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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Zimmerman

Center of Focus

April 10, 2023

Focus on the Fabulous

The 40th Anniversary Crane Festival was held in Monte Vista in March and part of this event is the Swoop of the Cranes. This is a community art project that celebrates the Sandhill Cranes and showcases the talent of local artists. Center Board President, Lyn Bogle, sponsored a crane for our district. The 5-foot steel crane silhouette was decorated by Mrs. Jimenez’s art classes. The completed project is on display in Monte Vista through August. When you get a chance, take a stroll and find our Center Viking Crane, it’s located by the library on the south side of Hwy. 160. Take a selfie with you and the crane and we will display all of the pictures on our website. Great work to everybody involved in this positive project!

Our second Improvement Strategy on our District Action Plan is focused on Post-Secondary and Workforce Readiness. Our district has a comprehensive approach to this strategy that includes ICAP days, Capstone, Senior Seminar, School to Career, concurrent enrollment, and real-world learning experiences and classes offered through the district.

Just like our district vision states, CCSD seeks to develop independent, self-directed, self-motivated, adventurous, risk-taking, experiential learners armed with the skills necessary to meet the challenges they will face in today’s society. The goal is to support students in all the different postsecondary pathways, from certificated programs to apprenticeships, work-based learning experiences, 2 and 4-year degrees, military, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Throughout the year, you have probably seen our juniors working on their Capstone Projects. These projects are designed to give students real-world, project-based, learning experiences. Students identify a need, design projects, and then engage in the work of their projects. This year’s projects range from environmental issues to marketing, recruitment, positive events, fundraising, and community opportunities. The staff has enjoyed the coffee delivery from Alanna Garcia. Her project involves marketing and promotion of a local business, The Corner Grill and Coffee House in Center. The Auto Homies are learning about basic auto mechanics and repair from a local businessman and school board member, Enrique Aguilar. Karma Strong is working towards helping families in need of support when families are dealing with medical issues of newborns. There are a number of impressive projects that are service oriented. Kindra Rounds, Katrina Ruggles, and Mikela Tarlow are working with students and providing them with guidance and support on the completion of these projects.


Safety is a top priority of the district. We have made a number of changes to tighten up security and safety measures in the district. Steve Martinez, our Director of Safety and Student Behavior, has led these efforts. Some of those improvements include the implementation and training of Life Spot, securing the perimeter of the district with fences, improvements with locks and accessibility of all buildings, lighting, staff training, and safety procedures. We held our quarterly safety meeting at the end of last month to review the changes that have been made and to plan for next steps. Along those lines, we are very happy to welcome a Center graduate, Eric Martinez, to our safety team. You have probably seen him in the halls already. He is going to serve as our full-time School Resource Officer. His positive energy and enthusiasm are a breath of fresh air. He has a lot to bring to the team. He will be a positive role model for our students and will provide the district with an extra layer of on-site security. Wendy Murillo, our district nurse, shared last week about the Handle with Care messaging that the district will be using in confidential, student concern matters. We have a great team, working together to keep students, staff, and the community safe.

Our spring sports are in full spring and it sounds like the CHS baseball and track teams had a successful weekend of competition. The baseball team played well and had some close games against Monte Vista. The track team performed well at the CSU Pueblo Thunderstorm Invitational. Track and baseball will both be competing in Del Norte this week. Come out and cheer for our Center Vikings!

District Improvement Strategy #4 is Recruitment and Retention. The R & R team has been working hard throughout the year putting together fun events, networking opportunities, resources, training, and support so the Viking Team is the best around. This past week, Ms. Donaldson and Ms. Lopez represented the district at the Southern Colorado Teaching Fair. We had some great Viking swag and collected a number of resumes and applications for possible positions next year.

A representative from Western University came and presented to our staff on opportunities available to our staff to further degrees, education, and licensure. Dr. Hensley coordinated with the university so that our staff is aware of funding and programs currently available. These are excellent options for our classified staff to work towards teacher licensure or for licensed staff to further their degrees and get added endorsements.

Mrs. Maldonado is doing a fantastic job in her multi-media classes. This past week she had students and staff getting in tune with their acting abilities during their filming of Matilda. Who knew our middle school principal and our food services director were such accomplished actresses? Do I see an Emmy in their future? Mrs. Maldonado even had first-grade students in the audience and they were part of the presentation. This was a fun, engaging, cross-curricular lesson for students of all ages to participate in.

Fast Forward

We are gearing up for state testing. Tomorrow, CMAS testing will commence at the elementary, high school, CVA, and the ARC. The first round of testing will go through Thursday. On Wednesday, juniors will take the SAT and on Thursday, freshmen and sophomores will take the PSAT. This testing is very important to the district as it demonstrates the learning that took place over the past year. It also shows how well students are doing in mastering skills and knowledge when compared to the state expectations. The district’s accreditation is partially based on student performance on these tests. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation that has taken place to ensure that we are ready to go and to make sure everything runs smoothly.

This is her Before State Testing Picture!

Chris Hintz, our District Assessment Coordinator, has been working hard throughout the year to get us prepared for testing. Dr. Stephanie Hensley has been a tremendous support in this process and has helped to make sure materials are ordered, accommodations are requested, and staff is trained. Adele Alfson takes the lead on the high school College Board requirements. Her attention to detail safeguards the district so that all the requirements and guidelines are followed appropriately. Thank you ladies for all your work getting things together for the assessments.

It’s important that students are present, well-rested, and ready to demonstrate all they’ve learned this past year.

Upcoming dates to get on calendars

Monday, April 10th- MTSS Leadership Meeting

Tuesday, April 11th- CMAS Testing begins- Haskin, CHS, CVA, ARC

Superintendent Advisory Council Meeting

District Accountability Committee Meeting, BOE Meeting @ 6:00 pm

Wednesday, April 12th- CMAS Testing, ACT

Joint IOG/Saguache IOG Meeting

Thursday, April 13th- CMAS Testing, PSAT

Skoglund Middle School Knowledge Bowl Meet

Saturday, April 15th- CHS Baseball @ Del Norte- 11:00 am

CHS Track and Field @ Del Norte

PICS event

Thursday, April 27th- Haskin Elementary Spring Concert @ 6:00 pm

Wednesday, May 3rd- Bike and Roll to School, Kindergarten Registration- 5:00- 7:00 pm

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