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"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread."
– Edward Abbey  
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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 9 September 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
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  Celebrating 100 years in 2020

   The Falcon School opened in 1920 on what is now the Falcon Legacy Campus in School District 49. We are looking for pictures, artifacts — memories of the district covering the last 100 years for a celebration event in June 2020. Join our planning committee! If you have information or items to share, contact Karen S. at, 719-244-3232 or 719-683-6243, or Karen H.   
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  March BOE special meeting wrap-up
  By Lindsey Harrison

   The regular board meeting of the El Paso County Colorado School District 49 was canceled March 13 because of weather. Agenda items from that meeting were placed on the agenda of a special meeting that immediately followed the BOE work session March 27.
   All members of the BOE were present at the special meeting except for Dave Cruson, secretary, who was absent with prior notice.
   Action items
   The BOE unanimously approved the following:
  • Proposed changes to school fees for the 2018-2019 school year
  • A new policy regarding facilities planning
  • Review of the following policies and procedures: advisory committees; staff unpaid leave of absence; first aid training; evaluation of educational support staff; grading/assessment systems; and cyber bullying
  • The portfolio of schools specialist job description, funded by the iConnect zone
  • A request to hire a new grounds technician and a maintenance technician for the facilities department

   Following the regular meeting, the BOE entered into executive session to discuss with the district attorney a stakeholder grievance and personnel matters involving an employee. No action was taken at that time and Cruson was present for the executive session.
   When the board reconvened the regular session, they voted to uphold finding No.1 from a report by Pedro Almeida, the chief operations officer, that stated there was no valid grievance review violation. The vote was 4-1, with Cruson opposed.
   Marie LaVere-Wright, president, said, “I do not think there was an intent to mislead at any point. I think there were multiple miscommunications and errors ... that were perpetuated as that position (health and wellness coordinator) became a general-fund funded position that led to the current situation. It was truly a set of errors that took five years to catch.”
   Cruson said he was opposed to upholding that finding because he said he would have been shocked if he had been the employee in question who found out that his/her salary would be significantly decreased or his/her hours were going to significantly increase with no salary change.
   The BOE unanimously approved a motion to uphold finding No. 2 in Almeida’s report, which found that D 49 did violate a policy that requires board approval to make major changes to a job description.
   The board also unanimously approved a motion to direct district administration to revise the health and wellness coordinator position to include scope of work, duty, days worked and salary; and present that to the board for approval for the next contract year of 2019-2020.
   The BOE also unanimously approved an action to direct district administration that, if a revised job description includes a significant change in days and/or salary, the human resources department shall provide an appropriate three-year transition period for the current employee, subject to annual assignment.
   The next regular meeting of the BOE is April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the D 49 Education Services Center.
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