*Note - This was sent embedded in an email, which included an attachment from Re1.

Dear Kiva Community,

The Board would like to share the following information from tonight's Board meeting. Please see the draft minutes as well, which are hyperlinked below.

The following information was shared publicly during our meeting tonight:

We would like to preface this meeting with a clarification about the meeting with RE-1 School District (the District) on November 30, 2018. The meeting was scheduled between the Children’s Kiva Montessori Elementary/Middle School (E/M S) and the District to discuss a “just in case plan”. This was immediately after the asbestos information shut down our school, and as we promised our community, we wanted to make sure we had plans A, B, and C in place. The meeting was originally designed to be a proactive effort in the case that something else unexpected occurred. The way this meeting was presented in the local newspaper was an inaccurate reflection of what the meeting was designed for and not what the District represented to The Journal.

 

With all of that said, two E/M S Board members and Alexia Hudson-McGrath, IHOS, met with the District on Friday, November 30, 2018. During this meeting Lori Haukeness, Re-1 School District Superintendent, Carol Mehesy, Re-1 Charter Liaison, and two RE-1 Board members reported that they continue to have serious concerns about our school and are worried about the Charter’s future. These concerns include: financial stability, academic performance, and reduced student enrollment. Due to the level of these concerns, they asked us to have the E/M S Board of Directors consider surrendering our Charter. They would like us to let them know our decision in time for the next RE-1 School Board meeting on December 11, 2018.  We have been told that in this meeting a decision will be made concerning our Charter Contract, whether to revoke our contract due to breaches and the likelihood of future breaches in the areas mentioned above.

If the RE-1 School District Board of Directors votes to revoke our Charter Contract and this is approved by the majority of their Board, we would then be given a timeline to come into compliance and an appeal that could delay revocation of the Charter until February 2019.

The District has proposed that if we decide to surrender our Charter, our students would have the option to enter RE-1 Schools through a collaborative effort between E/M S and the District. They propose this take place in January, immediately after the winter break. We have been told that the District will make every effort to allow placement in the district school of choice. Please see the accompanying letter from Superintendent Lori Haukeness for more details. Ms. Haukeness further stated that this would also include open houses and that a buddy system would be implemented in each school to support each student’s transition.

Following are additional details in the areas of concern:

At this time our school is on a Priority Improvement plan and has some significant academic strides that must be met this year in order to maintain our Charter Contract with the District after next academic year. Additionally, the number of moves has impacted our students’ academic stability this year, and we are expecting another move. Moreover, the District is concerned about plans this Spring for a secured location for our students, especially if the abatement process is not complete by the time we need to leave Crow Canyon.

Our financial sustainability and student enrollment go hand in hand. Per our Charter Contract we have agreed to maintain student enrollment count of 95 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) or equivalent. Today our student count is 77.25. We have lost 18 percent of our students since the most recent move to Crow Canyon.

As we have made you aware, our school suffered a significant budgetary shortfall this year and as a result have had to make deep budget cuts to develop a balanced budget and return our TABOR to its full value. Looking at our current enrollment trends and the current enrollment that continues to dip, the District is gravely concerned that the low student count will continue and affect budgets and programmatic needs for years to come.

As a result of the significant issues we have faced this year, the District has deep concerns about our school moving forward. As all of this has unfolded, we have worked closely and collaboratively with the District to resolve issues expediently as they have come up.

This year has been quite a journey full of a variety of hurdles and obstacles that we continue to face. We realize this is a lot to take in and consider so quickly. This has been a time of incredible crisis and we want to hear your thoughts as we continue to plan the best outcomes for our students, staff, and community.

Please reach out to the Board with your feedback at bod@kivacherter.org. We will have another special meeting, which will include a Community Member Forum, on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 5:30 pm at Children’s House, 1204 E Empire.  The meeting is open to the public. The Board has not made any decisions concerning our Charter Contract with the District at this time and we are seeking your thoughts.