"We want 80 percent, minimum, of all kids proficient in all content. It's going to take a while to get there. We're not there. Everybody says it takes three to five years, but nobody's patient enough to make that happen. You have an implementation dip where you get worse at something before you get better. We believe we're at the bottom of the dip. We should start seeing that going up, so we're trying to be patient. Teachers are learning a new way to teach, and students are learning a new way to learn. It takes time."

Time, and money. Ciancio hopes that voters will understand that when she asks them for a bond and mill levy override this November. The district tried for a bond last year and lost. If the proposal fails again, the Mapleton board will have some tough choices to make with an already tight budget. Small schools cost more to run than big ones, but Ciancio says the investment will be worth it if the district's kids become productive citizens instead of dropping out.

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