Two middle schools in Pueblo to be run by outside management company

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) Two local schools will be ran by an outside management partner instead of the school district they’re in next year. The state board of education ordered Pueblo City school district to start searching for that management partner this week. The two schools are Heroes Academy and Risley International Academy of Innovation.

This order came down because the two schools haven’t been performing well academically for several years and it’s landed them on the state’s accountability clock. It’s at the point where the state said someone else needs to run the schools to improve them.

The district did make this recommendation to the state board. The district has 90 days to find a management partner, and whoever it ends up being will take full control of the schools for the next four years. This means they choose the curriculum, they choose the staff and they control the budget. These schools will remain a part of the district throughout this process.

“Both heroes and Risley even with the support of an external management partners are still very much a part of our school district so those schools and those students and families can still count on going to heroes next year and Risley next year,” said Dalton Sprouse, a spokesperson for Pueblo City Schools.

The management partner will be full time and have to be onsite at the schools. The state board of education must approve any management choice made by the district. They’ll be looking for certain things like a track record of success under similar circumstances and someone willing to follow all their rules. That group will have to officially start by July next year.

If the district doesn’t follow the board of education’s order, then they could ultimately decide to convert both schools to Charters or close them completely.

The middle school portion of Heroes academy serves 268 students. Risley serves 326 students.