Owner’s representative Monty Guiles said there are still minor “punch items” such as trimming and air conditioning at these sites that still need to be wrapped up, but that Jaynes Construction had finished the necessary work in time for the start of school.
“Jaynes really kicked it in the last three weeks,” Guiles said at the Aug. 20 school board meeting, the first one of the school year.
There’s still a good bit of landscaping to be done on the track encircling the football field, Guiles said. They are also planning to fence in the football field.
Middle school students were set to be back in their classrooms last week. Work on the practice field is now underway, and renovations to the Performance Center are coming up later in the fall.
So far, about $17.4 million of the $24.7 million budget for the whole project has been spent. The project is funded by a Building Excellent Schools Today grant the district received in 2017.
The board and staff talked about possibly hosting an open house at a football game in the near future to showcase the renovations to the community.
Other news:Discussions on the district’s move toward project-based learning threaded throughout the meeting. Mancos recently sponsored a three-day PBL conference in Durango, which was attended by staff and some board and community members.This was Ed Whritner’s first meeting in his new post as PBL coordinator. He told the board he looks forward to getting into classrooms, and spoke to some of the ways the curriculum will be implemented, including: bringing in real-world problems from the community, planning hands-on projects, and supporting students in their problem-solving endeavors.
A big part of implementation will be in the weekly professional development days – the conference offered staff a chance to consider big-picture ideas and projects, but getting there may be trickier.
“It’s one thing to plan a nice, big quarter-long or semester-long project, but it’s another to implement that on a day-to-day basis and still have it align with standards,” Whritner said.
It was also the first meeting for the new high school principal John Marchino. Marchino introduced himself and presented his proposal to implement a 1-to-1 technology plan, which would assign a specific laptop to every student.Right now, Mancos operates under a “classroom computer set” model, meaning laptops are issued on a first-come first-serve basis.
“We don’t have enough computers in each classroom for classroom sets,” he said. This leads to students leaving class to grab computers from other rooms, he said.
A bigger issue, Marchino said, is the difficulty of tracking the laptops, and holding students accountable for damage incurred.
Under his new plan, students in grades seven through 12 would each be checked out one laptop computer, which they will be able to take home. Sixth grade students would also be assigned a computer, but these would remain at school.
He also proposed that if students pay a technology fee for a few years, they could then be allowed to keep their laptops after graduation – which would perhaps be an added incentive to keep the devices in good shape, Marchino said.
The district would then only have to purchase about 30-50 new computers per year, based on graduation rates and the number of incoming students – rather than purchasing a “couple hundred at a time every year” to replace the old laptops, Marchino said.
The board was overall favorable toward the plan, and directed staff to move forward with the logistics.
“We’ve got to teach them responsibility sometime,” said director Tim Hunter.
The Delta and Dolores school districts currently have a 1-to-1 technology policy in place. Marchino shared their technology contracts with the board.