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Colorado Springs School District 11 parts ways with Superintendent

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Posted at 8:14 PM, Mar 02, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — On Wednesday night, Colorado Springs School District 11announced that they would be parting ways with Superintendent Dr. Michael Thomas.

They say this comes after the superintendent met with D11 School Board President Dr. Parth Melpakam to discuss the district’s direction.

The district says Dr. Thomas "expressed a desire to pursue a mutual, amicable separation."

Dr. Thomas had been the district's superintendent since 2018.

In a press release, the school district said in part:

"We are grateful to Dr. Thomas for his dedicated service to the district and his many successes. The Board is determined to build on Dr. Thomas’ accomplishments as we work to deliver academic excellence and positive school culture for our deserving students and dedicated staff members."

The Board of education appointed D11 administrator Mr. Daniel Hoff to be the Acting Superintendent until they can find Dr. Thomas' replacement. Hoff has served the district for 22 years, most recently as Executive Director of School Leadership.

Dr. Thomas released a goodbye letter which can be found below:

Dear D11 Community,

It is with heartfelt gratitude to the Colorado Springs School District 11 community that I share my final message with you. Serving the students, staff, families and this community has been my great honor over the last four years. I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my time as superintendent of D11 and I will take with me many valuable lessons learned. It is without a doubt that I know D11 will continue to make great strides in providing quality education to students in the region. I’m thankful to the teachers, support staff, and leaders in this district who’ve demonstrated their dedication to children’s success. But there is still work to be done and with some essential elements in place, the next leader of D11 may lead the District confidently to even greater student growth.

Since stepping into the role of superintendent four years ago, I’ve been inspired by our students. As future leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, they give us hope for the future. I am proud of the accomplishments of our district and school leaders who work tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes for all students. From my very first day in D11, I have been devoted to improving the education for every single student, regardless of where they started in our system. A stronger school district equals a stronger community. Accomplishments over the past four years include:

  • The development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan and district identity;
  • The passing of an equity policy ensuring every student and staff member receives what they uniquely need to be successful;
  • The development of a literacy model to better assist schools in monitoring student achievement;
  • Before the pandemic hit, 75 percent of the D11 state “on-watch” schools moved to “off-watch” due to sustained, overall academic improvement; 23 percent increase in median growth percentile in middle school English scores; 38 percent increase in the number of elementary schools meeting or exceeding expected growth in English; and six D11 schools were among the highest performing schools in the state serving economically disadvantaged students in math;
  • The implementation of metrics through the 5E and Orgametrics surveys to better measure school readiness and how we are executing our strategic plan; and lastly,
  • Developed plans for the Academic and Facilities Master Plans (AMP/FMP) for the long-term transformation of the District, starting with the establishment of the first traditional K-8 online academy (Spark Online) and the first dual-language immersion school (Rogers Elementary).

I’m thankful to the D11 families and community who’ve partnered with the District to establish and create so many outstanding programs for our future generations. There is amazing work being done and I know that work will only continue to grow and thrive. To the D11 staff, you give so much of yourself emotionally, intellectually, and professionally and it has truly been a pleasure to serve alongside you. Please continue to do what you do so graciously.

Yours in Partnership,

Dr. Michael J. Thomas


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