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Durango school board seeks conversation with community

By The Durango School District 9-R Board of Education

The Durango School District 9-R Board of Education plays a key role in the education of our students.

We recognize that our most important mission is preparing students to find success once they complete their K-12 education. This may involve going to college, going into the workforce or pursuing additional training in a trade or the military.

Regardless, the educational system we operate must ensure that all students find success. It is our privilege to see firsthand those successes in progress at each school board meeting, when students from each school are recognized for their accomplishments, together with staff members who are highlighted for their contributions in helping students achieve.

In the last six months, three of the five seats on the board have changed, bringing us three new pairs of eyes to reflect and look forward with. We recognize that this is a good time to reach out and further engage our community. To do our jobs well, we must meet community needs and expectations. To do that, we need to know what your needs and expectations are. While the district offers a variety of methods to communicate, we want to further extend opportunities for direct communication with us as well.

The board is charged with setting clear expectations for our Durango 9-R team with regard to how we operate and what results we achieve. We do this through policy that is established and monitored on a regular basis. Once the board sets expectations, they are turned over to the staff who are hired to do the work. Our superintendent, Dan Snowberger, is charged with carrying out these policies and achieving the expectations through his guidance and oversight of the team.

We hope to establish two-way conversations where both community and board members speak and listen, where celebrations and concerns, ideas and dreams, hopes and fears, wish lists and “right-now” ideas are shared. To this end, the board is planning a series of “Coffee and Conversation” gatherings for you to come and engage in conversations, not forums, with us. We will be holding these sessions on a continuing basis in different venues and at different times of the day. Keep an eye on our website for that schedule.

For those of you who cannot join us, there are a variety of ways to communicate:

All board members can be reached by email at schoolboard@durangoschools.org. Our phone numbers are on our website, http://bit.ly/2rj5Tz9. We welcome written correspondence as well, which can be sent to: 201 E. 12th St., Durango, CO 81301. All correspondence to the board is acknowledged at our regular meetings, which are generally held on the third Tuesday of the month in the Board Room at the Administration Building on 12th Street. The regular meetings also include a “Public Participation” time, providing a chance for community voices to be heard. This opportunity is not incorporated into the board work sessions (held on the first Tuesday of the month), when board members roll up their sleeves and learn more from staff about key instructional and operational issues occurring in the district. Work sessions are open to the public, however, and they consistently provide essential background information for decisions made at the following regular meeting.

We are exceptionally proud of the 9-R team and our role in supporting the important work of the district and appreciate any opportunity to share that with you.

The members of the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education are Shere Byrd, Joe Kusar, Stephanie Moran, Mick Souder and Nancy Stubbs.