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El Paso County Colorado District 49

BOE June meeting wrap up

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in June, and all members were present to discuss budget items before the start of the new fiscal year in July. Prior to the regular meeting, the BOE held a ìFantastic 49î event, and recognized teachers in the district with Teacher of the Year awards.The BOE awarded the following teachers: Andrea Aragon from Ridgeview Elementary; Sarafina Bailey from Evans International Elementary; Sarah Temple from Vista Ridge High; Tonya Hackett from Ridgeview Elementary; and Eric Lustig from The Patriot Learning Center.Action itemsThe board unanimously approved the following:

  • The 2015/2016 school year contract reauthorization between D 49 and the Community Partnership for Child Development ñ Head Start
  • The revised version of Horizon Middle Schoolís innovation plan
  • Budgets for the 2015/2016 school year for the five charter schools in D 49 to include Banning Lewis Ranch Academy, GOAL Academy, Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning, Rocky Mountain Classical Academy and Imagine Indigo Ranch
  • The districtís proposed budget for the 2015/2016 school year
Discussion itemsAmy Attwood, district lobbyist, provided an update on education issues addressed at the most recent legislative session. She said more than half the bills regarding education died, and some major ones like bills about assessments, were rolled into one bill. Attwood said, although she did not make as much progress on reforming assessments through the state Legislature, there is still an opportunity for planning and negotiating in future sessions. Additionally, she said the groundwork for legislation reform on special education has been completed.Michelle Slyter, principal at Evans International Elementary, presented information on the schoolís proposed revisions to its innovation plan. School officials adopted the original plan during the 2011/2012 school year, and have made a few revisions in the proposed plan, she said. The proposed plan focuses on teacher contracts. The staff has continually voted to have teachers be At-Will, with no option for tenure, Slyter said. Teachers will be evaluated yearly, and their contracts could be renewed or terminated, she said.The BOE agreed to move this to an action item at a subsequent meeting.Amber Whetstine, executive director of learning services, updated the board on different methods of professional development the district is using. One method involves collaborative professional learning, where one teacher acts as a mentor to others to model excellent teaching practices, she said. Whetstine also provided a look at professional development ideas in the works.Kevin Butcher, board treasurer, presented a proposal about changing the districtís plan of representation from at-large board members to a director district plan of representation, based on smaller geographic areas. Ideally, this would provide more balanced leadership and ultimately improve the quality and performance of the district, he said. A director district would also lend itself to more stability on the board, Butcher said.Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, provided data and information to help educate the directors about what a director district plan of representation might look like. Ridgway also provided information about how a ballot measure should look so the community can vote on the topic. ìThe next step is drafting a representation plan with board policy regarding residency requirements,î Ridgway said. The directors asked him to bring back that draft, as well as ballot language, to the June work session.The next BOE meeting is July 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Education Service Center.

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