A Look into the State of the District

State of the District logo

By: Dr. Marcus Lewton
DPS Superintendent

I was walking through an elementary school last week, and a kindergartener stopped me in the hallway. This little girl with glasses and pigtails pointed me out and said I know who you are! I stopped and said you do, well, who am I? At that moment, I was somewhat proud of myself for being known in schools. I like it when kids know who I am. She looked at me with a squinted-up nose and said you bought cookies from me.

Amidst the chaos of today's world, it's nice to know that our children and our community are full of good people. A five-year-old that remembers a face and can engage and communicate with an adult is an important skill that has not gotten easier for our youth. 

Recently, while creating our State of the District, I was reminded of all our accomplishments and how great of a community we live in. I am proud of our school district for the work our staff and students have accomplished.

Our presentation highlighted numerous achievements across various fields, including athletics, academic competitions, and significant individual accomplishments by staff and students.

Last year, the district celebrated state championships in gymnastics and softball, along with notable performances in girls' wrestling and cheerleading. Individual student achievements were also spotlighted, with numerous students earning prestigious accolades in state and national competitions, ranging from FFA and TSA to SkillsUSA.

A key focus of the presentation was the district's strategic plan, aiming to enhance educational outcomes and school environments. Goals include increasing proficiency in 3rd-grade reading and 8th-grade math by significant margins over the next few years and improving the Choice Ready metric, which assesses students' preparedness for post-secondary success. 

I am proud that our school board has stressed growth in math, reading, and choice-ready graduates. Although we are always looking for improvement, it is important to note that we met our increased goals last year. This would not have happened without the hard work and important decisions made by educators. 

The district also presented a balanced 2022-2023 school year budget and a detailed breakdown of annual expenses and revenue sources. Facility updates and capacity management were discussed, noting the district's effective maintenance of buildings and the plan to address growing student populations through strategic investments.

Looking ahead, DPS outlined several initiatives, including completing the SWCTE Building C this summer, streamlining procurement processes, enhancing safety in our buildings, and planning for accreditation and a new strategic plan for 2026-2030. The district remains committed to continuous improvement in all areas to ensure "Success for all" as our guiding vision.

Overall, Dickinson Public Schools is in great shape, and I believe we will continue to see future success. I invite you to view the presentation on our website or the Dickinson Public Schools YouTube channel.

After being surprised by this little girl's memory of me, I asked her what kind of cookies I bought. She replied immediately with Samoas and Tagalongs. I can't remember what I ate last night for supper, but this girl remembered my Girl Scout cookie addiction, and she was right. Tagalongs go well with milk, and I freeze the Samoas. 

Dickinson sure is a great place to live.