Results of District 51 review released

A recently released analysis of School District 51 operations found plenty to celebrate as well as room for improvement.

The district applied for and received a state grant this year to have 10 former Colorado educators spend two weeks in September in the district talking to administrators, teachers, children and parents. The Comprehensive Appraisal for District Improvement (CADI) review resulted in a thick report praising the district’s many alternative academic options and student interventions.

The report also advised the district to further examine the effectiveness of its organizational structure; open communication between schools, teachers and departments; better define academic goals; and commit to high expectations.

The arrival of the report coincides with district plans to formulate a five-year strategic plan for the district that will mark its start date this summer.

Superintendent Steve Schultz said the report will help contribute to the plan’s creation, plus an interim plan that will immediately set goals for the district using information from the review and Colorado Students Assessment Program data.

“The kind of feedback we got is far-reaching,” Schultz said. “It points out some things we can work on now and some we’ll be working on for years.”

The review suggestions aren’t expensive, Schultz said, but they do call for revamping communication and organization in the district along with expecting more of students and instructors.

“It’s going to cause us to rethink how resources are distributed in the district,” Schultz said, adding some jobs or duties may be changed or eliminated for efficiency.

Schultz, Support Services Executive Director Melissa Callahan DeVita and the executive directors of the district’s elementary, middle and high schools, are in the process of formulating interim and long-term plan goals for the district and figuring out ways the district could meet those goals following the review.

Tentative goals formulated by the group for the interim plan include improving curriculum, instruction and assessment; increasing accountability for actions, initiatives and results; improving management of district resources; and streamlining communication.

Schultz said he wants the success or failure of those goals to be clearly measurable and have their progress measured as often as possible.

The district likely will form a steering committee to examine the goals and receive input on them from community members during meetings in the spring, Schultz said.


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