Dear Sanford School Community,
As the time has come to move forward with the new mascot, I wanted the community to understand the selection process and the time that was put into this decision. As we move into the final two months of school, our Indian mascot will be removed from the school. This is necessary to meet the requirements of the mascot law. Our new mascot, which is pictured with this communication, will begin being used throughout the schools. New uniforms are in the process of being ordered with the new mascot. Our Junior High baseball team will wear Sanford Mustang uniforms this spring. Changes will be made throughout the school this spring and summer to help students embrace the new mascot. The main gym will get a facelift as we prepare for next year. On March 17, 2022, both schools were removed from the out-of-compliance list by the Governor's office. This means, that we will not be fined the $25,000 per month as long as the timeline for the removal of Native American Imagery is met. I know this has been difficult but the time to move and embrace the new mascot is here. It is my hope that all can move forward as there is some excitement among students. I believe our students deserve a mascot to rally behind. I hope that we remember, it is not the mascot that unites or defines us, rather it is our sense of community in supporting our students that brings us all together and keeps our school spirit alive.
MASCOT SELECTION PROCESS IN RESPONSE TO SB21-116
Spring 2021 Communication started with the BOE beginning Spring of 2021 when the bill was introduced. Options were explored for staying the Indians.
7-7-2021 A letter was sent out to the community explaining the passage and signing of the bill by Governor Polis and what this meant for the school and the requirements of SB 21-116as well as the $25,000 per month fine for not meeting the requirements.
8-9-2021 A letter was sent out to the community informing them of the upcoming listening session concerning SB21-116 and the process of choosing a new mascot.
8-19-2021 Community Listening Session held to answer questions, develop ideas for a new mascot, and begin the selection process. Developed a list of possible mascots and reviewed them with community committee members.
8-26-2021 Student Listening Session held with elementary, Jr. High, and High School to answer questions, develop ideas for a new mascot, and begin the selection process. Following each listening session, each committee group reviewed the possible options and throughout those options, they felt as a committee was not suitable as a new mascot.
Sept. 2021 Mr. Cole Larsen and Mr. Edgar started meeting with vendors to get an idea of new uniforms, pricing, and ordering deadlines.
9-13-2021 First Survey was released to students on 3-12 and the community with 25 options selected by the committees. Mascot options included Aggies, Bears, Badgers, Bravehearts, Buffalos, Colts, Cougars, Cowboys, Cyclones, Diamondbacks, Eagles, Giants, Grizzlies, Jaguars, Longhorns, Mountaineers, Mustangs, Pioneers, Rattlers, Spartans, Stallions, Titans, Wildcats, Wolverines, Wolves-Timber Wolves, and other. Mustangs received the most votes from the community, Eagles received the most votes from the elementary, and wolves received the most votes from Jr/Sr. high school. All three of these were moved along with six others to the next survey.
9-21-2022 Survey released to community and students with 10 options and asking them to choose their three favorites. The student committee met following the surveys and narrowed it down to six options. The committee felt that if there were pictures with the mascot name, it may help people better decide. Pictures of possible mascot images were prepared for the next survey. Eagles received the most votes from the elementary, mustangs received the most votes from Jr/Sr high school, and mustangs received the most votes from the community. After reviewing the results of the survey, the student committee moved six mascots forward to the next survey.
9-28-2022 Survey three was released to students and the community with pictures of what the mascot may look like with six options. These pictures were taken from other schools. The results of this survey were as follows with the top three for the elementary being wolves, mustangs, and Spartans. The Jr/Sr high school results showed Spartans, mustangs and wolves receiving the most votes. The community survey showed the top three results to be mustangs, wolves, and Spartans. After this survey, the student committees did not meet. It was decided it was no longer conducive to the process to continue the student committee meetings.
10-5-2021 Survey four was released to students and the community. The survey asked to vote for only one. Options were Mustangs, Spartans, and Wolves. Elementary’s top votes were wolves and mustangs. Jr./Sr high school's top votes were Spartans and mustangs. The communities’ top votes were mustangs and wolves. It was decided that based on the total number of votes from all three groups mustangs and wolves would be on the last survey.
10-12-2021 The final survey was released to students and the community. There were two options, the Mustangs, and the Wolves. The survey asked to vote for one. The results are as follows:
Jr/Sr High School
10-21-2021 At the Board Meeting the Board decided to not move forward with a mascot selection and approved a motion to just be Sanford.
10-22-2021 The District received a letter from the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs that we had two schools out of compliance with SB21-116.
12-13-2021 Because of feedback from the community and students, requesting that a mascot be chosen, the mascot was placed back on the agenda for the December Board meeting. The feedback was that students needed to have a mascot and that a mascot inspires the spirit and team unity. At this meeting, the Board voted unanimously to follow the overall survey results and the new Mascot to be the Mustangs. Thundering was added as a descriptive term. At the next Board meeting in January, the Board discussed just being the Mustangs without the word “Thundering” added. Thundering may be used as a descriptive word at times.
1-3-2022 The District informed the community and students that the Board of Education had followed the overall survey results and the new mascot would be the Sanford Mustangs. The district began working with graphic design artists to develop a Mustang Logo.
1-21-2022 The Board reviewed designs for the new mascot logo. The Board directed the Superintendent to continue trying to find better designs. The Board also met with Charles Ewing concerning the painting of a mural.
2-11-2022 The District received notification from the Governor’s office on the timeline requirements to be moved off the noncompliance list of schools. The email noted that documentation needed to be submitted prior to February 18, 2022.
2-17-2022 The District submitted documentation and timeline to follow SB 21-116 requirements. The Board reviewed the final design of the new mascot logo.
3-17-2022 The CCIA met to review documentation from District and review compliance. At this meeting the Commission removed Sanford Schools from the noncompliance list provided the timelines are met. They also approved the Mustangs as our new mascot along with the logo.
NOTES: The surveys were released to the community through the school’s website and social media and word of mouth. There was also the option to come into the school and vote by paper. This was obvious as the number of community members participating in each survey continued to increase with the final survey being completed by 563 community members. The surveys were released to students through their student school email accounts. This prevented a student from voting multiple times on each survey. In reviewing the results of the surveys, the mustangs led the community survey from the first survey released all through the surveys, and then in the final survey, mustangs received 473 votes. The mustangs were in the top three of every survey with the students and the top two going into the final survey. There have been hours devoted to the mascot from the time that SB21-116 was first introduced. School attorneys were consulted on multiple occasions regarding the requirements, using the word “Tribe” or “Warrior”. Hours have been spent in surveys, listening sessions, and committee meetings. The design process was also extensive. This has been a difficult process for both the school and the community. We have two months to meet the compliance timeline. The process of removing Indian imagery has begun and must be completed during the final two months of school.