Denver Christian Schools - Site Selection Task Force Petition
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Denver Christian Schools Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer:
This petition is intended to be the vehicle by which the undersigned Society members of Denver Christian Schools wish to voice our significant concerns over the lack of equal representation on the recently appointed site selection Task Force.
At the April Society meeting held at the High School Campus, the Board and CEO conveyed to the Society the decision to proceed with a single campus operational model. It was stated on several occasions in the course of that meeting that there were no preconceived notions of where the future site would or should be located, but rather the site would be selected to take into account the acreage required and would seek to serve the existing families and future generations of Denver Christian students. The leadership also announced that the next step in the development process would be the creation of a Task Force charged with the investigation of potential sites for the new campus as well as the financial analysis of potential land acquisitions and sales of the existing parcels. It was assumed by the members of the Society that the makeup of this task force would fairly and equally represent the entire body of Denver Christian families, in the same manner by which our Board is composed and in the same spirit of fairness that the Design Advisory Group had recently been formed.
Task Force Composition
It has recently been discovered that the composition of the Task Force is decidedly one sided in it representation, bucking our long standing tradition of bringing together diverse minds, backgrounds, and opinions to galvanize around common goals and direction for our great institution. The eight member Task Force includes two members that are not currently parents of Denver Christian students; the first being our CEO and the second a grandfather of Highlands Ranch students. Of the six remaining parent members, five are parents from Highlands Ranch and one is a current Van Dellen parent. Beyond the stunning obvious lack of representation of the Van Dellen or Pearl Street campuses, it is simply shocking to learn that the five members from Highlands Ranch, which includes our Board President, are all from the same 4th grade class. It is also worth noting that the lone Van Dellen Task Force member lives less than 3 miles from the Highlands Ranch campus, and none of the parent representatives live north of Belleview Avenue. In spite of the fact that the location of the future campus is one, if not the most , important issue on the minds of Society members, the membership composition utterly eliminates any attempt to geographically represent the diverse community of Denver Christian.
Fully understanding that the future of Denver Christian Schools is a single campus model, we find the blatant exclusion of Society members capable of voicing the objectives and concerns of the entire school body beyond those centered around a South suburban campus location, simply unacceptable. If this serious error in judgment is not reconciled it will potentially undermine an already troubled process. Over the recent years several things have come to light that suggest that the location of the proposed single campus has been preconceived by the leadership. For example, the financial development model presented to the Society presupposes a new land acquisition cost that could only feasibly occur in outer suburbia. Additionally the current leadership has chosen not to communicate to the Society that the Architects hired to study the various options recommended that the single campus option be located in the urban core similar to the existing Van Dellen and Pearl Street campus locations. The lopsided Task Force composition is yet one more action that seems to indicate that in spite of repeated assurances that the geographic location of the future campus is unknown and not preconceived, a small group of individuals trusted with positions of leadership, are not acting on behalf of the entire Society whose children's futures are at stake.
It is our recommendation that if the Board and CEO hope to garner broad based support for their future decisions concerning the single campus location, that they reconsider their appointments to the Task Force to be a better representation of the entire constituency. We understand the importance of the professional skill sets that these members need to possess and are confident that they can be found throughout the geographic and educational campuses that make up our current Denver Christian School model. During these exciting, yet truly trying times in the life of Denver Christian, now it is not the moment to turn away from our history of being an inclusive community. We urge the Board and CEO to take swift action to reconcile this situation to once again foster a sense of trust between leadership and the Society so that we can achieve this vision together.
The undersigned Society Members
In support of Denver Christian Schools