What are your priorities regarding school district? | AspenTimes.com

What are your priorities regarding school district?

District Accountability Committee
Guest Commentary

Aspen teachers and school district staff recently came up with a list of values that guide them when educating our students. Academic excellence is on there, but so is a whole lot more.

Now the school board and administrators want to hear from you. What are your priorities? Are there any you would add to this list? Which ones are most important? Which ones are least important? How would you rank them?

Here is the list from teachers and staff:

Whole Child: every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged

Equity: access and improved outcomes for all

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals

Collaboration: working together toward continuous improvement

Learner Mindset: possess the desire to learn, unlearn and relearn

Innovation: unique and unparalleled teaching and learning

Tenacity for Growth: perseverance and resilience to never stop growing

Global Citizenship: contribute and take action to make the world a better place

Empowerment: people having the tools and trust to succeed

Coherence: a logical and consistent system

Collaboration Collective Efficacy: a shared belief that through our collective action, we can positively influence student outcomes

Humility: freedom from arrogance and respect for others’ viewpoints

Academic Excellence: highest performing school district in the state/nation

Often, when we talk about improving our schools we hear about trade-offs that need to be made. For example, do we prioritize the instructional time needed to perform well on state tests and prepare our students for rigorous advanced courses? Or do we prioritize outdoor and experiential ed even though those trips mean sacrificing days and even weeks of academic time? Many of us want it all. How do we do that?

Defining our community’s values will help school officials answer these questions. Teachers came up with their list of values while working on the strategic plan, a document that will lay out the school district’s vision for the next 20 years and beyond. The strategic plan will guide not just academic decisions but also important budgetary decisions.

To provide your feedback on these values or the strategic plan, come to a community forum Jan. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Aspen High School Commons. Or if you don’t have time to attend the meeting, send an email to the school board at aspenboelistens@gmail.com or fill out the online form here:


The District Accountability Committee (DAC) is a collaborative group of parents, community members and district employees who work together to advise school board members and district leadership. State law requires each school district in Colorado to have a DAC. For more information about the DAC or to get involved, please contact Angela Rittenhouse at arittenhouse@aspenk12.net.