At their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 20, the Dove Creek RE-2J school board heard updates about the new elementary school and the Rico annexation, along with providing insight into the new school year, BOCES and more.
New footers and stem walls have been completed, and underground utilities have been installed in the new elementary school, and utilities should be completed by the end of October.
The first concrete pad should be poured in the next couple weeks, and structural steel will be delivered the first week of November. The demolition of the old high school will begin on Oct. 2, and improvements to Memorial Hall will begin this week to prepare for new stucco on the outside of the building. The guaranteed maximum price has been agreed upon, and plans are being made to officially sign the paperwork.
The planning committee for the Rico annexation has been dissolved and an issue committee is being formed to start campaigning for the election. Voters will decide in November whether they’ll keep Rico part of the Dolores County schools or move it to another district such as Telluride.
Both the elementary and secondary teams reviewed science curriculums and gave their updates to the board. The elementary school is having to supplement their current curriculum with outside resources, but they expressed their desire to update the math and ELA curriculum before science is updated.
The secondary school said students are enjoying their curriculum and school leaders feel like it is doing what is needed to properly pass on scientific knowledge to the students.
The board, like Mancos and Dolores at their past meetings, discussed Montezuma Cortez’s application to the state to become their own AU and heard a report on the matter. The update said that BOCES is working through the process of determining what impacts Cortez leaving BOCES would have on the other districts if the state grants Cortez approval of their application to exit.
School leaders spoke of the smooth start to the school year and credited staff for the work they do to get the year off to a good start in the secondary and elementary schools.
“We have had probably the smoothest opening to a school year since I have been principal. That is credited to the veteran staff and their individual classrooms,” the report said.
They noted that one of the school’s focus over the past few years has been classroom management, something that the staff has been working “very hard” on, leading to very few discipline problems so far this year.
The “upper” elementary leadership groups (grades 3-5) have been being “great examples” for younger students, modeling how to be good students and how to behave.
They also shared that on Friday, staff would be diving into data.
The board also celebrated the great level of participation in teacher-parent conferences this year, and the problems being sorted out with the new DIBELS 8 testing that the state requests the school update to.
School safety trainings were completed with the school safety teams, and a stakeholders meeting was held with the community resources to discuss the safety of the school and responding to emergencies at the school.
To help support student needs, the board noted that they may need to consider hiring an additional support person or hire a couple of permanent substitute teachers to provide support and help when needed.
In discussion and action items, the board discussed updating policies and hiring support staff.
The next Dove Creek school board meeting will take place in October.