Important Updates from the School Board Meeting Held on 4/9

Dolores School District RE-4A School Board met last night and made some important decisions. It is reassuring to know that we have a board that is very concerned about our community and the future of the district. Below are the highlights of the meeting:

  • No return to face-to-face instruction this school year: In an effort to provide consistency to the current learning process, the board approved the recommendation by the administration of each school to approve completing the school year with remote learning. If the current stay-at-home order is lifted and the social distancing is no longer needed, we will have many of the culminating activities at the end of the school year. This would include graduation, awards ceremonies, elementary picnic events, etc. There are plans underway to have virtual events for some of these activities and more information will follow.
  • Interim Secondary Principal Announced: The district leadership very carefully followed the process of hiring in the selection of a secondary principal. The hiring committee was selected according to policy and utilized a lottery drawing of teachers and parents. The committee interviewed eight candidates and presented their finalist to the board. The finalist was Mr. Justin Schmitt, current Dean of Students. The board, in an effort to honor the committee selection, has conditionally approved the final selection of Mr. Schmitt with an interim principal position. The board agreed that Mr. Schmitt was a good fit and choice; however the future and risk to the district must take priority. It was therefore determined that the position would be terminated if the conditions set were not met. Mr. Schmitt is currently going through an unfortunate legal situation due to former employment with an educational corporation in California. He is party to a corporate-wide legal action from the State of California involving nine leaders. The final results of the entire situation are pending and it is expected that Mr. Schmitt will be able to put this behind him (and his family) soon; however, the board is very determined not to incur additional risk to the district. Should Mr. Schmitt become the secondary principal, the committee believed he would offer the secondary staff and students the consistency and leadership the school needs. He is a local “hometown” man who is a graduate of Dolores. He knows the community and has strong relationships with staff and students. He leads with compassion and strength as a knowledgeable educator. The offer of this conditional contract as interim principal will be presented to Mr. Schmitt and it will be his decision if he wishes to accept.
  • RATIO Design Selected to Begin Work on Site Selection and Campus Design: The board approved the proposal submitted by RATIO Design to do the work in providing property surveying and testing in order to present to the board options for the best future site of the district campus. There are three properties under consideration. They also accepted this firm to do the design for the campus. This is the same firm that did the previous master plan concept.
  • Board Did Not Approve a Marketing Firm: In an effort to be sensitive to our community during this difficult time, the board opted to hold off on any plans to work on preparations for a bond initiative. The board wisely chose to wait and see how the current situations settle. The economic status of each community member was at the heart of their decision.