Scott Cooper Superintendent 970-882-7255

Scott Cooper Superintendent 970-882-7255

Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Community,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year! I have enjoyed welcoming everyone back to school this year! Our vision is to provide educational excellence for all students. We will accomplish this through our mission to provide a foundation that fosters personal success for all students through an effective, innovative and positive learning environment. 

Our three main areas of focus:

1. Student Achievement and Measures of Student Learning: We believe that our students will achieve educationally and they will make adequate academic growth every school year.

2. Student Centered Learning Environments: We believe that positive student behavior supports combined with our staff’s positive attitudes will continue to create a bully-free, safe environment for all students and staff.

3. School Funding and Facilities: We believe in providing our students, staff and community with the best facilities while maintaining fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers. 

The construction project is more than half way complete, ahead of schedule and slightly under budget. The locker rooms are completed. The elementary addition will be completed by the end of September. The new Science, Math and VoAg/CTE building will be completed by the end of December. All landscaping will be completed this fall. “Patience, understanding and flexibility,” are the guiding words of our staff this semester as we complete the construction and move into the beautiful new facilities. Our superior staff will continue to work together to maintain safe learning environments for our students throughout this semester of construction. Hopes and dreams for our district drive my work and I want to be able to add yours to the vision, so please do not hesitate to share them with me. I look forward to our future work together.

Sincerely,

Scott Cooper, Superintendent

9/4/2013

We are off to a positive school year thanks to our prepared staff, excited students and supportive parents.  The schools are full of smiling students and staff who are celebrating the return from summer break and embracing thoughtful learning opportunities.  Thank you all for enrolling in Dolores schools.  We are at capacity, maintaining steady enrollment from last year.  “Patience, flexibility, and understanding” is our mantra this school year as we prepare for construction to begin soon.

Construction update:  We have recovered from the FEMA debacle this summer and are back on track with the construction plans.  To view plans and other construction information, please visit our website and look under the pull-down tab titled, “Construction Project.” A few of the big target dates for completion are:

·      June 2014, Locker rooms

·      August 2014, Elementary connection and classrooms

·      December 2014, Vo Ag/ CTE facility and science classrooms

Upcoming parent and/or community engagement opportunities:

·      September 5th @ 6:00-8:00pm: Open House, parents visit our schools

·      September 10th @ 7:00pm: Town Hall meeting with our school board

·      September 17th @ 4:00-5:30pm: 1338 Council/District Advisory and Accountability Committee

·      September 25th @ 7:00pm: School Board meeting

·      October 4th @ 2:30 Homecoming Parade and 7:00 Football Game!

Do you value accountability, safety and budgets?  If you said yes, please consider joining our 1338 Council, also known as the District Advisory & Accountability Committee (DAAC).  Our first meeting of this school year will be on September 17th from 4:00-5:30pm in the Board Room located at 100N 6th ST, Dolores. 

Hopes and dreams for our district drive my work and I want to be able to add yours to the vision, so please do not hesitate to share them with me.  I look forward to our future work together.

Sincerely,

Scott Cooper, Superintendent  

 

Welcome to the 2013-2014 School year

(Posted 8/12/13)

The school year of 2013/ 2014 is an exciting time for students, staff, and parents. Our vision for the Dolores School District is to harness this energy that will lead us on our continually improving path of excellence for all students, striving to provide engaging, safe, and positive learning environments.

The new construction project has been redesigned after a grueling summer of construction headaches.  It has proven more difficult than expected to remodel and rebuild school facilities that attach to multiple generations of architecture planted in a flood plain.  Like most construction projects, our new school facilities will take longer to build and cost more than expected.  After making the final details of our redesign to maintain the integrity of our grant and bond, we will break ground this school year.  “Patience, understanding and flexibility,” are the mantra for our staff this school year.  Our superior staff will work together to maintain safe learning environments for our students throughout this year of construction.  

The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) results are available to the public August 14 growth.  Be proud of the high marks, because you are part of the team that boosted learning opportunities in our community. Whether you were the teacher in the classroom, a supportive staff member, or a parent reading to your little ones at night and helping your teenager with algebra, you made a positive difference and deserve to celebrate.  Remember, TCAP is just one piece of the assessment puzzle.  

Hopes and dreams for our district drive my work and I want to be able to add yours to the vision, so please do not hesitate to share them with me.  I look forward to our future work together.

Sincerely,

Scott Cooper, Superintendent

 

January 13, 2013

 

Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Community,  

            Providing Dolores students with a safe learning environment is one of our top priorities. The safety and security of our students and staff has risen to the forefront of our daily thinking in this post-Sandy Hook World we live in. I hope our parents and community can rest assured knowing that our schools are as safe as possible. Since the terrible tragedy in Connecticut, we have reevaluated all of our safety procedures and precautions. Law enforcement professionals have joined our safety discussions including touring our campus on multiple occasions to provide us with safety improvement feedback and to be a greater presence on school grounds. Thanks to our supportive community passing our school bond in November, many of our weakest safety concerns will be solved this summer and next year through the reconstruction of many classrooms and buildings.

              On February 12th, during the day and into the evening, we will host a design charrette inviting our community and staff to comment on possible design details planned for our new construction. Later that evening, beginning at 7:00pm, our supportive school board will discuss many topics including, but not limited to: concurrent enrollment, social promotion, drop out safety nets, student-athlete scholarships and recruiters, school resource officers, Educator Effectiveness work, and more. There is a lot to discuss, so some items may be tabled until the next meeting on February 26th. On February 19th, beginning at 4:00pm, we are hosting our monthly District Accountability Advisory Committee (DAAC) meeting. This is a great opportunity for parents and community to join teachers and principals in discussions around safety, academics and budgets. Currently, the DAAC will be creating a parent survey to solicit feedback on district-wide issues. We hope to deploy this survey during the parent/teacher conferences in late February.

            Recently, there has been a lot of commentary in board meetings, letters to the editors, Albuquerque news, and on social media about our administrations’ actions to uphold and improve the safe learning environments at our schools. We have posted all of the policies supporting our actions on the District’s website along with a link to the SPIRIT curriculum provided by the US Justice Department and the letter from our MS/HS principal, Mr. Brandon Thurston, to parents explaining events and actions prior to the Winter Break. If you have questions, or concerns about the actions taken here in Dolores schools, I encourage you to read the information on our website. The short answer is, school administration has to provide the safest learning environment possible for students and staff. If that includes the banning of symbols that disrupt the educational process by igniting fear, hatred and violence, then we will do so. To end on a positive note, this public commentary has produced a conversation among students, staff, parents, and community beyond the boundaries of the Dolores School District that will hopefully provide our wonderful community with a refreshed understanding and a greater acceptance of diversity. “Dolores is too great for hate!”

 Sincerely,

Scott Cooper, Superintendent 

 

 

December 12th, 2012

Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Community,

In light of a recent letter to the editor posing questions and concerns about how our school district spends money, I thought it would be helpful to respond with factual information.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes an increase of 2.2% for K-12 education funding. Providing this increase holds, school districts will be encouraged to utilize 20% of this increase in funding for full-day kindergarten and other early childhood programming. In light of this, we will be proposing to the school board that we no longer charge for full day kindergarten, effective next month. I have been a strong supporter of full day kindergarten since my days as a kindergarten teacher at Beech Street Kindergarten. Additionally, we will propose a modest, appropriate increase to all employee salaries. Salaries and benefits have been frozen off and on during the past several recession years. Attracting and retaining the highest quality teachers, support staff, directors and principals will result in continued student progress.

The Dolores School District has been slowly building a healthy reserve over the past several years. Our reserve, combined with proposed increases in state funding, has poised our district to be in a financially solid position.

Our voters supported our bond to fund $3.47 million to remodel and rebuild nearly a third of our K-12 facilities. THANK YOU!  The approval of our bond allowed the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant ($2.6 million) to be awarded. Together these funds will provide our students and staff with much needed, new facilities. The use of these funds will be closely watched by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). These funds can only be used for the construction and remodeling of our school facilities as outlined in our BEST Grant application, which is part of the Master Plan found on our district website, www.dolores.k12.co.us .

To address some specific concerns, I will detail some recent history of our facilities. The old administration modular on top of the hill was falling apart. The ceiling was caving in, mice were scurrying around, walls were shifting, windows could not close properly and the heating bill for that one structure was more than our current heating bill at our new location with four buildings. In addition, the San Juan Board of Collaborative Educational Services (SJBOCES) partnered with us to pay for 1/2 of the present location/ property and utilities. The land was donated by the Forest Service to our district (a value of $209,000 saved) and the purchase price of $104,000 (to be paid over a three year period) was then split with SJBOCES ($52,000). Also, the town of Dolores and community benefits (tax revenue, improvement of abandoned buildings, and greater accessibility for our schools and community) from our use and improvements to these historic buildings.

We are looking into buying the old town maintenance lot, another smart business decision. The appraised value is down to only $4/sq ft. This lot would provide a safe place for construction crews to park their heavy equipment and the storage of building supplies during the next two years of construction. The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority. We need to maintain a safe learning environment on a crowded campus during the construction of our new facilities. Beyond the construction period, we would move our maintenance equipment, trucks, gas, diesel, paints, etc. off our campus and onto this new location. This will create a safer environment for students and staff.   

I hope that this information helps everyone understand the facts and dispels any rumors. If you would like more facts and information, as always, please email, call, or stop by and visit with me. I'm more than happy to explain any and all decisions our district makes to benefit the quality of education for our students, providing the decisions are not confidential/personnel decisions.

Thanks for your support!

Scott Cooper, SuperintendentMay 3, 2012Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Community,

          The final month of this school year has arrived with many exciting and engaging learning opportunities accomplished and continuing through our final day of instruction, May 25th.  A lot of effective change has occurred this school year and I wanted to thank the many supportive individuals and groups who have risen to meet our challenges head on, and have contributed to what is best for our students.

            Our PTA and our Booster Club have grown in membership and strength to provide our students and staff with exceptional financial and emotional support through this year. Our diverse, thoughtful, student-focused school board has stood united through challenges and celebrations this school year, and I thank them for their devoted support. There are several students, parents, and staff who have lead collaborative conversations with our colleagues and community to produce positive support for our schools. I thank you all, for there is not one person, or one group that can accomplish the greatness we have collectively produced for our students this year with the best education possible!

            During the past couple of months, interview teams have been selecting top-notch instructional leaders and enthusiastic teachers to join our district next school year. Please visit our website at www.dolores.k12.co.us for up to date information on job vacancies, sporting events, and district initiatives.

            One of our successful initiatives was the calendar committee’s work to develop an instructional calendar with professional learning community time built into each week for our professional teachers to thoughtfully discuss instructional strategies using student data. We are meeting with our paraprofessionals this week to discuss planning activities and options for students who might need programming during early release Wednesdays next year. We will be bringing these ideas to the District Accountability and Advisory Committee at their next meeting on Tuesday, May 15th at 4:30pm, at the District’s Professional Development/Board room. If you are interested in contributing to the program planning for early release days, please join us.  

            Thanks again for your support. Together we will continue to provide the best for our students everyday.

 Sincerely,

 Scott Cooper, Superintendent