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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
– Henry David Thoreau  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 10 October 2017  

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  Athletic scholarships

   Three senior student athletes from Falcon High School signed with college basketball teams.
   
   Congratulations D 49 graduates, and good luck from The New Falcon Herald!
  
From left to right: Kendra Adams, who is going to Colorado State University in Pueblo; Kirsten Regennitter will attend Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado; and Hanna Diaz will attend Lamar Community College in Lamar, Colorado. Photo by Lisa Reginnitter
 
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  D 49 2017 valedictorians and salutatorians
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Falcon High School
   Valedictorian Katelynn Kroeker will study bio-medical science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She will be participating in the honors and undergraduate research programs at CSU and would like to become a veterinarian. Her favorite memory: “I loved to get dressed up in the Falcon colors,” Kroeker said. “Anything having to do with school spirit was my favorite part.”
   
   Salutatorian Kiana Harkema will study computer sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. She plans to get a dual degree in criminology so she can work in the field of cyber security. “I had the opportunity to do a lot of things and experience a lot of things,” Harkema said. “The diversity of what I got to do was my best memory from high school.”
   
   Vista Ridge High School
   Valedictorian Alexander Stallings will study history at Boston College in Massachusetts. From there, he plans to attend law school. “My favorite memory was during my sophomore year at one of the baseball games,” Stallings said. “It was a home game, and we just started playing tic-tac-toe with each other and it was just pretty funny.”
   
   Salutatorian Rileigh Robertson will study environmental engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. She said her favorite memory from high school was this year’s prom. “It was the last time I got to see everybody together and it was at the Broadmoor so it was really nice,” Robertson said.
   
   Sand Creek High School
   Valedictorian Jacob Hans will study computer science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship so he will join the United States Air Force to do cyber security or cyber defense. Hans said his favorite memory from high school was during a spirit day where students had to dress up. “The upper classmen dressed up as older people and the underclassmen dressed up as babies,” he said. “I shaved the top of my head and left the sides so I looked like I was balding, and I had a pillow in my shirt to look like a beer gut.”
   
   Salutatorian – Kristina Tran: Kristina did not return multiple calls from the NFH.
  
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  May BOE meeting wrap-up
  By Lindsey Harrison

   All members were present at the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education meeting in May. Evan Mahon from Vista Ridge High School attended as a member of the student board of representatives.
   
   Before the meeting, the BOE held a “Fantastic 49” event and recognized outstanding high school students from the district: Alexandra Stoller, a 12th-grader from Pikes Peak Early College; Meleah Barnes, a 12th-grader from VRHS; and Jake Marvin, a 12th-grader from Springs Studio for Academic Excellence.
   
   Tammy Harold, secretary, congratulated the Class of 2017.
   
   Action items
   The board unanimously approved the following:
  • Food service contracts between the district’s nutrition department and the following schools: Banning Lewis Ranch Academy; Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy; Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning; Power Technical Early College, and The Imagine Classical Academy
  • Increases to annual school fees and meal prices
  • Revisions to the following policies: school wellness; nutritious food choices; public concerns and complaints; stakeholder grievance; and community use of district real property
  • Changes to the following compensation schedules: licensed staff; educational support personnel; professional/technical staff; and administrative staff
  • The charter school contract between the district and PPSEL
  • Revisions to the following job descriptions: before and after school manager; gifted education specialist; 49 pathways specialist; and teacher on special assignment –- 21st century learning and innovation specialist
  • The following proposed new job descriptions: before and after school assistant manager; director of community care; and primary proficiency and data coach
  • Cancellation of the dean position at Stetson Elementary School due to lower-than-projected student numbers and temporary transfer of the dean position to Odyssey Elementary School for the 2017-2018 school year
  • The recalibration of the district’s cultural compass
  • Emergency revisions to the policy regarding instructional staff contracts/compensation/salary schedules so the district can use the new policy guidelines during the hiring process for the 2017-2018 school year
  • The revised job description for a teacher on special assignment for early childhood education
  • Conveyance, recording and use of land at 11243 Londonderry Drive to construct a new elementary school

   The board heard a presentation from Melissa Andrews, district planner, regarding the options for a supplementary learning space at Odyssey elementary. The learning space will serve two purposes: replace the current modular units at OES and provide space for the Academy for Literacy, Learning and Innovation Excellence program. The BOE unanimously approved construction of a steel building on-site that would house both programs, with funding not to exceed $3,129,630. The funds will come from OES’s budget for refurbishing its modular units.
   
   LaVere-Wright said, according to state statute, the BOE had 60 days from the time that former board member David Moore gave his resignation to appoint someone in his place. Since that time has expired, the president must appoint a new member, she said. Dave Cruson will serve in Moore’s place until the end of Moore’s term in November. Cruson is the first person to be appointed using the director district system, in which members represent a portion of the district’s community based on their geographical location.
   
   Discussion items
   Jack Bay, chief operations officer, provided the board with the update from Wember Inc., the project manager for Priority 3 and 4 projects, funded by ballot measure 3B.
   
   Andrews provided an update about other construction projects in the district and said the design for the new elementary school on Londonderry Drive is almost complete. El Paso County is currently reviewing the design, she said.
   
   The Vista del Pico Boulevard construction site, which will house a new elementary school in the Banning Lewis Ranch subdivision, must be cleared of the dirt that has been dumped on the site by the Banning Lewis Ranch Preparatory Academy’s developer, Andrews said. The engineer said the site is not adequately prepared for construction until that excess dirt is moved, she said.
   
   Kevin Butcher, treasurer, asked if the developer has made any efforts to correct the situation. Andrews said, “No, the developer feels they have invested enough money into their project already. The charter school administration understands that it is their responsibility to deal with the problem and pay for it.”
   
   The project has been delayed a bit but will still be built, she said.
   
   Nikki Lester, career and technical education director, provided an update on the CTE program across the district. She said students at Patriot High School received donated materials to build a shed they can sell to earn money for their program.
   
   Students at VRHS and Falcon High School will attend the Health Occupations Students of America national competition, which is a big achievement, Lester said.
   
   Dave Kranz, CTE teacher at FHS, will attend a national agricultural conference this summer as one of 25 teachers chosen nationwide, she said.
   
   Mike Pickering, POWER zone leader, said, “We are working to diagnose where a student is rather than just trying to get them to grade level standards.” As part of that effort, the zone has added math interventionists to expand help in that area, he said.
   
   Bruce Grose, principal at VRHS, presented information on a proposed course name change and addition of credits, which ties in with the new graduation requirements. “By creating these pathways courses, it will help more than 1,500 students meet their pathway designs and will provide an accelerated process to help students who transfer to our school after their freshman year,” he said.
   
   The board agreed to move this discussion item to an action item at the next regular meeting.
   
   Kathlynn Jackson, director of special education, presented a proposal for an updated job description of special education data technician to special education program specialist, which more accurately describes the position.
   
   The board agreed to move this discussion item to an action item at the next regular meeting.
   
   Lea Holland, Building Restorative Interventions, Growing Honorable Traditions project manager, presented an update on the process to secure Department of Defense Education Activity grants. As part of that process, the district has implemented restorative practices training for everyone from crossing guards to principals, she said.
   
   Ron Sprinz, finance group manager, presented updated budget information for the 2017-2018 school year, including the spring student count of 12,851 district-wide.
   
   LaVere-Wright said the BOE is working on a new board member orientation.
   
   The next regular meeting of the BOE is June 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the D 49 Education Services Center.
  
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