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Lori Haukeness: The design team ignites

What aspirations and skills would the community like to see in the students who graduate from Montezuma-Cortez High School?

This will be the focus of a design team made up of community businesses, school staff, students and higher education.

This team will work together to create a community graduation profile, which will be incorporated into the graduation pathways work that the high school has been focused on, to ensure graduates finish their K-12 education with the content knowledge and career/technical education skills needed to be successful.

Through a very competitive process from the Colorado Education Initiative, Montezuma Cortez School District RE-1 was one of eight districts in Colorado chosen to participate in the Homegrown Talent Initiative.

HTI is a statewide partnership that supports communities to create homegrown, work-based learning programs aligned to the needs of local communities. The outcome of the work is to build homegrown opportunities and pathways to serve the unique needs of business and industries in our community. The community design team will focus on these essential outcomes:

Create community leadership and design teams made up of K-12, business and higher education leaders.Build a high-quality profile of our high school graduates that aligns with our community’s values.Expand the high school’s career/technical pathways and local employment opportunities, which will lead to additional career opportunities.Visit and learn from school districts and communities across the state that already have well-documented, successful innovations already underway in their communities.Apply for an additional three years of funding to launch and support local business in structured internship programs.One component of the district’s strategic plan is to create a successful partnership between the school district and community. I would like to thank all the community partners that have committed to dedicating time to this important work for our students. There will be a section on the district’s website that will provide updates to the committee’s work for the community to share and weigh in on the process.

I am excited to have this opportunity to improve education and opportunities for all of our students and to address the needs of our community.

Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at lhaukeness@cortez.k12.co.us.

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