Letter from Mr. deKay

Happy Holidays from the the Ignacio School District,

I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the partnership that the school district has with the Southern Ute Tribe and all of the community stakeholders.  In the past few days, I have been able to attend several school and community events.  Each time I have observed how gracious and accepting our community is with one another.  In my time as Superintendent, I will work to strengthen the partnerships and bring unity within our community.

The district continues to work on its three primary goals this year.  1)  Developing and aligning our school curriculum in meaningful and effective ways. This process has begun and will address every subject at every grade.  Cori Stevens, the school Curriculum Director is guiding this work.  2) Engaging students in each classroom at a high level to ensure academic growth.  Along with teaching strategies, each class will be guided by clear learning targets and success criteria.  Annette Brinkman, a specialist in engagement, is instrumental in the implementation of this work.  3)  Developing meaningful interventions systematically within each school.  Shauna Branch with the support of the building principals has taken the lead role in this effort.  Professional development for each of these goals has been utilized on Fridays each month.

The school district is using two guides to ensure accountability in each of our goals.  The strategic plan is reviewed and discussed monthly with district leaders.  That important work has been instrumental in reviewing school systems.There will be a community meeting in March to review the progress that has been made on the Strategic Plan.  The other guide has been the school's involvement in the Student Centered Accountability Project (S-CAP).

S-CAP is a rural school collaboration that requires participating districts to send teams of educators to other schools for evaluation and feedback.  Ignacio was reviewed in October by educators from all over the state.  The feedback was meaningful and often coincided with the focus of our current strategies for improvement (see goals above).  In turn, we have sent teachers and leaders throughout our district to observe and evaluate the schools in La Veta, Buena Vista, Monte Vista, and La Junta.  This type of collaboration will be invaluable as we continue to move the district forward.

I want to wish each and everyone of you a happy holiday.  I hope that the Christmas season brings comfort, joy, and rest to all parents, students, and staff.  I am looking forward to next semester.

Chris deKay