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El Paso County Colorado District 49

August BOE meeting wrap up

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met for its regular meeting in August with all members present. Prior to the meeting, the board held a ìFantastic 49î event.During ìFantastic 49,î the board presented Ken Crowell, GOAL Academy chief executive officer, and Carolyn Gery, National Council of La Raza master fellow, an award for GOALís designation as the Far West affiliate of the year from the National Council of La Raza. The NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country.The board also recognized Amy Dreher, school nurse for Vista Ridge High and Odyssey Elementary schools, who received the Nightingale Luminary Award from the Colorado Nurses Foundation.CEO updatePeter Hilts, chief education officer has been to various conferences, meeting many people. Hilt said he learned through his interactions that the Wray School District in Wray, Colorado, modeled the recent position posted for superintendent of the district after D 49. The Wray district hired a three-person team to manage the district.Action itemsThe board unanimously approved all the action items on the agenda:

  • The POWER Zoneís overall zone innovation plan and individual school innovation plans
  • A resolution to send the revised POWER Zone innovations plans to the Colorado State Board of Education for approval
  • A resolution to send the revised innovation plans from Falcon Middle, Evans International Elementary and Horizon Middle schools to the CSBOE for approval
  • A resolution to refinance the districtís bonds that will shorten the term of repayment by two years, resulting in a savings of about $1.1 million
  • Reclassification of the central enrollment supervisorís current job description, which will require an additional $17,114 per year
  • The lead campus security officer job description, which will require an additional $5,000 per year
  • Revisions to the literacy and reading comprehension assessments policy that include new legislation and changing the title to Early Literacy and Reading Comprehension
  • Temporary approval of revisions to district policy regarding grading and assessment systems. House Bill 15-1323 includes policy requirements that must be adopted prior to the upcoming school year; the BOE will follow standard procedure and have first and second readings regarding this item in subsequent meetings but temporary approval was necessary to be in compliance with state statute
  • The Supplemental Fund 16 District Budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which is an accounting technicality, said Brett Ridgway, chief business officer
  • Appointment of Marie LaVere-Wright as the board representative to serve as a delegate at the Colorado Association of School Boards September delegate assembly
  • An intergovernmental agreement between the district and the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder to participate in the November 2015 election, with an estimated cost of $31,141.02
Discussion ItemsLaVere-Wright asked the chief officers and other board members for input on resolutions they would like her, as the CASB delegate, to push for at the September delegate assembly. They agreed on special education funding and the need for funding technology in kindergarten through grade 12.LaVere-Wright asked if she should pursue a resolution regarding the use of medical marijuana on school grounds. ìThe state has passed a statute that lets district decide to create a policy regarding the allowance of medical marijuana on school property, which puts us in violation of federal law,î she said. ìDo we face the possible loss of funding or ignore what our constituents are asking for?îThe board and directors asked LaVere-Wright to press for a resolution asking the federal government to provide an exception to drug-free school zones for non-psychoactive cannaboid products.Brian Green, D 49ís online professional learning specialist, presented an update about the Schoology Learning Management Enterprise System implemented in July 2014.ìWe needed a way to reach teachers and leaders in the district,î Green said. ìWe wanted to offer professional development to everyone in an effective and efficient manner. Itís a teaching tool; itís a professional development tool; itís a tool to bring learning to anyone, anytime, anywhere.îJohn Litchenberg, instructional technology specialist, discussed changing the title of existing instructional technology assistant to instructional technology analyst. He said the new title fits better with the job requirements and also reflects the skill set of the person in that position. The instructional technology analyst job description item is scheduled as an action item for the Sept. 10 meeting.The three chief officers updated everyone on the board-directed pursuit of a relationship with Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence for an external review of the districtís overall operations. Ridgway said he is working on the application to RMPEX, and Jack Bay, chief operations officer, said the review will focus on the districtís operational processes.Hilts updated the BOE on the 49 Pathways approach to graduation. ìThis is the format we are using to transition students into a graduation model where they graduate with their diploma and various other certifications as well,î he said. ìWe are really helping them identify their career paths.î Hilts said the current school year is the first full year of the 49 Pathways implementation.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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