Back to School Blog

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year!  I truly believe that this will be one of the most important years of the Dolores School District in quite a while.  There are a lot of big-ticket issues that will be addressed this year and many important initiatives as well; let’s dig in:

First and foremost, The voters in Dolores School District will vote on a bond to construct a new high school, renovate and convert the current high school into the new middle school, create a secure common space where students can safely gather, provide a new agriculture science lab, provide safe and secure double-vestibule entrances at all new entrance points, create a dedicated bus loop and covered walkways, create a covered entrance for elementary students, Correct Americans with Disabilities Act issues, and improve drainage flow issues from snow melt runoff.  The bond will be valued at 12 to 14 million dollars, depending on latest assessed values, and will be matched, if/when awarded, with a 17 million dollar BEST grant, for a project total near 30 million dollars.  There will be a number of meetings scheduled for more information and additional fliers will be mailed as well.

Student attendance continues to be a top priority in our district and, with the help of the MTSS committee, we will firmly address chronic absenteeism.  Last year, close to 50% of the student body missed 10% of school, that’s 17 days, and many were above 20%, 35 days!  At the high school level, 90% of students that failed one or more classes were considered chronically absent.  This has to end, our students must be in class to pass.  We will work diligently to address issues of absences and how to resolve the problem.

We will be working on improving communication this year as well.  A designated committee has been formed to address a number of communication issues.  We will specifically be working to improve information on the district website, have an up-to-date activity calendar, assist principals in updating campus website pages, publish a monthly newsletter, and remind the Superintendent to write his monthly blog!

Last year we began an instructional improvement initiative called “Get Better Faster” commonly referred to as GBF.  We worked with an outside organization to train our principals and other instructional leaders on how to better deliver instructional content and manage the classroom.  We will be entering year two of GBF and we began by hosting an all-day catchup for our new teacher.  We are committed to continuing GBF and will have a number of workshops this year as we expand our initiative into “data dives” and other improvements.

As most of you remember, during COVID times, most parents and volunteers were restricted from coming into the schools.  Well those days are gone and our doors are again open to visitors.  We are looking to improve our parent participation in our schools and increase our volunteerism this year.  If you are interested, please contact the campus that you would like to help and see how they can get you involved.

Well that’s all I have to share this month.  Hope everyone has a great start to the new school year and we’ll see you soon on campus or at a school event!