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  • Carrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

Focus on the Fabulous

Our very own, Luis Murillo, was featured at the national level in GlobalMindED during their coverage of Rural Resilience. GlobalMindED is an organization focused on closing the equity gap by creating a capable, diverse talent pipeline. Luis was recognized as one of the nation’s leading rural experts and innovators, thanks, in part, to his hard work and commitment to the Center community. Luis’ belief that it is necessary to “do with your community instead of doing for your community,” enables him to help in making decisions that give a personal perspective and ensure that all individuals are being considered in the planning process. We are fortunate to have Luis as part of our team here in Center and appreciate the insight and leadership he provides.

Great Things Going On

Once again, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks. Our District Accountability Committee met for the first time this year on Tuesday, September 8th. The state accountability system has been paused for the 2020-2021 school year in response to the Covid-19 situation. This means that our district will not receive Performance Ratings from the state, but will continue to operate under the previous ratings. As a district, we are Accredited with an Improvement Plan. Our District Accountability Committee will meet monthly, the second Tuesday of every month, at 4:45 pm in the library. The DAC is responsible for making recommendations to the BOE related to budget priorities and improvement efforts, to building principals on assessment measures and evaluations, and to work cooperatively to determine specific areas that made need to be addressed. Community members and parent representatives are always welcome to participate.

District Improvement Efforts

Our District Leadership Team met on September 10th to review our District Action Plan and to begin making plans for this school year. Our five improvement strategies for the year are: #1- Curriculum and Instruction, #2- Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness, #3- MTSS, #4- Recruitment and Retention, and #5- Team Commitment. These improvement strategies frame the work of the district and come directly from our Unified Improvement Plan. This year, each improvement strategy will have an identified team working towards accomplishing the goals outlined in the improvement strategy. The work of the DLT is then shared with Building Leadership Teams, so that building level efforts can be planned accordingly. Finally, PLC work is aligned to these efforts as data is reviewed and analyzed so that decision making is research based. DLT membership includes district and building administration and teacher representation. The IS teams include district representation at all levels.

Safe Routes to School

Kudos to our Safe Routes to School team for their persistence and follow through in getting things in place so that we can begin construction of the sidewalk and bridge across State Hwy. 112. These efforts are to ensure that our students can safely walk to and from school each day. This has been an ongoing conversation that has lasted a number of years and will finally be able to be started in the next few weeks. Brisa Macias, previously in charge of the committee, led the efforts, and Marisol Baca, who recently took over as Brisa took on another role in the district, have helped to get things in place. Katrina Ruggles has worked tirelessly to get funding in place from various grants and local opportunities. A special thanks to Saguache County Commissioner, Ken Anderson, Saguache County Administrator, Wendi Maez, and Rio Grande County Commissioner, Gene Glover, for their support of the project. Center town officials, Brian Lujan, Town Manager, and Rose DeHerrera, Deputy Clerk also contributed to these efforts. We are grateful for the hard work of the team and support of the community in helping us to get to this phase of the project.


NWEA testing took place last week across the district. Students were assessed in reading and math for beginning of the year baseline data. Testing went off successfully for our onsite students and arrangements are being made to get online students tested. Great work from our teachers, building principals, Stephanie Hensley, and all our support staff for making this happen.

We finished up our PERA audit on Thursday. Betty, Alondra and JJ worked throughout the week to provide the necessary information for the auditors to make sure our district was in compliance.

Fast Forward

This week begins our sixth week of instruction. Open enrollment will be available starting on Monday, the 21st and running through October 9th. This will be a chance for current students to change the instructional format they are currently in if so inclined and also give a chance for students not currently enrolled in our district to apply.

Monday there will be a Health Advisory meeting in the library. Last week, CHSSA approved variances for districts to be able to play fall football. It was decided that Center will take part in this first season, so I will be meeting with high school administration to make plans for what this will look like for our district. District pictures will be this week and registered high school students will take the SAT in the library on Wednesday. We will have an early release day on Thursday and staff will take part in PLCs that afternoon. I will be participating in the SLV Superintendents meeting, CASB Title IX overview, along with finalizing the ESSER budget and application.

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