Community Involvement at the Mountain Valley School Board

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At our new PK-12 campus in Saguache, collaboration was at the core of its design. Students, staff, and community collaborated closely with our architects in crafting an education environment that embraces both our historic town culture and modern learning spaces for tomorrow.

This board has displayed inappropriate conduct by permitting family members to dictate agenda items, entering executive sessions without cause, and actively looking for complaints/negative information about staff. A recall process should take place now.

School Board Meetings

Mountain Valley School Board welcomes community participation at their meetings. You may attend in person or via Zoom teleconference (links are listed on the meeting agenda). All requests to address agenda and non-agenda items should be submitted prior to beginning any meeting; all meetings are open to the public.

PVSchools elects five uncompensated governing board members for staggered four-year terms without compensation, who serve without pay to set district policies while being accountable to both their Superintendent and Cabinet for implementation. In addition, this body approves budgets and assigns salaries to employees of the district.

All governing board meetings are open to the public and typically held on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the District Administrative Center Governing Board Room (unless otherwise noted). Prior to each regular meeting, governing boards hold study sessions on one or more issues more thoroughly before conducting executive sessions in accordance with Arizona state statute.

If you would like to attend one of the board meetings, please reach out to the district office to verify the date and time. All board meetings are recorded according to state and county requirements for record-keeping.

The board website features meeting calendars and minutes from past meetings as well as information regarding upcoming ones, the availability of school board members to answer public queries about any meeting held there, an online comment form for submitting concerns or comments to them directly, email alerts to notify users when new sessions are being scheduled and provides users with policies published by them – providing parents and residents of the school district an excellent resource!

Board Members

School boards are public bodies responsible for overseeing schools. Their primary duty is deciding how public funds in a district should be spent, selecting what curriculum and instruction will be implemented within schools, hiring and firing teachers as needed, and having legal authority for hiring/firing decisions. School boards can often be accused of acting with political motives, so you must understand who these boards represent before casting a vote on them.

Residents in Colorado are discontent with how local school boards are run. In 2021, four conservative members were elected as a slate to the Douglas County school board and took control. They fired former superintendent Cory Wise, which resulted in an $830,000 settlement and lawsuit; additionally, they altered equity policy, which caused many critics to view it as diluting its intent.

The Board of Education is an elected body charged with creating a safe learning environment and offering high-quality education for all of its students. Regular public meetings are scheduled on the DVUSD Governing Board page & BoardDocs site prior to each scheduled date at which concerns and input can be shared with Board members and heard.

At any regular meeting, members of the public may present items not previously covered on the published agenda for consideration by the Board. It may refer the matter directly to the Superintendent or designee for action, take under advisement, or place on future meeting agenda for action/discussion by the Board (Government Code 54954.3).

The board has become too political, losing sight of student learning and professional development for teachers. Furthermore, they feel their focus has shifted too heavily toward defending their actions against accusations of unethical behavior or violating state Sunshine Law governing public bodies, paying for candidate-position flyers to be distributed at churches or candidates forums in districts where specific candidates hold views likely endorsed by their coalition worldview.

Elections

Mountain Valley School District serves students from pre-K to 12th grade. To foster community engagement and participation at its board of education meetings and in its mission and top priority focus areas. There are also after-school programs providing enrichment lessons such as arts, music, Spanish, and speech and debate – great ways to keep children interested and avoid textbook tedium!

There are multiple school board elections this year. One of the most closely followed races takes place in Colorado Springs, where a conservative majority has taken over since 2021 and been embroiled in an uncertain tenure that has seen both superintendent sackings and contentious meetings over matters like student pronoun recognition. Whoever wins this election will remain part of that conservative majority and won’t significantly alter power dynamics within Colorado Springs’ school board system.

Other districts are experiencing more traditional election themes this election cycle. Greeley-Evans, for example, features seven candidates competing for three open seats – communications professional Susan Meek is leading early, but airline captain Andy Jones and lawyer Brad Geiger also make up part of this contest – each advocating for safe schools, recruiting qualified staff members to keep schools running efficiently, building community trust as well as fiscal accountability, transparency, and parental rights.

Pueblo 60 currently features four seats up for election, and Forging the Future is supporting “biblically minded” candidates through its network of churches, encouraging voters to support candidates who believe God, family, and country should all be respected within classroom settings. Other candidates, such as former teacher/administrator Robin Reeser, may run on more traditional public school issues.

Voting will take place on November 8, 2022, and all ballots must be returned to the county auditor’s office before polls close on that day. For voters living in Ridgeway District, voting takes place at Mountain Valley Leatherwood Club located on North Fork Road in Collinsville.

Policy

School board members are elected to represent their community by advocating on behalf of students, teachers, and administrators. Beyond local representation, school board members serve as firm representatives for public education at both the Colorado Capitol with state legislators as well as Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. with U.S. congress members. Their role involves setting policy decisions consistent with state laws while working closely with lawmakers and sharing the challenges and successes of their school systems with them.

School boards act as intermediaries between their districts and state representatives and senators, federal grant programs, county superintendents who offer support and advice, and children, ensuring all have access to quality education. Their responsibilities also include making decisions regarding the direction of the district while making sure every child can benefit from an outstanding education experience.

The school board consists of five elected governing board members serving four-year terms without compensation for their services. Emails, letters, and faxes sent to any member are subject to disclosure under Arizona Public Records Law (A.R.S. SS 39-121).

Mountain Valley schools serve a dual function: teaching students while also acting as the hub of their communities. Therefore, they must reflect its rich history and culture – an idea that has been expressed at many of the BEST grant community meetings held since November 2016. Over 500 community members have come forward with ideas about how the new school could better meet both students’ needs and those of Saguache as a whole.

Mountain Valley School stands as an incredible tribute to collaboration. Its architects worked closely with students, teachers, and community members in Saguache to incorporate as much of its historical culture as possible into its design – such as preserving Fred F. Haberlein’s Cochetopa Pass Buffalos mural, nominated twice for Colorado Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts; additionally, it will showcase another local artist Jim Gratzer who will create another mural dedicated to commemorating Saguache’s rich history.

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