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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

January 9, 2023

Focus on the Fabulous

It’s a New Year! Happy 2023! We are getting ready to start the second half of the school year #VikingStrong! As we kick off a New Year, I would like to revisit our Core Beliefs and Vision for the district. We established our Core Beliefs over a decade ago before our new building was built. I remember working in the old library with other staff members and then in Mr. Welsh’s office, to hash out the different values that were held by our staff, students, and community, about what we valued in our district and what we believed in education. After a great deal of discussion, reflection, and collaboration, we agreed on the four Core Beliefs that we still use to ground our daily work and decision-making.

Our purpose is to increase academic achievement for ALL students

With our support, ALL children can achieve at high levels and be successful in life

Quality planning, instruction, and assessment lead to high achievement for all students

Everyone must be committed to excellence in ALL they do every day

I don’t think that core beliefs should be changed. If these beliefs are truly at the core of what our values are, then that isn’t something that should be phased in and out, based on trends or changes over time. The first core belief reminds us that our ultimate goal in public education is to help students achieve academically. There are increased expectations placed on schools today and we are called upon to serve a multitude of roles in today’s society, however, our primary goal is to provide kids with the knowledge and skills necessary so that they can be successful in life. The second core belief ensures that we do meet ALL students’ needs, with additional support and resources. Our district does a tremendous job in providing additional resources for our students, including basic physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, health and wellness, social-emotional supports, esteem, and character development, after-school activities, restorative practices, post-secondary and workforce opportunities, special education, multi-lingual supports, and academic interventions. These additional supports, ensure that we are addressing the whole child and giving our students the necessary foundation so that they can achieve at high levels. We believe that EVERY child should be supported and EVERY child has the capacity to achieve at high levels.

As a staff, we must be committed to excellence in ALL we do- every day. We can’t fly by the seat of our pants. We must make a daily choice to be our best in our roles, each and every day. Our kids deserve that. That means intentional quality lesson planning each week. Preparing ahead of time to ensure that lessons are delivered effectively and that kids are understanding the content being taught. And, if through daily formative assessments, you recognize that the students didn’t demonstrate understanding, you have the capacity to reteach and present the content in a different way, to ensure that kids do understand. Our job is to help students learn. Quality planning, instruction, and ongoing assessment lead to high achievement for our students and is a core belief that the district is committed to. The biggest predictor of student success is a quality teacher in the classroom. The research is undisputable-

Mortimore and Sammons found that teaching had 6 to 10 times as much impact on achievement as all other factors combined

(Sanders & Horn) Three years of effective teaching accounts on average for an improvement of 35 to 50 percentile points

Improved classroom instruction is the prime factor to produce student achievement gains (Odden & Wallace)

In the next few weeks, we will be working together with the community, students, and our staff to develop our graduate profile. The graduate profile will help the district refine and establish the set of clear skills that our community want students to build throughout their time in the district and have by the time they graduate. This work ties directly to our district's mission and vision. The graduate profile will be a resource for our district that embodies a shared vision of where we want our students to end up and who we want our students to be when they graduate. This visualization will include skills, values, and experiences that best represent the desired graduate from our school. The profile will be co-created with students, parents, faculty, staff, and community members. This is a part of our ongoing district improvement efforts that will be supported by the Colorado Education Initiative.


Our MLD team has been working hard to prepare for the ACCESS testing that begins this week. This year, based on our demographic information, we have approximately 245 students who qualify to receive services through our MLD program, which is about 40% of our students. JoAnn Lopez, Gena Portillo, Anna Bishop, and Amanda Alanis make up our MLD team and work to ensure equitable access for our English Learners to grade-level standards and that these students, like all of our students, are provided a solid well-rounded education.


Our Viking athletes have continued to work hard over the break. The wrestlers competed in Pagosa at the Rocky Mountain Invite this past weekend. Center grapplers performed well and finished in 5th place out of 24 teams from Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Some of the top placers included: Jordan Duran- 2nd, Francisco Villa- 4th, Chayse Bouet- 6th, Aaron Valadez- 6th, Lorenzo Trujillo- 4th, Andree Meraz- 2nd, Martin Palma- 3rd, and Jesus Valdez- 4th.

The Lady Vikings have been playing tough so far this season and have a 5-4 record. The ladies have had some big wins over Centennial, Sargent, Lake County, Calhan, and Crowley County. This Friday they will be taking on the Del Norte Tigers at home! The boys’ basketball team has a 3-6 record and has beaten Creede, Dolores, and Calhan. Alan Gonzalez is leading the team averaging 19.3 points per game. Joaquin Moreno and Miguel Casanova are also making solid contributions to the team in buckets per game! Come out on Friday night to support our Vikings as they take on Del Norte!

Fast Forward

We will be starting our mid-year evaluations this month. This process is designed to be collaborative between administration and staff, to recognize areas of strength, and also identify areas of growth. The ultimate goal for this process is to help each staff member be the best at their craft. The biggest impact on a student’s education is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Administrators should be getting into classrooms on a regular basis and providing constructive feedback along the way. We’ve also been able to support our new teachers through the mentor program that some of our veteran staff have participated in for the last two years. The mentor program utilizes the cognitive coaching model and provides support to our newer staff members.

Mid-year evaluations should be completed by January 29th. Educators and evaluators will meet to review progress toward achieving established goals and every educator should have a clear understanding of his/her potential final effectiveness rating based on the evidence available to date, as well as what needs to be accomplished in order to achieve performance goals by the end of the year.

Fast Forward

We are starting the year with a clean slate. It’s exciting to think about what we can accomplish in the New Year. The January BOE meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 24th. This will be the regular Board meeting and the revised budget will be approved.

Upcoming dates to get on calendars

Monday, Jan. 9th – District Data Day- No Students

Tuesday, Jan. 10th- 1st day of the 2nd Semester, 3rd quarter starts, ACCESS testing begins, Superintendent Advisory Committee, District Accountability Committee

Wednesday, Jan. 11th - MLT, Weekly Superintendent PLC- 1:00 pm, ACCESS testing

Thursday, Jan. 12th – ACCESS testing

Friday, Jan. 13th – CHS Wrestling @ Eaglecrest, CHS Basketball vs. Del Norte

Saturday, Jan. 14th- CHS Basketball @ Las Animas

Wednesday, Jan. 18th- Graduate Profile Meeting- 5:30- 7:00 pm- Virtual Zoom Video Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 24th- Center Regular Board Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 25th- Graduate Profile Meeting- 5:30- 7:00 pm- In-person- Community Room

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