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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 Board of Education Update

Aug. 29 BOE special meetingSuperintendent Dr. Nancy Wright addresses the board and an audience of about 20 people. She thanked everyone for the warm welcome she has received. Wright said that the “back to school nights” held around the district were well attended by parents and children, and all appeared excited to begin the school year. She told the board that she has been visiting various schools to get her “kid fix” and the staff and principals have been accommodating.Wright told the board that she is looking at changes to the district Web site.BOE president Dave Martin thanked the candidates who applied for the open board position vacated by Laine Gibson. “The candidates represent a wealth of knowledge and the decision was a difficult one,” Martin said. He announced that Randal Brungardt was chosen to fill the 16 month position. (Read more about Brungardt in this edition.)Martin also said that the open forum, which is the period during which the public can address the board, needed to be better managed. There are two open forums. The first is open only to comments regarding action items that require the board’s vote. The second open forum, which is held towards the end of the meeting, allows all public comments. Each person who wants to comment must sign in before the meeting begins and has a maximum of three minutes to speak. Martin said no personal attacks are allowed and school issues will be referred to Wright.Sept. 7 BOE monthly meeting:The board meeting came to order with about 35 in attendance. BOE president Dave Martin was absent with notice. Randal Brungardt was sworn in as the newest board member. Superintendent Wright encouraged parents to attend the upcoming parent-teacher conferences, and she also announced that at each future board meeting one school would be presenting an update to the board. Wright also told the board that she attended the Falcon Business League’s monthly meeting and looked forward to finding ways to partner with local businesses.The board announced that Amy Craig was hired as their secretary. Under action items, Dave Stark was voted in as vice-president, Amy McClelland will remain as secretary, and Brungardt and Anna Bartha are co-treasurers.Wright requested that a contract with Falcon Physical Therapy be approved to serve D 49 kids. Citing staff shortages despite aggressive recruiting, the contract would ensure that children who require physical therapy will receive it. Wright said hiring licensed specialists is a nationwide problem and contracting with Falcon Physical Therapy was a creative way to address the issue. The vote was rescheduled because of a missing document.Sept. 11 special BOE meeting:Superintendent Wright thanked numerous staff for “working around the clock” to correct a situation at Skyview Middle School regarding air quality. Wright also congratulated Evans Elementary School for their pursuit to become a registered International Baccalaureate school. Teachers attended special training in the spring and summer, and the application process is their next step.Henry Reitwiesner presented a proposal for a grant from the Colorado Department of Education for $5 million to be used on the construction of the new Falcon High School. Reitwiesner said the CDE applauded the grant application, saying it was the most complete application they had ever received. Reitwiesner thanked Annie Sorenson, D 49 grant specialist, for her help and guidance. The district will find out in December if the grant is approved and for how much.The open forum began with Don McGill, chairman of the Falcon Community Builders for Classrooms, addressing the board about their lack of response to a letter of concern about the establishment of separate 501(c)(3) formed by Kjirsten Forsyth and Brian Murphy to collect money from developers. The FCBC requested dissolution of the fund and that all monies should be assigned to the FCBC so that it can bond the revenue stream to provide classrooms. Martin said he recently left a message for McGill and the board has been busy. “You have had more than adequate time to respond,” McGill said. The FCBC has collected close to $1 million to date from builders for D 49. Martin asked if a board representative could attend the FCBC board meetings, and McGill responded that it would be against their bylaws.The next scheduled board meeting is Oct. 5 at the central administration building at 6:30 p.m.

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