As the Montezuma-Cortez School District begins the work of crafting a strategic plan to guide it through the next three years, district leaders are seeking more participation from the public.
To begin the process, the board of education will meet on April 7 to outline questions that board members hope will elicit honest and constructive feedback for the district. Then, over the next six weeks, RE-1 will convene multiple focus groups that will include representation from a broad cross-section of the community, in order to gather the most complete information possible. RE-1 is seeking participation by such groups as local employers, retirees, Montezuma-Cortez High School graduates throughout the years, parents, teachers, active community members and Ute Mountain and Navajo tribal members.
Through what the board hopes will be visionary discussions of education and student well-being, the focus groups will create outcomes for the strategic plan.
The next phase of the effort will involve encouraging ongoing community engagement to support the strategic-plan goals. How can community members team up with RE-1 to help educate the community’s children? Many such partnerships already are in place, and the district greatly appreciates the public’s participation. Local educators know, though, that the community has a wealth of other ideas, as well as the energy to help put them into action as part of a coordinated plan that will move the district forward.
RE-1 faces challenges, but it also benefits from the vision and talents of the broader community, as well as the determination of people from all walks of life to help the school district provide a high-quality educational experience for all its students. Working together, we can tackle our challenges, set goals, and develop strategies for achieving those goals.
There will be focus groups targeted by community interest groups as well as several open community forums to allow the entire community the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions. I hope you will be willing to share your ideas with the school district.
Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Superintendent Haukeness graduated from Montezuma-Cortez High School and has been a dedicated leader in Montezuma-Cortez schools for 22 years. Re-1’s’s regular education column will appear in the Journal on the fourth Friday of every month.