 in 2020.
Anybody heard of a little $32 million expansion/renovation project that will kick into high gear this year?
However, there is still the matter of education and meeting other needs for the school district.
Superintendent Dianna Chrisman said that with passage of the bond issue and successfully applying for a BEST Grant, the district can turn its budgetary focus away from keeping funds available for infrastructure emergencies — such as a boiler going out, or heating and cooling issues — and dedicate money toward curriculum, transportation, equipment and personnel needs.
A lot of time in the spring will be spent toward prioritizing those budget needs for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Chrisman said updating the science curriculum has been on hold the past couple of years because of those pressing infrastructure needs, explaining that a curriculum update costs roughly $200,000, and science is a more expensive than other core subjects. (Language arts and math curriculums were updated a few years ago.)
So look for Yuma-1 to work toward updating the science curriculum later this year.
“Hopefully, we can rearrange and change our focus,” Chrisman said.
Yuma-1 also will be going through updating approval of its career tech programs, with the focus being on lining up the programs with career pathways for students.
The superintendent said a big focus this year will be moving forward with the Sources of Strength program at Yuma Middle School and Yuma High School. The program utilizes identified student leaders, along with trained staff members, to foster inclusion of all students, being a source of help for fellow students who seek it out, or appear in need of some support. While at its core, it is a suicide prevention program, Source of Strength is being utilized in Yuma as an “inclusion” program intended to help make sure no student feels alone.
Both schools have been encouraged by the program’s impact during its first year, and look to build on it in 2020.
As for the $32 million facilities project, one impact already put into place is changes to the 2020-21 school calendar. The Yuma-1 Board of Education already has approved moving the start of school back a couple of weeks to August 31, and moving up the last day of school by about 10 days to May 14, 2021, giving crews more time over the next two summers without students or staff around.
Chrisman said the details on how to still have the same amount of student-teacher contact days, as well as still have the teacher in-service days, will be hammered out in coming months before the actual calendar is approved in the spring.
A small part of the project is dedicated to updates in the junior high wing at YMS, along with reconfiguring the “Kiss and Go” drop-off area in front of YMS and Morris Elementary School. A focus group for public input will be held for that portion of the project on January 17. The district also will host a meeting for local mechanical and subcontractors on January 22.
The coming months will focus on finalizing the design, getting blueprints completed and securing permits.
Chrisman said the hope is to have an official groundbreaking in June.
Then the real fun begins.