DENVER — The Colorado State Board of Education told Adams 14 School District officials to present a co-management plan next month.
The vote from the state board was unanimous. A subcommittee recommended a district reorganization and closing Adams City High School. But after the April 14 meeting, closing the school apparently is not an option.
Instead, the district has to tell the state board what it wants to manage and what it wants an outside firm to manage. In 2018, the state ordered the Adams 14 district to hire an outside management firm for at least four years. The local school board fired the management group, MGT Consulting, this winter.
“We need a strong, clear contract,” said Superintendent Karla Loria. “There won’t be anything shady in there, I guarantee you. Having a clear contract and a clear scope of the work will help us as a district. We need assistance. We need the right assistance.”
Adams 14’s test scores have been low for several years, so much so that the state had to intervene. A state review panel determined the district cannot reverse its present situation on its own.
The district began looking for a new fmanagement irm several weeks ago. One unidentified firm expressed interest. It will be up to Loria to present the recommendation to the board, and it’s up to the Adams 14 board to make the decision.
“We are going to learn from past mistakes,” Loria said. “There was no clear transfer. When I was hired, there was a plan to transition the authority back to the district. There was no understanding of who was going to do what, and it certainly didn’t work.”
Loria made one thing clear about the co-management piece.
“They are not going to be over finance,” she said. “That’ll be at the (school) board level.”
Loria said whoever comes in to help the district will be a partner.
“We cannot create conflict. We cannot have mixed messaging,” Loria said. “We will be careful about who we bring in. The work is going to be supplemental and be in line with our key performance indicators that we identify.”
Loria was pleased with the board’s vote.
“We have a lot of work to do,” she said during a press conference April 14 after the lengthy hearing concluded. “We were excited that the state board demonstrated an ability to hear from us. We haven’t had that opportunity all year.
“The state board realized it’s important to hear from us,” Loria added. “Somebody else has been telling the story., The data are right, but the data aren’t telling the right story.”