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D60 changes proposal for 3 schools facing state sanctions - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

D60 changes proposal for 3 schools facing state sanctions

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PUEBLO -

It appears D60 has changed its proposal on how to improve two of its schools, facing state sanctions.

Three schools total require state intervention after failing to get off of what's called the "accountability clock" in the last six years.

D60 says there's a few reasons for that.

First of all, the district feels Heroes Academy and Bessemer Elementary are at the cusp of making the jump into an improvement status that would get them off that accountability clock, and just need to be monitored more closely in the next year.

The other big factor they say went into this decision was feedback from parents.

District leaders had initially proposed grade reconfigurations at both Heroes and Bessemer, with the intent of providing a more focused education on a smaller number of grade levels.

Heroes would have become a Pre-K and grades 6-8 school, and grades K-5 would attend one of three nearby schools instead.

And Bessemer would have turned into a Pre-K through 2nd grade school for all Bessemer and Minnequa students... with grades 3-5 attending Minnequa next year.

Parents did not like that idea, and were very vocal about it at several "listening tours" set up by D60 this month.

The new proposal isn't finalized yet, but D60 says it will no longer include those grade configurations.

"We wanted to hear their concerns.  We wanted to take all that into consideration and we're very happy we're able to come up with this recommendation," said D60 spokesman Dalton Sprouse.

Parents still have lingering questions about what will happen to the principals at each school.

"I heard a parent say yesterday that they don't know what the leadership is going to be at Bessemer next year.  We're hoping that we're able to keep Mrs. Parker and the rest of the staff at this school.  They're the ones that keep that school going," said Ingrid Hamblin, who has two children enrolled at Bessemer.

D60 said they cannot comment on personnel right now.

The district will have to present these proposals before the state board of education next Monday, so we'll know more then, and make sure to bring you the outcome of that hearing next week.

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