The new falcon herald logo.
El Paso County Colorado District 49

BOE June meeting wrap up

Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in June to discuss and take action on a variety of items. Prior to the meeting, the board held a ìFantastic 49î event, and recognized outstanding students and teachers.Sixteen educators from the district were given ìteacher of the yearî awards for their performance during the 2014-2015 school year. Vista Ridge High Schoolís valedictorian Mackenzie Isbell was also recognized for her achievements. She is headed to Colorado State University to study biological sciences, with a goal to become a doctor of internal medicine.Following the Fantastic 49 event, the board discussed student fees for activities. Tammy Harold, board president, said that based on the analysis they received, in some instances, students were charged more to participate than the indicated cost. ìIt seems that we should be adjusting our fee schedule to what it actually costs to run it,î Harold said.Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, said fees are set by the board but each school provides information on what they need to run their programs. The board unanimously agreed to table the item until the June 25 special meeting to research how the fees should be scheduled.Ridgway also presented information on the supplemental budget for the general fund for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. He said the fund received a $500,000 adjustment because the per-pupil rate approved by the state was higher than the district initially projected in the budget. Ridgway proposed that the additional money go to program formula funding. ìI want to have us reallocatesome of this money to pay for the free and reduced activity fees that arenít covered by the state to keep other students from having to pay extra for that.î The board unanimously approved the reallocation.The board unanimously approved the job description of a new position ó the advanced learning facilitator. This position will operate primarily out of the Falcon Virtual Academy and will help advanced learners in general but not exclusively, said Peter Hilts, D 49 chief education officer. It will support other positions at other schools as well, he said.The BOE also unanimously approved the following action items: reauthorization of the Community Partnership for Child Development/Head Start contract for pre-school services at Evans International and Falcon Elementary schools; the food services contract at Evans and Falcon Elementary for the Head Start program; the charter school budgets; district compensation schedules to include a step up in employee compensation; and the 2014-2015 budget.Melissa Andrews, district planner and Capital Planning Committee member, presented information to the board about the campaign to seek a bond and mill levy override in the upcoming election in November. The committee looked at the proposed items in the campaign and researched their updated costs, and found that inflation rates are four times higher than what the committee had anticipated, she said.ìThe $135 million package we had come up with went up to $158 million,î she said. ìWe created a revised package that costs $129.9 million.î In the revised package, the committee changed the three 600-student ìflexî schools, which would have accommodated a range of grades from elementary through high school, to two flex schools for 1,125 students total. By choosing the two-school option, referred to as Option B, the district would be able to accommodate 150 more students between the schools and wouldnít have to spend an additional $21 million by building a third school, she said. With that option, the district would also build a charter high school, called TrailRidge High School, at the corner of Mustang Rim and Indigo Ranch in Colorado Springs.Andrews also presented Option C to the board, which included the same smaller-ticket items in Option B but with a few changes. Instead of building two 1,125-student schools, the district could build the following: an addition to Falcon Elementary School that could accommodate an additional 300 students; one 600-student elementary school in Falcon near Londonderry Drive; and an elementary and middle school campus in the Banning Lewis Ranch in the soon-to-be constructed Village Two. Andrews said the cost of that option would be about $134 million.Harold said the BOE needs to decide on which option is best so they can meet the Aug. 4 deadline for finalizing the ballot language.The board also heard a presentation about the districtís new logo, which will be launched July 1. Hilts said the logo design work didnít cost the district any money, and the transition will be gradual so usable items featuring the old logo would not be discarded but used until they need to be reordered.The BOE heard from Jack Bay, chief operations officer, and Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek Zone leader, about proposed new positions. The directors moved both items to action items at a followup meeting.The next regular BOE meeting is July 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Service Center.

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