Today more than 32,000 students started classes at Aurora Public Schools. The fleet of more than 135 buses drove more 5,500 miles and transported nearly 11,000 students. More than 16,000 students ate school lunches.
New APS Superintendent John L. Barry experienced what a first day of school is like for a typical student. He started his day at 5:30 a.m. at the APS Transportation Department where he rode a bus to pick up students for school. Barry visited schools, ate breakfast and lunch with students and took time to "Share the View" with parents, staff and community members.
Barry held a community meeting to "Share the View" on Aurora Public Schools. Speaking to parents, elected officials, staff and community members, Barry issued several challenges to the audience to make a difference in the lives of students. "Our goal is to make APS the lead school district in the state. We can't do it alone. We need the help of the entire community," Barry said.
Barry issued the following challenges:
- Barry challenged himself and the APS Board of Education to develop a solid strategic plan that builds on what has been done and gets APS ready for the next three to five years at the end of his first 90 days on the job.
- Students: Please accept the challenge to read 25 books. Barry promised the first 100 classes, “high fives” or prizes from Barnes and Noble, Country Buffet and Pizza Hut for their success.
- Teachers: Please accept the challenge of 100 teachers earning their LDE (Linguistically Different Education) certificate of completion in one year's time through the University of Colorado at Denver or Regis University.
- Principals: Please accept the challenge of increasing the percentage of proficient students in all CSAP categories by 3 percent.
- Parents: Please accept the challenge of being “teacher for the day” and spending one full day at your child’s school
- Business leaders: Please accept the challenge of providing leadership training for our staff.
- Elected officials: Please accept the challenge of being leaders who are readers. We ask you to visit one school and read to our students.
- The Aurora Education Association, the APS teacher’s union, also joined Barry in issuing a challenge. AEA is asking teachers to make one home visit this year with a student. When they do this, they’ll take a Borders Gift Certificate.
Barry asked the community to “be bold, be courageous, and have visions of fire.”