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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 BOE March meeting wrap-up

All board members were present at the March Falcon School District 49 Board of Education meeting. Prior to the meeting, the BOE held a ìFantastic 49î event, which recognizes people and achievements in the district. Students from the Optimist Club at Horizon Middle School recently earned a Junior Optimist Octagon International project award, and they explained their latest project to the board.Jack Bay, chief operations officer, expressed his gratitude to the district facilities team and school-level building managers for their dedication to working early mornings and long hours whenever severe weather impacted the district.Linda Hunt-Stone, chairwoman of the Educating Children of Color Student Ambassador program, commended 30 student ambassadors from Vista Ridge High School who attended the eighth annual ECOC summit in January.Officer updatesBrett Ridgway, D 49 chief financial officer, provided an update on the lease agreement related to a district facility on Pony Tracks Drive. The agreement between the district and Pikes Peak Community College will allow the district to maintain possession of the building but would give PPCC access to the entire upstairs floor of the facility. The Falcon PPCC campus is currently located in the Patriot Learning Center.Peter Hilts, chief education officer, announced Andy Franko as the new iConnect zone leader. Franko takes the place of Kim McClelland, who accepted the position as executive director of the Colorado Digital Board of Cooperative Education Services.Action itemsThe board unanimously approved the following:

  • Revisions to personnel policies to ensure compliance with current laws and regulations
  • Rebranding of Falcon Virtual Academy to Springs Studio for Academic Excellence
  • Revisions to education program reporting and evaluation policies
  • The job description and position of concurrent and enrollment instructional coordinator
  • Revisions to policies as recommended by the Colorado Association of School Boards
Discussion itemsKim Mariotti, principal at Springs Ranch Elementary School, updated the board on the effects of previous revisions to the schoolís calendar. Based on what they have seen, Mariotti said the changes make the calendar consistent across the zone, which is more accommodating to parents with children attending multiple schools within that zone. Parents do not have to plan for different days off, depending on what school their children attend, she said.Hilts said district administration is discussing the pros and cons of having individual calendars versus a unified district calendar. He said they are leaning toward a unified calendar, but nothing has been finalized. This item was moved to an action item for the April 9 board meeting.Louis Fletcher, D 49 coordinator of cultural capacity, updated the BOE on the progress of implementing the agreement between the United States Department of Justice and the district. The agreement followed a conflict ó predominantly based on race ó that prompted parental involvement and DOJ intervention. ìWeíve met each standard agreed to in October 2014,î Fletcher said. ìWe are making an effort to create a restorative justice council rather than just taking punitive action. We want to be as proactive as possible.îRon Sprinz, D 49 budget manager, updated the budget for the 2015-2016 school year. The ending per-pupil funding rate for the current school year is $6,688, and the projected rate for the next school year is $6,914, he said. Based on those projections, the financial department looked at options for spending the ìnew money,î Sprinz said. The options include a salary and benefit increase.Ridgway will start developing an options proposal, which he will present at a subsequent meeting.February special meeting updateAt the Feb. 25 special meeting, the BOE unanimously approved a proposal to acquire and renovate modular space that Rocky Mountain Classical Academy has vacated at Horizon Middle School, with a goal to expand the middle school.The BOE considered a proposal to allocate funds from the mill levy override to schools: 80 percent of the total available funds will be allocated to schools by resident student count; 20 percent of the total available funds will be allocated by total funded student count. The board approved the proposal in a 4-1 vote, with director Chuck Irons opposed.The next regular meeting of the BOE is April 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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