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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 BOE July meeting wrap-up

All members of the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education were present at the July 14 regular meeting except Kevin Butcher, board treasurer, who was absent with prior notice. Before the meeting, the BOE held a special meeting, which included an executive session for legal advice on a contract amendment for Rocky Mountain Classical Academy. No action was taken during the session.Chief updatesPeter Hilts, chief education officer, said Melanie Holts and Angie Reid were among the 31 finalists nominated as Colorado Teacher of the Year. Holts is from Falcon Elementary School of Technology and Reid is from Remington Elementary School. Hilts said this was a great achievement, considering that 48,000 teachers from the state were eligible for the award.Action itemsThe BOE unanimously approved the following:

  • A memorandum of understanding with the Colorado Digital Board of Cooperative Educational Services that allows for Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, and Dianne Kingsland, science, technology, engineering and math coordinator, to partially devote time to the CDBOCES, which will compensate the district for that time
  • A resolution regarding the notice of intent to participate in the coordinated election in November and to appoint Donna Richer, executive assistant to the BOE, as the designated election official
  • Policies regarding the following: bullying prevention and restorative interventions; student drug and alcohol involvement; suspension/expulsion of students; Title I parent and family engagement; and Title I parent involvement
  • Review of the following board policies: bidding procedures; student transportation; drug and alcohol testing for commercial drivers/licensed employees; electronic communications; staff dress; staff use of Internet and electronic communications; personnel records; transitional retirement plan; special education programs for handicapped/disabled/exceptional students; homebound instruction; violent and aggressive behavior; and parent involvement in education
  • An amendment to the RMCA contract to clarify the funding and oversight relationship between the high school home school program and D 49
Discussion itemsHilts provided an update on the 49 Pathways program, which involves strategic priorities for the districtís secondary schools. Priorities include collaborations with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Pueblo Community College, increased participation in concurrent enrollment, and a summit in September regarding mastery demonstrations, Hilts said. ìWe want to begin to design mastery demonstrations so students can show us that they know what we and employers need them to know,î he said.Matt Meister, director of communications, updated the BOE about activities leading up to the election and how the proposed ìBuilding Our Future Communityî ballot measures are being outlined to the community. Without increasing taxes, the measures would provide more money to attract and keep high-quality teachers; build two new elementary schools; remodel and build onto the three largest high schools; and supply funds for important improvement projects at all schools, he said.Lou Fletcher, director of culture and services, presented the second round of proposed restorative practices policies, including character education, student detention and disciplinary removal from the classroom.Marie LaVere-Wright, BOE president, discussed the school board evaluation process and its importance. She said she drafted an evaluation policy, which requires the board to set goals and develop a growth plan, and she wanted to get stakeholder feedback.The board discussed the proposed policy and agreed to have the districtís legal counsel, Brad Miller, look at the policy from a legal standpoint.Jack Bay, chief operations officer, presented information on the districtís modular spaces, including concerns about their condition and maintaining or replacing them when necessary. Currently, the district has 57 modulars, all of which were supposed to be temporary spaces used during student population growth spurts, he said.Bay presented four alternatives to using the modulars: removing the education services modular and building a mezzanine onto the auxiliary services warehouse; replacing the education services modular with a new one; remodeling the education services modular; or reconfiguring the gym at the Creekside Success Center to add office space, conference room space and future boardroom space.Ridgway said the first option is doable with the current budget; the board chose to move forward with that option. Additionally, the board agreed to create a semi-annual modular inspection/review program to continuously monitor those facilities throughout the district.LaVere-Wright presented information on the newly-created ìstanding resolutionsî from the Colorado Association of School Boards. In doing so, CASB got rid of every other resolution that had been on its upcoming agenda, she said. ìWe need to see if there is anything else we have not fought for that we want to have included on this legislative agenda,î LaVere-Wright said.She requested that the other board members and chief officers prepare any suggestions and have them ready for the regular Aug. 11 board meeting.She also presented 16 policies for review and specifically requested a legal review of the policy on religion in the curriculum. Assuming all feedback is received in time for the August meeting, the item will move forward as an action item, she said.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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