The Montezuma-Cortez Re-1 School Board on Sept. 20 gained new information about its schools’ status on the state’s accountability clock and announced that it has hired a high school principal and received a bid to repair the football field.
The most pressing issue was revealed during a presentation by the Colorado Board of Education’s transformation manager, Andy Swanson.
The Colorado Department of Education’s accountability clock was created under the Education Accountability Act of 2009 to help schools improve student performance and workplace and college preparedness.
Schools that don’t meet state performance standards are placed on the accountability clock. If a school is on the clock for five years, the state school board determines potential pathways for the school, including new management, conversion to a charter, closure, reorganization or consolidation.
The Montezuma-Cortez district has been on the clock for two years because of low participation, according to Swanson.
Mesa Elementary, which is heading toward its fifth year of the accountability clock, could face a state action plan if it is still on the clock in 2023.
Four other schools have been on the accountability clock for two years – Battle Rock Charter School, Children’s Kiva Montessori School, Cortez Middle School and Southwest Open High School. Battle Rock and Kiva charters are on the accountability clock partly because of insufficient state data.
Schools may apply for grants to help them improve performance.
Superintendent Tom Burris announced that assistant principal Emily Moreland has been named principal of Montezuma-Cortez High School. She replaces Tom Graves, who was on the job for two weeks.
Burris also announced that HVAC systems are being installed at Cortez Middle School and Beech Street preschool site at $3.2 million each. The new roof at Mesa Elementary is “99% complete,” he said, and the district should receive $20,000 back from the project.
M-CHS adviser Tai Rogers announced that about 150 students have enrolled in his class , which is registered with National Gear Up Week, Sept. 26-30.
The program helps ensure “underserved students have the opportunity, skills, and knowledge to successfully pursue education and training that will enable them to achieve their career and life goals.”
Director of Finance Kyle Archibeque, responding to concerns that athletes could be injured on the uneven football field, said the school has received a quote to add topsoil to level the field and expects a second quote.
Archibeque also said the district will try to salvage school supplies and equipment left at Manaugh Elementary after its closure.
Eleven district staff positions have been filled, and seven substitute teachers have been hired.
Other items approved by the board:
- The Montezuma School to Farm Project will continue for the 2022-2023 school year.
- The district will opt out of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance program.
- The district will buy a snowplow attachment for $9,546.80.
- The district will accept a $9,461 donation from the LOR Foundation and a $10,000 donation from the New Opportunities Foundation. Kemper Elementary is applying for a $3,000 grant from the Onward Legacy Foundation.
The next school board meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m.