Thu Aug 24th, 2023
The school year in the Ignacio District is off to a great start. The first day of school, on Monday, August 21, was filled with both excitement and nervousness. The staff has been working diligently over the summer months to be prepared as we enter the 2023-24 school year. We have both positive and proven leadership at the elementary school this year. Shauna Branch will be the principal and she will be assisted by Dana Stanley. They bring in a combined total of over thirty years of principal experience from New Mexico. Our leadership at the secondary schools will be continuous and consistent as both principals will be back. Dayna Talamante-Montoya will guide the Middle School and Barb Fjerstad will be the High School Principal. Jennifer Moore will assist with High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director duties while Spencer Cone will support at the Middle School. Cori Stevens will be in her third year as curriculum director and assessment coordinator.
Each school will blend some new staff members in with seasoned veterans. Staff week was positive, energetic, and focused. The staff has been working on aligning curriculum, developing pacing guides, improving engagement, and differentiation strategies for students. We are blessed to have such an amazing staff and we truly look forward to working with the children and families of this community.
We are grateful for the attendance and participation at all of the school district’s activities throughout the month of August. Both Bobcat Boost and Jump Start were very well attended at the Elementary School and Middle School, respectively. These two programs, which were run for the first two weeks of August, allowed students to work on academic skills and to get familiar with the routine expected for the school year.
The Back to School Bash on Thursday, August 17 allowed parents and students to meet their teacher and become familiar with their respective schools. The district is committed to improved communication with parents and guardians this year. A specialist was hired over the summer, and we will continue to improve our messaging through Class Dojo, Infinite Campus, and social media. Please become familiar with these programs through your building secretary and be on the lookout for all of the wonderful events and activities coming your way throughout the year.
We are asking for the support of all families to focus on improving school attendance this year. Attendance issues have a direct impact on academic growth, social-emotional stability, and overall success in school. A new attendance policy was put into place last year and supported increased parent meetings and interventions with students. Sadly, some students will have to repeat the same grade this year as they missed out acquiring the necessary skills to move into the next grade due to high absenteeism. With the pandemic behind us, attending school in person must be a high priority. Please contact your school principal as soon as possible if your family needs support getting your children to school regularly.
Thank you in advance for your continued support. We look forward to having an excellent school year and are targeting high academic growth and increased student engagement through differentiation strategies as areas of improvement. We are proud to serve this community and will continue to strive to make a positive impact on each child that comes through our doors. Together we will engage, empower, and prepare all of our learners for the future.