By Deb Risden
The El Paso County School District 49 Board of Education held its monthly meeting Oct. 12. Board members John Graham, Jamielynn D’Avola and Lori Thomson were present.
Peter Hilts, superintendent, met with pastors of several local churches. He said several small churches in the area rent space in D 49 schools for their services. Hilts said he is intentionally doing outreach to business, civic and faith leaders to strengthen partnerships. Hilts attended the Pikes Peak Area Superintendents Association meeting and said discussions focused on funding formulas and state accountability. A task force chaired by Wendy Birhanzel, superintendent of Harrison School District 2, is considering revisions to the state accountability system.
John Graham, president, attended the Special Education Advisory Council resource fair hosted by D 49 in collaboration with D 11 and D 20. Graham said there was an informative presentation on Proposition HH (property taxes and state revenues) at the recent CASB (Colorado Association of School Boards) meeting and all resolutions were approved. Graham encouraged voters to educate themselves on issues as well as candidates before voting. He said there have been several D 49 BOE candidate forums to help voters learn where the candidates stand on issues.
Lori Thompson, secretary, attended the Enhanced Security Community Advisor Team meeting and said the district’s security team is committed to keeping students safe and seeks input from staff, students and the community. Thompson attended the CASB meeting and a session on the power of deeper learning for preparing future graduates. She said innovative programs around the U.S. were highlighted and D 49 already has many of those programs.
Jamilynn D’Avola, treasurer, attended the Special Education Resource Fair. She said, “It was very educational and a great place for parents to get resources and to have guidance on how to help their children.” D’Avola attended the CASB meeting and the delegate conference. She reported that many small community districts were able to attend virtually, which she said was important to increase the conservative voice.
The BOE unanimously approved the following:
- Multiple policies with minor updates
- United School District Improvement Plans
Ron Sprinz, director of finance, provided a financial report for July and August. He said expenses outpace revenue early in the school year because local tax revenue is received in March. “We try to hold the fund balance around 10% to 12% of revenue to ensure we have enough cash in the bank to get through February,” Sprinz said. The BOE directed Sprinz to provide an in-depth explanation of the district’s finances each month at the regular BOE meeting for the purpose of training and informing both current and new board members.
Hilts presented a charter revision for the Cultural Leadership Advisory Council — administration is proposing the CLAC would be a subcommittee under the District Accountability and Advisory Council. He said the CLAC has not had the opportunity to have unity or fulfill its purpose. He said bringing the CLAC under the DAAC would bring the group stability. The BOE agreed to move the charter to the November regular meeting for discussion and a vote.
Hilts presented the Civics Education Policy with minor revisions. The BOE agreed to move the revised policy to the November meeting for a vote.
Policies and procedures were reviewed and moved forward to the November meeting for approval.
Graham suggested the BOE promote scholarship opportunities it learns about. The American Legion, the National Civics Bee, the Eastern Plains Chamber and local veterans’ groups provide scholarship opportunities. Graham said he learned some of these small scholarships receive no applicants. The BOE agreed that scholarship opportunities should be promoted by school counselors and placed on the district website.
The next regular meeting of the BOE is Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Peakview Hall at the Creekside Success Center in Colorado Springs.