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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Congratulations graduates

As another school year ends, questions about what the future may bring are on the minds of hundreds of graduating seniors and their families. Whether a student is choosing to go to college or directly into the work force after graduation, we are confident that their time in Falcon School District 49 has been full of exciting learning opportunities that will open doors to new possibilities for many years to come.Despite the challenges that surely lie ahead, the future looks bright for these hard-working students who are seeing a major chapter in their lives conclude just as another begins. On behalf of everyone at D 49, I wish them the best of everything, as they forge ahead to realize their full potential.N1H1 updateD 49 has revised our H1N1 influenza response protocol to align with new recommendations on school closure made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 5 and guidelines from the El Paso County Department of Public Health and Environment. School closure is no longer strongly advised for either suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza unless the magnitude of student and/or staff absenteeism interferes with the school’s ability to function. The CDC has instituted this change after reviewing the current H1N1 disease pattern in the United States and finding that the virus is usually causing mild symptoms and school closure has not had a major impact on the spread of illness. Decisions regarding school closures will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration by district administration and the Health Department.Because of this change, it is important for the staff, students and families of D 49 to practice good hygiene habits and sanitation measures and to remain at home with flu-like symptoms.We have helpful information on our Web site at and are posting frequent updates as new information becomes available.Local teacher gets national recognitionJan Gugeler, Sand Creek High School English teacher, has been selected from a national applicant pool to attend two summer study opportunities supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The endowment is a federal agency that each summer supports Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops so teachers can study with experts in humanities disciplines.Jan will participate in workshops entitled “A Rising People: Benjamin Franklin and the Americans” and “Huckleberry Finn in Post-Reconstruction America: Mark Twain’s Hartford Years, 1871-1891.” The Franklin one-week program will be held in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Twain one-week program will be held in Hartford, Conn. We’re thrilled to have Jan representing our district.PLC teacher selected to attend leadership schoolCongratulations to Jenny Olson, middle school math teacher at Patriot Learning Center. Jenny has been selected to attend the 2009 American Wilderness Leadership School in Northern Wyoming.Lectures, discussions and field trips concerning Rocky Mountain wildlife, wildlife ecology, environmental ethics, natural resource management and conservation are the center of attention at this six-day educator workshop.Design shops named outstanding program of the yearD 49’s SLIC Sign Design Shop has been named Outstanding Program of the Year by ARC of the Pikes Peak Region. The design shop offers an opportunity for some of the district’s special education students to get hands on work experience making a variety of different signs for internal and external clients.D 49 bus driver named 2009 driver of the yearI am proud to share that R.J. Berry has been selected as the 2009 Driver of the Year by the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association. R.J. is best known for Santa’s Toy Express, a project he founded in 2002 to help some of the neediest kids in our district. Thanks to R.J. and our entire team in transportation, with support from the central office staff and Board of Education members, dozens of D 49 students have had a holiday full of laughter and fun despite any challenges they may have been facing. According to Cindy Hardin, D 49 director of transportation, R.J.’s teamwork and camaraderie for the last seven years has been an inspiration. It is people like R.J. that make D 49 a wonderful place to live and work.We are here to serve you. Contact David Bond, or any D 49 division or department head, at 719-495-1100.

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