The budget for the climate and culture study commissioned by the Aspen School District has nearly doubled from its initial estimate, the president of the board of education confirmed last week.

From the initial projection of between $12,000-$15,000, and billed at a nonprofit rate of $150 per hour, Dwayne Romero, president of the board of education, said the “updated amount was the mid-20s. That is where we are at the moment. We’ll have a final estimate in the next few weeks.”

Romero said the decision to review an updated estimate of the scope and sequence of the consulting assignment was made during a March board meeting.

Denver-based consulting firm Wilson Foxen, led by principal Liz Wilson, presented results last week from the survey that tabulated responses from 211 district employees (out of a potential contact pool of 306) and 62 members of the general public.

Wilson shared the results April 2 in sessions with different stakeholders, culminating with a public meeting last Tuesday evening in the Aspen High School seminar room.

Among other discoveries, the survey found that trust is an important factor for staff; senior leadership and the school board were viewed critically in some of their decision making and communication skills and that Aspen’s competitive culture may be in conflict with the more collaborative school culture that’s seen as desirable.

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During an interview last week, Liz Wilson said evidence from the survey reiterated that the district’s core values need to be better aligned with its culture.

Wilson Foxen’s 90-page PowerPoint presentation is available here:

The initial release of the survey’s results prompted immediate response from Superintendent Dr. John Maloy on Wednesday, followed by comments from Dwayne Romero on behalf of the BOE.

Last fall the school board voted against renewing Maloy’s rolling contract beyond its June 30, 2021 end date, a result of increased scrutiny of the superintendent’s performance in 2018.

One survey question saw the majority of 172 respondents disagreeing with the statement that “Senior District Leadership can be relied upon to do the right thing even when it’s challenging or difficult."

During tonight’s BOE meeting, which is set to begin at 4 p.m., there will be 30 minutes set aside to discuss the survey.

The agenda may be read here:

Tonight’s meeting takes place in the district office’s conference room.

Madeleine Osberger is a Contributing Editor for Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at or on Twitter @Madski99