Superintendent Scott Siegfried took over leadership of the Cherry Creek Schools in 2018 following the retirement of former Superintendent Harry Bull.
BY FREDA MIKLIN
The regular monthly meeting of the Cherry Creek Schools (CCS) Board of Education held Feb. 11 at Mission Viejo Elementary School at 3855 S. Alicia Parkway in Aurora started out as expected and then took a right-hand turn.
During the open public comment portion of the meeting, five students from Overland High School offered strong and pointed criticism of the way students were treated who participated in the process to find a new principal for their school. They said, “We were shouted at and unheard,” “Students were visibly pressured to have opinions that weren’t theirs,” “Staff disrespected and ignored students” and “The committee picked individuals based on familiarity.” Poised and articulate, the students recommended that all candidates be reconsidered. Superintendent Scott Siegfried asked the students if they would please stay after the meeting so that he could speak with them directly. Abbe Smith, CCS executive director of communications, said afterward that no final decision has been made on the appointment of a new principal at Overland.
In his monthly report, Siegfried said that he was monitoring efforts at the state Legislature to institute a statewide mill levy for K-12 to address significant discrepancies between the amount of per-pupil funding provided by the state to different school districts resulting from the long-term effects of the voter-approved Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).
He is also monitoring efforts to institute full-day kindergarten. He said, “We believe in it,” then noted CCS would need 100 new teachers as well as space for the program. He also said, “We have to be thoughtful about how we align full-day kindergarten with our primary grades [curriculum]. It requires careful planning.”
Assistant superintendents Michael Giles and Jennifer Perry presented a detailed program on instructional excellence that particularly acknowledged lower performance statistics for minority students at CCS and includes deeply thought-out tools and strategies to understand the reasons and address them directly to lead to improved student performance.
As part of its consent agenda, the board re-approved the Colorado Skies Academy charter school application after review by the State Board of Education in January.
Three of the five board members’ terms end this year. Board members Janice McDonald, District B and Eric Parish, District A are running for re-election November 5. Dave Willman, board president and District C representative, is term-limited, so his seat is open.
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