Lori Haukeness, superintendent of the Montezuma Cortez Re-1 School District, has announced that the retired high school has entered full abatement, and demolition could begin in a few months.
“Basically, we are at the point where we will be monitoring it and adjust as needed, and so the timeline is roughly three to four months for the abatement,” Haukeness said during Tuesday’s monthly board meeting. “Once it gets fully abated, we will have a clean building, and then it will be demolished quickly.”
She also brought a resolution from the city of Cortez to the board that stated that the city planned to purchase the retired school property for $354,000, for use as a park.
School board President Jack Schuenemeyer said that the board would discuss it in a private, executive session and consider the offer at an open session at the next board meeting.
“It is just really exciting to get to the point that we can talk about what the potential could be for that land,” Haukeness said. “The city is wanting to repurpose that for a park, and we are lacking a park in that part of town.”
New policy on absenteeism is discussedThe district’s target attendance rate is 95 percent, but according to Montezuma-Cortez High School Principal Jason Wayman, the current average is 91.25 percent, up from 87.6 a year ago.
The senior class had the highest absenteeism.
“It trickles down from there from the juniors to sophomores to the freshman almost every year,” Wayman said. “Last year was my lowest attendance rate in my five years as principal at 87.6 percent. ”
“The thing that has been added since 2013 is the term ‘chronic absenteeism,’” said Porter. “That was not a big issue back then, but it is now.”
Porter cited research showing that an absentee rate of 10 percent results in the increased likelihood that a student will struggle academically.
The board at large was concerned with the policy on a case-by-case basis.
“I appreciate the fact that we want kids in school,” Schuenemeyer said.
“But let’s also use a little bit of common sense and not punish somebody who is a good student just because they have exceeded the number of days by two or three, which in some cases might be the fault of the parents.”
The new policy was tabled for further revision by the committee after some disagreement and discussion from the board. The board discussed a new policy in September.
The board also ...Replaced Pete Montano as director of School District E with Tammy Hooten. Montano announced his resignation in August.“The board selected Tammy Hooten at a special meeting, and we are very pleased to have Tammy be a board member,” Schuenemeyer said.
Discussed teacher vacancies in the school district.Assistant Superintendent Dan Porter reported four resignations this month.
“Out of the four, one is staying with us ... changing positions,” Porter said. “We have lost two math (teachers) at the middle school and social studies. This will be my daughter’s fourth social studies teacher this year.”
The district also lost a new bus driver, who has resigned.
Announced that the school district might be “off the clock” as soon as November.The district on Monday submitted a request to the Colorado Department of Education to reconsider its accreditation status and expects to hear about its appeal in mid-November, according to Carol Mehesy, director of School Improvements and Grants.
The district is 1.6 points away from moving off the clock, according to preliminary ratings released Aug. 25 by CDE.
Announced that the district’s yearly audit is ahead of schedule. “It is going very well,” said Carla Hoehm, director of finance. “We haven’t unearthed anything that looks surprising.”
The district aims to bring the audit to the board at the November board meeting.