The Ouray School Board recently posted a survey seeking public input on programs under consideration for inclusion in the budget for school year 2017-2018. Opinions were solicited on curricular program, other than English, math, science, or social studies, as well as so called extra-curricular programs (activities and athletics). Also, suggestions for funding were welcomed given the ongoing restricted funding from the state legislature, which this year alone will amount to $330,000 from the constitutionally required district funding. Over the last five years this annual restriction has amounted to nearly one-and-one-half million dollars that has been held back from Ouray Schools for programs, salaries, and school management.
Responses to the survey were gratifying in that nearly 220 responses were tallied. Results clearly show an interest in maintaining most, if not all, of the curricular programs, although there were concerns expressed for improving programs regarded as ineffective for students. While respondents are just as interested in continuing the extra-curricular programs, many indicated that fees for athletics could be increased and activities could be self-funded. While transporting students to and from school in buses is not required of any school district (except for students with special needs) respondents also indicated an interest in continuing our current transportation program.
While there were a number of concerns regarding the administrative structure and support, the Board of Education feels that the current system is necessary to maintain the academic quality, be able to adequately respond to the Colorado Department of Education's increasing demands of testing, reporting, and teacher evaluation and to insure safety for students and staff. There are currently only two staff receiving administrative pay and three office staff members. By contrast, Ridgway schools have three administrators and six office staff.
There were a considerable number of varied suggestions for fundraising and all will be given careful consideration by the Board in the months ahead. While the survey is no longer active online your continued suggestions and opinions are still encouraged. Go to the District web site and find the “Board” link.