MONTE VISTA—The Monte Vista School Board entered into a targeted district improvement partnership with the Flippen Group at their March meeting.
Monte Vista has been identified as a Priority Improvement District by the Colorado Department of Education because they have not met graduation rate requirements and they have not performed at minimum required levels in academics.
Although the CDE designation could be seen as a negative mark on the school, Superintendent Robert Webb has found some hope in the title.
He believes that it helps the district to identify things they can do to help students succeed in their education. It also helps the schools access funding for programs, like those offered by the Flippen Group.
The school has previously tried to address some of the issues on their own, but without the additional funding and support they did not meet CDE requirements. Those actions did, however, provide them with information that may be helpful in their work with the Flippen Group.
Webb says there are four major strategies that the group will implement to help improve the school systems. They will begin by helping the staff to create more engaging and personalized lessons for students. Second, they will help to build leadership skills in the staff members, enabling the program to continue with or without direct contact with the group. Third, they will work on adjusting the school’s graduation requirements to include workforce readiness and other parts. The final step is to examine why students are not graduating on time.
Flippen Group will come to the school and help, “improve the whole system,” according to Webb. They will work with the district to collect and analyze data as well as assisting in professional development.
During their first visit to the school Flippen Group representatives will observe and assess the teachers. The information collected during that trip will be used to put together a profile they will then use to help layout a plan to improve those areas where the school is struggling.
The group’s program focuses on “capturing kids' hearts,” said Webb. He believes that their work with the district can help teachers and staff learn to encourage students. Their goal is to, “keep the kids wanting to learn.”