What is the Vision?
I am writing to you, the local community, to share the heartfelt thoughts of the directors of the Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 School Board as they were voiced in a recent board meeting. Slaterpaull Architects Inc. is assisting RE-1 to formulate a facilities plan by providing options for the district’s buildings. At our last meeting, Slaterpaull asked each Board member what his or her 5-10 year educational vision was for the district. I found it very powerful and reassuring and wanted the public to know what the “on the spot” responses were from these individuals.
Jack Schuenemeyer: “We roughly have three groups of kids. We have high achievers, folks in the middle, and we have an awful lot of kids that have problems this time of year with reading difficulties. So I think it’s important to create an environment where we bring all of these kids along. I think facilities play a role in that.”
Tim Lanier: “We need rural schools. I see a trend for the rural schools, lots of homes being built. I like the Career Pathways program at the high school. There are lots and lots of jobs that you don’t need college and kids don’t want to go to college. They need education, but they don’t need college.”
Jackie Fisher: “The board’s focus is improving academic achievement for kids. How do we support Standards Based Education which is the vehicle that the district has chosen to do that? Long term do we have facilities that will help learners for the future? We need to have flexibility to be able to teach and learn differently as education changes. I also feel really strongly about local control and that means responding to local needs.”
Diane Fox: “I see our buildings daily. They are archaic and were built long before there were issues with school safety or school violence. There are things that I see that need to be retrofitted or through grants, be built for crime prevention through environmental design. Safe kids are kids that are going to learn.”
Brian Demby: “We have a school system with old schools that all need repairs. It would be wishful dreaming to say we would like to have a new school for each and every community. We live in a wonderful community that is poor in cash, and one that has a large population with no dog in the fight. They don’t have any kids in school. We are going to have to convince our community to buy into this.”
Ann Hight: “It’s not even worth putting band-aids on some of our problems and so I don’t think it would be useful to have that as a choice because that is not moving us forward. I’m really being forward thinking not knowing what the educational system is going to look like because I think we’re on the cusp of change. I think that flexibility in the structures is really important and we as a board and as a district are really pushing differentiation in our teaching, and so I think structures will need to allow that.”
Eric Whyte: “When you look at a building and come into it, you want it to be warm and inviting so when the parents come or the students, they will come in wanting to learn. Some parents came to the buildings for parent teacher conferences and they said, ‘You know, it didn’t look bad. What was wrong with it?’ And I said, ‘That just goes back to the people we have taking care of them. They’re doing the best with what they have.’ But still there’s the underlying fact that there are some deficiencies in our buildings.”
The Board is comprised of 7 individuals who will make the final decision on how to proceed with the options put forward by Slaterpaull. The Board is asking for community input. Ideas and advisement are welcome! The school district’s administration will certainly have input and make recommendations to the Board, but ultimately these 7 elected board members will decide. There will be a Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. on October 26th at the MCHS auxiliary gym to consider the preliminary options from our consultants. At that time, public comments are welcome. The hope is that our community will come and give direction to our consultants as we make progress on our facilities plan. We hope you can join us!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013