The Colorado State Board of Education voted Thursday to send the Adams 14 School District back to the drawing board in terms of how they plan to manage the district moving forward.
After eight hours of discussion, the board essentially told the district to come back in a meeting scheduled for May 11 with a plan on how it can split up duties with an outside management company to try to allay some of the concerns the board has with the district’s management.
Unanimous vote from CO Board of Ed: Adams 14 is to return in May with an improvement plan that includes partial oversight from an outside manager.— Rob Harris (@robharristv) April 15, 2022
The district will have to tell the board at that meeting what responsibilities it plans to handle on its own and what an outside management company will be responsible for.
The board could still reject the district's plan, however it did say that the closure of Adams City High School — which was recommended by a state review panel — was off the table.
In a press conference following the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Karla Loría said she was happy with the board's decision.
"We have a lot of work to do," Loría said. "I am extremely excited that the State Board of Education demonstrated today a genuine interest in hearing from us. We haven't had this opportunity the entire year, 10 minutes we were in front of them in September. And they demonstrated today a genuine interest in getting to know us, to hear from us and they allowed us to tell our own story."
Loría called the turnaround time aggressive, but said she is already in talks with community members to devise a plan.
The district has seen years of low academic performance, so much so that the state was forced to intervene.
The state brought in an outside management firm in 2018 to fully oversee Adams 14. That relationship was so contentious it ended in a lawsuit against the company after the district stopped working with the Florida-based education consultant company in Aug. 2021 without seeking state board approval. The group, MGT Consulting, exited the district in February after more than two years.