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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 board meeting wrap up

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in March to discuss several important items. Prior to the meeting, the board held a Fantastic 49 event that recognized the Horizon Middle School Brain Bowl Team 6 on their efforts at recent state competitions.During the Fantastic 49 event, the board also heard from educators from Sand Creek High School regarding the Sand Creek Model Classroom Project, which is a professional development tool that allows teachers to open their classrooms to other teachers for collaboration about best instructional practices.The board members unanimously approved the following action items:

  • A change to Sand Creek Highís calendar to make a professional development day a regular student attendance day so the school meets the required number of contact hours after losing some classroom time to snow days
  • Revisions to policies regarding teacher evaluations as they relate to Senate Bill 10-191 so board policies are in alignment with state statute
  • Changes to board policies regarding employeesí catastrophic leave bank to ensure the policy is clear to all staff
  • New courses for the Academy of Health Science students in grades 11 and 12 at Falcon High School
  • New courses in medical intervention, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, biological engineering and computer science and software engineering at Vista Ridge High School
Kim McClelland, iConnect Zone leader, updated the board about activity within her zone, including the opening and implementation of the GOAL Academy, one of the newest charter schools in the district. McClelland mentioned some significant challenges the zone faces: increased enrollment and space needs; increased targeted staffing needs; and the amount of time spent on state testing, which is creating difficulties for student learning time.Marie LaVere-Wright, board secretary, asked McClelland if the Colorado Department of Education is willing to consider some issues that alternative education centers, such as the Falcon Virtual Academy and the Patriot Learning Center, face with their students. McClelland said the CDE has heard the issues and have asked her and her team to bring them more information.As a discussion item, Jack Bay, chief operations officer, reviewed the overall operational needs from the capital planning perspective. He said his top priority district-wide is to increase energy efficiency and reduce utility costs.Dave Watson, D 49 safety and emergency coordinator, reviewed the overall safety needs from the capital planning perspective. He said his top priorities were trained officers, communications, traffic control and secured entries at all district schools.Darryl Murphy, D 49 parent, presented information about the condition of the athletic fields at Falcon High School. ìOur fields are the most substandard in the entire district,î Murphy said. He proposed that the district fund the $575,000 to get new artificial turf installed as soon as possible and take that portion out of the money the capital planning committee is asking for. ìThis doesnít just impact the football community,î Murphy said. ìIt affects the entire school.îTammy Harold, board president, said she had received a higher estimated cost to replace the field. However, given the new lower number, she agreed to initiate future discussions on other funding options for the field.Harold also made a formal request for a resolution to end multi-year contracts to help prevent future contract buyouts in the district.Following the public portion of the meeting, the BOE entered into executive session. No actions were taken at that time.The next regular BOE meeting is April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the Education Services Center.

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