Message from the Superintendent 5/04/21


Did you know that the Manitou Springs School District is preparing for its sesquicentennial? That’s a fancy way of saying that, in 2022, our district will hit its 150th year of teaching and learning. At the same time, Manitou Springs Elementary School will hit its century milestone, marking 100 years of service to our community. With history comes responsibility. That responsibility includes honoring our roots, continuing long-standing traditions, and making the experiences of today’s Manitou Springs School District students as great as the experiences of the students who came before them.

While education has evolved over the past 150 years, what hasn’t changed is the value our community places on education, the pride it has in its schools, and its dedication to each generation’s success—a future that starts, as many of yours did, in the Manitou Springs School District. As we prepare to embark on the next 150 years as a district, we do so ready to celebrate the past and create the future.

This spring, we completed a master planning process to identify and prioritize future facility improvements. The most recent improvements were completed in 1988 and 2002 and were only possible due to the successful bond elections that funded the projects. Every 15–20 years, our community makes an investment in education. With the bonds from the 2002 election paid off, it’s time to prepare our schools to serve students for the next 20 years.
The Manitou Springs School District Board of Education is reviewing the district’s 123-page master plan, which is the result of a six-month collaborative process that included the district, the school board, the executive team, the visioning team, staff, students, and community members and involved analyzing existing facility conditions and educational adequacy. The master plan outlines the needs of our aging facilities, maintenance concerns that have continually been deferred, safety and security issues that must be addressed, and barriers to providing the educational programs necessary to prepare our students for their futures.

Earlier this year, we used information from the master plan to apply for $9 million in Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grants, which are funded by marijuana tax revenue and administered by the Colorado Department of Education. If our district is awarded the BEST grants, we will be obligated to provide a 65% match in order to receive the money. This will only be possible through a successful bond election in November 2021.

The Board of Education will make a formal decision about referring a measure to the ballot at the end of August. Currently, the Board is reviewing projects for inclusion in a potential bond package with an eye toward investments that will prepare our students to leave a legacy, just like those who came before them. They are prioritizing projects that will add valuable amenities that our entire community can access.

In the months ahead, we will be sharing more information on our plans to celebrate the past and create the future, including the details of the potential November 2021 bond package. As we look ahead to meeting the community’s needs for the next 20 years, this is an exciting time to be part of the Manitou Springs School District!
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