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"And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave."
– Joseph Rodman Drake  
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 5 May 2018  

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Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
  August BOE meeting wrap-up
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in August without Tammy Harold, secretary, who was absent with prior notice.
   Before the regular meeting, the BOE held a “Fantastic 49” event and recognized Nathan Pearsall, social studies department chair at Vista Ridge High School, for being selected to the commissioner’s teacher cabinet, assembled by Katy Anthes, Colorado Education commissioner. Pearsall is one of 20 teachers selected out of more than 170 educators statewide who submitted applications.
   The BOE also recognized Katherine Hochevar, senior data analyst for research and development, for her service and dedication to the district.
   The board also recognized Dave Pratt, safety and security specialist, for his work with the Southeast Springs Soccer Initiative program that engages at-risk youth and families through soccer by bringing them together with law enforcement and community partners to build positive relationships.
   Board update
   John Graham, vice president, welcomed back all the students and staff, and reminded community members to be careful when driving, especially around school buses.
   Marie LaVere-Wright, president, attended the grand opening of the Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy and said the community is excited about the new school.
   Chief officer update
   Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, recognized Jack Pietraallo as the new transportation director.
   Peter Hilts, chief education officer, said the district has filled the student board of representatives, who will begin attending meetings in September.
   Action items
   The board unanimously approved the following:
  • Policy reviews: district personnel performance evaluation council; accident reports; vandalism; information technology management; staff conduct and responsibilities; posting and advertising of professional vacancies; evaluation of licensed personnel; evaluation of evaluators; posting and advertising of education support staff vacancies; school year/school calendars/instruction time; health and family life/sex education; instructional resources and materials; use of electronic communications devices; and guest user policy
  • Revisions to the policy on service animals to address compliance issues
  • Revisions to the job description for the grounds maintenance supervisor from grounds maintenance foreman
  • Designation of the new elementary school in the Falcon Zone as Bennett Ranch Elementary School; the school mascot is the bull and the school colors are black, gold and silver
  • Reauthorization of the contracts between the district and the Pikes Peak Board of Cooperative Educational Services
  • Appointment of LaVere-Wright as the board representative for the Colorado Association of School Boards delegate assembly, with Graham as the alternate
  • A boundary change for the Sand Creek innovation zone to allow students who move to the future development located east of Marksheffel Road and south of Barnes Road so they can attend schools closer to their homes
  • Contractual changes to the planned Sungard student information system conversion to a Powerschool SIS conversion
  • An intergovernmental agreement between the district and the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, the EPC Clerk and Recorder and the state of Colorado to participate in the coordinated election Nov. 7 at a cost of $15,823.38

   Discussion items
   Monica Deines-Henderson, director of nutrition services, provided an overview of the 2016-2017 school year, including the summer of 2017. She said the district provided 781 lunches to students in need. Deines-Henderson also explained the nutrition services budget, and said the excess funds in the budget will be reinvested in equipment in some of the schools’ kitchens, especially Stetson Elementary School’s kitchen, which needs to be updated.
   Ridgway said the district is fortunate that it does not have to subsidize the nutrition program with funds from other programs; all price increases for nutrition services have been a result of federal mandates.
   He also presented the “Facility Change Team,” which developed a comprehensive process to follow when undertaking capital facility projects to maximize efficiency and ensure a consistent process that produces the best result.
   Each member of the team is a subject matter expert, and Ridgway said they had input into the process, which is a team-oriented one designed to cover most scenarios. The BOE discussed the process and added their individual input.
   Kevin Butcher, treasurer, said the Facility Change Team physically represents the checks and balances necessary for a nearly flawless process.
   “This system is awesome because we can see where you are in the process, which will help us do our job better,” LaVere-Wright said.
   Ron Lee, director of 3B mill levy override capital construction, and Mike Wilhelm with Wember Inc., project manager for priority 3 and 4 projects, updated the board on the projects completed with ballot measure 3B funds. Wilhelm provided a budget overview and the tracking of priority 2 projects.
   Dave Cruson, director, voiced concern that top priority projects were not being completed first. Ridgway said the district as a whole has combined work on top priority projects at certain schools with lower-priority projects with the same scope at other schools to complete them together. This approach provides improved efficiency and allows for easier management of the labor pool.
   Paul Andersen, director of human resources, presented the second in a series of discussions about the various positions across the district, focusing on professional technical positions. Within that discussion, Andersen described how job descriptions are created.
   LaVere-Wright said the district must resubmit resolutions to CASB every year, whether or not they have been previously approved, to have them on the agenda during the assembly. She said the board will submit everything that was submitted last year, including a resolution for fully funding special education.
   Other business
   LaVere-Wright said she, Anderson and Cruson have been working on establishing a hiring process for the chief operations officer position, formerly held by Jack Bay. Andersen described the proposed process, and said it requires a team review of all applications to narrow the pool down to about 10 to 12 candidates. The BOE would review those applications to see how each candidate fits the criteria of the COO position.
   The new hiring process would create three different interview teams to allow all BOE members to participate, Andersen said. Candidates would rotate through each of the interview teams.
   The next regular meeting of the BOE is Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the D 49 Education Services Center.
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