POWER Zone Family Communication

A message from Theresa Ritz POWER Zone Superintendent

Greetings POWER Zone families,


On behalf of all POWER Zone staff, welcome to the 2023-24 school year!


My name is Theresa Ritz, and it’s my honor to serve the POWER Zone community as the Zone Superintendent. This year marks my 26th in District 49, and my second year as the PZ Superintendent. Previous to this, I enjoyed serving as a principal in D49 for 17 years– 14 years as a campus principal and 3 years as the PZ Executive Principal. I also served as a teacher in a variety of settings, from adult education to 1st grade. Most of my career years have been dedicated to this zone, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be!


I hope you enjoyed a memorable summer with friends and loved ones, and I hope your children are as excited to be back at school as we are to have them! A special welcome to our new PZ families, and welcome back to our returning families. In the POWER Zone we believe that all students can and will achieve at high levels, and this is accomplished through ensuring a safe and collaborative environment, effective teaching in every classroom, and a guaranteed and viable curriculum. In addition to the highest quality academic programming, we believe that our students deserve the finest programming in the arts, athletics, career and technical education, and in a variety of other areas aligned with our mission of supporting the whole child. Every POWER Zone student will graduate with a plan, and the knowledge and skills that lead to a bright, healthy, successful adult future. This is what you should expect from your POWER Zone schools.

The POWER Zone is composed of six schools– ALLIES, Inspiration View Elementary, Odyssey Elementary, Ridgeview Elementary, Skyview Middle School, and Vista Ridge High School. All of these schools are working hard to achieve excellence, and we will share celebrations for each throughout the school year. One great example of excellence is our Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase campus, Ridgeview Elementary School. Please enjoy this Staff Spotlight from last spring celebrating implementation of CKH at RVES– Staff Spotlight : Beyond a Handshake.

Two of our campuses have BIG news! Please welcome our new principal of Ridgeview Elementary, Dr. Corey DeFelice, and our new Vista Ridge High School principal, Mr. Tom Payne. Both of these leaders come with proven experience and are already leading the way! We are grateful to have them. Every campus also welcomes new teachers and staff to our teams, and it’s exciting to have new energy and ideas to enhance our collaboration.


As an organization, we exist to support our students and staff to exceptional levels of teaching and learning, and this can only be accomplished in a safe, supportive, collaborative culture. Fortunately, most of our POWER Zone parents, caregivers, and community members are positive contributors to this process, and we are grateful for you! However, a barrier to safety and well-being that has arisen in the last few years is the negative behavior of some stakeholders. While it is a minority of stakeholders who behave in this manner, the problem is challenging enough that it must be addressed. We welcome your advocacy in solving this problem. Moving forward, the POWER Zone will utilize this document that guides how parents/guardians and guests interact with our staff as a community– POWER Zone Community Code of Conduct. We ask everyone to review this document to gain an understanding of what we prioritize in the POWER Zone and what we expect from all. This document will be shared out several times per year and will be accessible on our websites. It will also be available via a QR code at our campus front entries. Given the wide availability of the document, we will operate from the understanding that our stakeholders have reviewed it and understand its contents.


All of our POWER Zone staff look forward to an eventful and fruitful school year ahead! If you need anything, your school leaders and staff are eager to help. If I can help you with anything, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Sincerely,

Theresa Ritz

POWER Zone Superintendent

719.494.8812 / theresa.ritz@d49.org