(MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo.) — A grassroots group of parents in Manitou Springs is questioning their school district’s alleged high turnover rate over the past two years.

Stand Up For Manitou (SUFM) is a group of concerned parents challenging Manitou Springs School District 14 (MSSD14) to explain and fix the alleged high personnel turnover rate.

According to the group, recent district data showed that the jump in turnover rates between the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 was over 15%.

According to a report sent to FOX21 by SUFM of turnover rates, all district data for fiscal years 2019, 2020, and 2021 were collected through Colorado Open Records Act requests. Data for the fiscal year 2022 “was taken from Personnel Reports on the District website.”

In order to understand the reasoning behind the apparent rise in turnover rates, SUFM commissioned an exit survey for former employees that didn’t include bus drivers or kitchen staff.

The findings of this survey allege that the district leadership was the most significant cause of employees leaving, while district culture came in second.

Manitou Springs Middle School

The group claims that district leadership and the school board did not communicate with concerned parents, which led to the forming of SUFM. According to the group, the data was apparently presented to two District 14 Board of Education members in September. 

SUFM said there is a planned school board meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, at Manitou Springs Middle School Media Center, located at 415 El Monte Place. SUFM hopes to understand what the District 14 Board of Education’s next steps might be.

“Now that the Board has this information on high turnover and reason staff are leaving, what are they going to do with it? How do they plan to move forward to address turnover rates in the district? What are their next steps? Not only did the exit survey clearly state that District Leadership is the reason for an exodus of staff but now current teachers are stepping forward to share the same sentiment. Anonymous input is the norm as past and current teachers fear retaliation.”

Brenda Holmes-Stanciu, Stand Up For Manitou

FOX21 has reached out to the Communications Specialist with MSSD14 and has not received a response at this time.