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Aurora Public Schools Board of Education Notes Newsletter

Welcome to the September 2021 edition of the
APS Board of Education Newsletter!

President's Message

On behalf of the APS Board of Education, it is our honor and privilege to welcome you to the 2021-22 school year!

As we all work together to find balance amidst the new normal, one thing is clear: Our APS community is incredibly resilient! We kicked off the school year with our amazing Back to School Event at the Town Center at Aurora. We celebrated our entire community of 38,000 students and made face-to-face connections that were not able to be made last year due to the pandemic.

Together, we are all focused on improving student outcomes and creating unique opportunities for our students. We celebrate the creativity and thoughtful planning of our teachers and district staff to ensure that students have all of the tools needed to be successful this school year.

One of our primary core beliefs is that all students must have equitable access to learning opportunities, technology and environments that support them in reaching their full potential. The work of the APS 2026: Faces of the Future Strategic Plan is ongoing and uplifts the goals and strategies focused on making sure every student has Plans, Skill, Credentials and a Community of Support to drive engagement and achievement.

The Board of Education is intensely focused on specific metrics with targets to equip students with the tools to shape successful futures. Over the last few years, APS has experienced momentum in many areas related to student achievement. The Board has set ambitious SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-focused, and Time-bound) goals to help us drive and monitor success for our students. In our Board meetings, we will focus on three key areas that will help propel broader success for all of our students: Early Literacy, Postsecondary Workforce Readiness (PWR) and Equity. We will also host community engagement sessions throughout the year to ensure that we are upholding the vision and values of the community as they pertain to student outcomes.

Our community is gearing up for elections this Fall, and the elections include four vacancies on the Board of Education. Board Directors are elected by the community to serve four-year terms. Building an effective school culture stems from a positive partnership between the schools and the community at large. The Board of Education serves a fundamental role to represent the vision and values of the community.

As my term comes to an end, it has been my personal honor to serve as your Board of Education President and elected Board Director.

Cheers to an amazing year ahead!

- Dr. Kyla Armstrong-Romero, APS Board President

Key Board News

The Board of Education would like to remind you that we have lifted the in-person restrictions for our meetings. For the 2021-22 school year, our Board meetings will continue in person in the Boardroom at the APS Professional Learning and Conference Center, unless we receive state or federal guidance to reimpose restrictions. Our meetings will also continue to be streamed live on our website boe.aurorak12.org/live for those who wish to view them remotely. Members of the public wishing to address the Board may sign up for in-person or virtual comments. Masks are highly encouraged for unvaccinated members of the public and children under 12 years of age.

You can find other key Board news and additional information about upcoming events and meetings on our website at boe.aurorak12.org.

Out and About - Board Members in Our Schools and Community

Kyla Armstrong-Romero

Grand Opening of Harmony Ridge P-8
It was so exciting to celebrate the much anticipated grand opening ceremony for Harmony Ridge P-8. The beautiful building is in its second school year now and is providing many outstanding opportunities for our students in preschool through eighth grade.

APS Foundation Scholarships flyer
From left: Learning Community Director Zachary RahnBoard President Dr. Kyla Armstrong-Romero, and Principal Nadine Ritchotte assist two Harmony Ridge students (center) as they cut the ribbon during the Harmony Ridge P-8 Grand Opening.

Debbie Gerkin

Back to School Kickoff
It’s so good to be back in school this year, and the August 6 APS Back to School Kickoff is just one indication of that! Board Directors Vicki ReinhardtStephanie Mason and I enjoyed the high energy and laughter all morning long at the Town Center at Aurora, where APS students received backpacks full of school supplies, played games, jumped in bounce houses, received valuable information and enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Chick-Fil-A. Thanks to all our community partners for making this happen!

APS Foundation Scholarships flyer
Board Director Debbie Gerkin assists Aurora West Preparatory Academy Principal Garrett Douglas in handing out backpacks.

Aurora West Back to School Celebration
There was more back-to-school fun at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy on August 11. I had the pleasure of meeting students, teachers, and parents outside for contests such as Float the Boat and Scattergories, as well as creating a Who Am I? puzzle piece and posing with Principal Garrett Douglas in the photo booth. I can’t wait to take up their invitation to go back to see all the great teaching and learning taking place inside!

Students at AWCPA compete to build a boat that holds the most weight before it sinks.

College and Career Center for William Smith High School
Students cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the College and Career Center at William Smith High School on August 24. They spoke enthusiastically of the opportunities it would bring to all William Smith students, whether going to college or starting off on their careers. The center is prominently placed just inside the media center and adjacent to the commons. It will get lots of foot traffic, no doubt!

Students officially open the College and Career Center at William Smith High School.

Grand Re-Opening Celebration at Virginia Court Elementary
I joined Board Director Nichelle Ortiz for the grand re-opening celebration at Virginia Court Elementary School on August 26. Fifth grader Allison Medina, who has been attending Virginia Court since preschool, had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Afterwards, everyone went inside for a scavenger hunt tour of new classrooms and finished off the evening back outdoors with refreshments. Mascot Wiley Wildcat was there, too, of course! I’ll be back soon to see this great community of learners in action and get a personal tour with Principal Kim Pippenger.

Wiley Wildcat gives fist bumps to students on their way into Virginia Court Elementary School.

Marques A. Ivey

Welcome Back to a New School Year
It is awesome to be back to school this year! Although I do not have the pictures, I had the privilege of attending two tennis matches to cheer on the Vista PEAK and Rangeview boys teams. I also watched Vista PEAK beat Rangeview in football. The game was lively and exciting.

Nichelle Ortiz

Welcome Back to School and Visit to Virginia Court
The start of the school year is always such an exciting time for students and staff at APS. I am optimistic that all students will have engaging learning experiences and opportunities for fun and friends, regardless of what may be thrown our way this school year.

Vice President Debbie Gerkin and I had the pleasure of welcoming students, families and staff to the grand opening ceremony at Virginia Court Elementary. The school recently received a building remodel and the addition of two new classrooms thanks to the approval of bond dollars by Aurora voters. I am sure the new art, STEM and outdoor spaces will provide tons of fun and valuable learning for years to come!

APS Foundation Scholarships flyer
Board Vice President Debbie Gerkin and Board Director Nichelle Oritz pose with Wiley Wildcat at Virginia Court Elementary.



September 8, 2021 Edition

Aurora Public Schools

Agendas & Minutes

Upcoming Events

Our Unified Job Description

"The job of the APS Board of Education is to accelerate learning for every APS student, every day. We do our job by advocating for the success of all students through effective governance, serving as good stewards of taxpayer dollars and being responsive to our stakeholders. Our community needs us to do our job."

We Want to Hear from You!

The APS Board of Education typically meets every third Tuesday of the month. Time is set aside at the beginning of each meeting for the public to address the Board on items that are not on the agenda.

If you have questions or comments, please join us at one of the meetings. For the complete schedule of APS Board of Education meetings, visit boe.aurorak12.org/meetings or contact Aurora Public Schools at 303-344-8060, extension 28988.


Aurora Public Schools Board of Education
Educational Services Center 1
15701 E. 1st. Ave., Suite 206
Aurora, 80011

Aurora Public Schools Boardroom
APS Professional Learning & Conference Center
15771 E. 1st. Ave.
Aurora, 80011

Questions or comments? Email us at cpaz@aurorak12.org or call 303-344-8060, extension 28988.

Aurora Public Schols - Every student shapes a successful future