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Mancos school board discusses snow days and goals at March meeting

The Mancos School Board discussed multiple discussion and action items at their meeting on March 13. (Mancos School Board YouTube)
Board hopes new goals will become part of school culture

At the Mancos RE-6 school board meeting March 13, the board discussed snow days, the next school year’s budget and districtwide goals, along with other discussion and agenda items.

Superintendent’s report

One of the first topics discussed in the meeting was how a survey of Mancos High School students would help gauge whether their academic experience was meeting their expectations.

The board hopes the survey will allow students to honestly convey their feelings to the board and help guide the board on how to change what they’re not happy with.

The board noted many scholarships and jobs look for strong leadership skills, so they hoped the survey would open the door to foster leadership in Mancos students. They suggested having a student representative present at board meetings as well.

Finance report

Business Manager Chrissie Miller told the board she was entrenched in working out the budget for the 2023-2024 school year, and her No. 1 priority was making faculty salaries the best they can be.

She is basing the budget on the expectation that the district will receive $11,000 per student for the next school year, up from the a little more than $10,000 this year.

The budget is due May 31, and Miller noted they will begin passing out contracts to teachers around May 24 or 25.

Treasurer Emily Hutcheson-Brown informed the board after the finance report that the school has been experiencing issues with students vaping on campus, and so they invested in four vape sensing units for $4,500 to help keep the schools and students safe. She said it was disappointing the school had to use funds for that kind of issue instead of textbooks or other materials, but she said the district made the right decision to protect students.

“While I hate that, I’m glad that we’re doing it,” she said.

District goals

As their first discussion item, the board spoke about the new district goals. Vice president Victor Figueroa, who led the meeting in President Pamela Coppinger’s absence, said the board and faculty had been working hard on these goals, and he was very happy with the “amazing feedback” they received.

Hutcheson-Brown echoed Figueroa, saying she was pleased with the staff participation and turnout.

“We’re trying to build better kiddos and district for all,” Hutcheson-Brown noted, adding that the district has a growth mindset that will serve them well.

The goals covered academics, school/district culture, human resources, management relations, board relations and community relations.

They also pointed out these new goals were created to move and grow with the school so they didn’t have to be reevaluated and adjusted each year.

The goals were approved to be moved to action items in April to be adopted for the 2023-2024 school year, and Figueroa thanked the board for taking “this strong step in a good direction.”

Snow days

Because of winter storms this year, schools have canceled classes several days. The board discussed adding days to the school calendar to ensure students receive all the instruction they need for the year.

The superintendent sent surveys out to parents and faculty to try to decide how best to tackle the issue. He said the strongest message received from parents and staff were, “Safety is paramount. Snow days are important.”

However, others have said they should persevere and have fewer snow days, while others suggested virtual school days in which students could complete assignments from home.

The potential dates to replace days lost to snow days are March 31, April 7, April 21, May 5 and May 19. The board will add the question to action items at the next meeting.

Action items
  • The board approved a new approaching standard to ensure “Mancos students will demonstrate mastery and longitudinal growth in reading and math by the end of third grade. All teachers will encourage an interest in reading throughout students’ academic career.”
  • The board approved making April 3-7, 2023, the Week of the Young Child as a way to spread awareness for early child education, learning gaps and thanking educators in Mancos.

“The Mancos board does hereby proclaim April 3-7, 2023 as the Week of the Young Child and encourages all citizens to support and invest in early childhood in Mancos, Colorado,” the action item read.

The next Mancos school board meeting will be Monday, April 17, at 6 p.m.