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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 board meeting wrap up

All members were present at the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education regular board meeting in August.Before the meeting, the BOE held a ìFantastic 49î event, and met with the 17 students who volunteered to participate in the 2016-2017 student board of representatives. Several students from each district high school will collect information from BOE work sessions, inform and represent their peers and participate in the monthly board meetings.Chief officer updatesJack Bay, chief operations officer, said the hailstorm in late July caused extensive damage to the buildings across the district. Repairs will need to be done at every school except one or two, he said.Action itemsThe board unanimously approved the following:

  • The annual reauthorization of the Pikes Peak Board of Cooperative Educational Services contracts
  • An amendment to the site lease between D 49 and Banning Lewis Ranch Academy Building Corp. to terminate the existing lease from 2006 and add the BLRA parcel to a new lease to create a single lease for easier management purposes
  • Board policies that support restorative practices regarding character education, student detention and disciplinary removal from the classroom
  • Review of the following policies: board member qualifications; bus scheduling and routing; bus safety program; district employee/driver requirements, training and responsibility; district owned vehicles; religion and curriculum; residency requirements for admission; nonresident tuition charges; admission of non-immigrant foreign students; student distribution of non-curricular materials; student expression rights; students of legal age; pregnant/married students; student concerns, complaints and grievances; early dismissal of students; and public concerns/complaints about instructional resources
  • Adoption of a statement eliminating one full-time equivalent position for the 2016-2017 school year in the French language programs at Sand Creek and Vista Ridge high schools because of low enrollment
  • The food service contract for the 2016-2017 school year between D 49ís nutritional services department and Power Technical Early College
  • Requested waivers from the school readiness assessment statute for Rocky Mountain Classical Academy and The Imagine Classical Academy, with the understanding that each school has its own readiness plan in place
  • Appointment of Marie LaVere-Wright, board president, as the board representative for the Colorado Association of School Boards delegate assembly
Discussion itemsJennifer Johnson and Matt Barrett, representatives from the Peak Partners Initiative team, discussed the teamís inaugural Peak Partners Leadership Academy, held weekly from January through March 2016. The purpose of the PPLA is to educate non-district-affiliated citizens about the district and to increase trust between those citizens and their district.The academy had 14 participants from the D 49 community, Johnson said.ìWe had a great first class that came out and came with a sincere desire to learn about the district,î Barrett said.Johnson and Barrett also presented an outline of the PPLA II proposal, which included seven in-person sessions and seven online sessions. ìWe assumed that people who are involved in the community know about the community, and that is not always the case,î Johnson said. ìWe found that people really want to know more about the district so we want to find the people who have the time and interest to put the word out at critical times.îAndy Franko, iConnect zone leader, presented information about the charter application timeline for Liberty Tree Classical Academy. The district received an ìintent to applyî from LTCAís founding charter board. To be eligible for startup grant money, the group would like to submit an application before the spring application-approval cycle.Matt Meister, director of communications, presented information about community outreach efforts regarding ballot questions for the Nov. 8 election. The communications department created a quarterly newspaper, the ìDistrict 49 Dispatch,î which will be sent to everyone in the community, he said.Meister also played a recording from one of the tele-town hall meetings where community members could call in and ask questions about the ballot measures.LaVere-Wright presented information on potential resolutions to address at the next CASB session. Through the discussion, the board agreed to have LaVere-Wright propose a resolution to allocate medical marijuana money to special education, specifically earmarked for high-needs students, where the money would have the most impact.The BOE also agreed to propose a resolution that would provide an exemption to the federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act for any school or district that has approved a policy like D 49ís Compassionate Care Act, which allows the use of medical marijuana on school grounds under specific circumstances and guidelines. The proposed resolution would eliminate the threat of a district losing federal funding for allowing medical marijuana on school grounds.The board also agreed to propose a resolution that would require student population counts to occur more frequently to better represent a districtís true population.LaVere-Wright presented an update on the proposed policy concerning the BOE evaluation process. Brad Miller, the districtís legal counsel, said he reviewed the proposal and thinks it is compliant with the law. The board moved the proposal forward as an action item for the next regular meeting, which is Sept 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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