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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 board meeting wrap up

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education held its regular monthly board meeting Nov. 12. All members were present except for director Chuck Irons, who was absent with prior notice.During the Fantastic 49 event held before the meeting, the Falcon Education Foundation awarded more than $23,000 in mini-grants to 27 winners. Grants included $996 for the Falcon High School robotics and programming club and $1,048 for Falcon Middle School’s SEMTech Technology Boot Camp.During the public comment section, Amy Markwell, member of the board of directors for Educating Children of Color and a D 49 parent, told the board about the Jan. 16 ECC summit at Colorado College. ìIt is the premier event for our nonprofit organization, specifically meant to educate educators and their parents to break the cradle-to-prison pipeline,î Markwell said.Action itemsThe BOE approved the following:

  • A resolution authorizing individual schools to rent charter buses for extra-curricular activities ó a Colorado Department of Education requirement that schools must seek BOE approval for short term rentals of charter buses
  • A proposal to include student representatives on the BOE as non-voting members to allow for student perspectives at the governance level; Student representatives from the district’s high schools, will attend each district board work session and regular meeting.
  • Resolution recognizing all District 49 staff during American Education Week, November 16-20
  • Resolution to secure the Broadmoor World Arena for District 49’s class of 2016 graduation activities scheduled May 28. Sand Creek High School will graduate at 9 a.m.; Falcon High School at 1 p.m., and Vista Ridge High School at 5 p.m.
  • Revision of the communicable and infectious disease policy to meet changes to federal and state laws
Discussion itemsDr. Mike Pickering, zone leader for the POWER zone, presented the performance report for the zone to the board. ìThere are a lot of stakeholders that are working smarter but also harder as well than ever before,î Pickering said.The High Reliability School and Performance Dashboard survey results for the POWER zone were presented. School safety for staff, parents and students were areas of strength, as well as the fiscal, operational and technological resources of the school. Areas for continued focus include staff interaction and formal ways for stakeholders to provide input and address common issues.Testing and graduation trends for the zone, as compared to the district and the state, were discussed. Reading testing and intervention programs in the zone’s elementary schools have resulted in decreased gaps between current performance and grade level for the zone’s most struggling readers, Pickering said.Brett Ridgway, district chief business officer, presented the amended budget based on the ìOctober count,î the official determination by the state of the number of full-time equivalent students in the district. ìThis will be an interesting story this year because it will show tremendous growth in our numbers,î Ridgway said. ìIt’s almost 10 percent for what is allocated to or attributed to District 49.îSignificant growth in the Colorado Digital BOCES program and the charter schools represented almost all of the funded enrollment number growth for the district, Ridgway said. The coordinated schools within the district realized a decrease in headcount by about 0.3 percent.Assessed value of property per pupil remains a challenge for the district, Ridgway said. ìThis is something I’ve been trying to draw attention to for quite a while,î he said. ìIt makes life difficult for us in our district ó the concentration of residential property compared to commercial property.îCommercial property is assessed at three times the rate as residential property, Ridgway said. Only 21 percent of the total land value in the district is commercial, compared to 69 percent residential. This ratio in commercial to residential property values results in District 49’s 170th rank out of 178 school districts in Colorado in assessed value per pupil, he said.ìThat is a reality we have to deal with when we ask constituents to fund things; it will cost them more than some of our neighboring districts,î Ridgway said.The board entered into executive session for the chief business officer’s evaluation and review process.The BOE also held a special meeting Nov. 18 to swear in newly elected board member John Graham and re-elected member Marie LaVere-Wright. Board offices were also elected. LaVere-Wright was elected president, David Moore vice-president, Tammy Harold secretary, and Kevin Butcher treasurer.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the District 49 Education Service Center.

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