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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 BOE October wrap-up

The El Paso County School District 49 Board of Education held its monthly meeting Oct. 13. All members were in attendance, with John Graham, president, attending virtually.Board updateJohn Graham, president, said he met with education leaders and constituents who expressed a desire for the BOE to stay on track with a focus on academic success and building a culture of excellence. Graham thanked teachers, staff and administrators who ìgo the extra mile,î he said, as well as involved parents.Rick Van Wieren, vice president, said he met with Peter Hilts, chief executive officer, and zone leaders to discuss performance metrics. He said the district is relying heavily on the Star360 assessment results that are received three times a year. ìStar360 is considered one of the better predictors of how we are going to do on CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success) and provides a lot of useful information for the teachers,î he said.Ivy Liu, director, said she is increasing connections with other school boards in El Paso County and parents. ìWe share similar aspirations and visions for our children,î she said. Liu said she thinks it is positive that people speak to the board and trust that concerns will be addressed.Lori Thompson, secretary, said the recent special education resource fair was a success, and it is hoped that in the future, the number of districts hosting will be more than three. Thompson and Van Wieren attended a meeting of local school boards and candidates for State House of Representatives to share needs of the community. Thompson stressed a need for local control. She thanked the school resource officer and staff at Evans Elementary School for how they handled a recent incident when a student brought a handgun to the school. ìI want to thank you for following up and keeping our children safe Ö someone heard something, someone said something and something was done,î Thompson said.Jamilynn DíAvola, treasurer, recognized the D 49 sports programs and athletic department. She said she attended two football games and observed players and parents exhibiting respect for others. DíAvola encouraged all students to get involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, music programs and clubs that support academic achievement.Action itemsThe BOE unanimously approved the following: ï Supplemental budget request ï Coordinator of math performance job description ï A resolution opposing recreational marijuana and psychoactive substances in the community ï Dress code policy ï Town hall meetings policy ï Parents rights and responsibilities policyThe BOE approved the following with a majority vote: ï Board member code of conduct ï Public participation at board meetings policyThe BOE did not approve the board member code of ethics.Discussion itemsCJ Jilek and Daniel Payne, facilities managers, presented a facilities department update, highlighting multiple projects in process and the completion of the Sand Creek High School parking lot overlay that improved the flow of traffic at the school. Lifecycle plans for fleet and equipment were reviewed. The grounds and maintenance staff completed 81% of work orders within a month during 2022. At present, staff is conducting an annual fire safety, maintenance and walk-through inspections in every building, which is scheduled to be completed by February 2023. Hiring and retaining employees remains their biggest concern.Jim Tanner, technology service manager for infrastructure, and Mark Roscoe, technology service manager for end user support, provided a technology update. Overall, network availability is at 99.92%. The department works with vendors to monitor the network environment and watch for attempted breaches. A phishing training program has been developed for all staff, with anticipated quarterly training going forward. The department is evaluating their customer service through surveys. Strategic improvements made during the year were the distribution of 400 MacBooks to elementary schools, an access point refresh for wireless connection, the replacement of 1,000 Chromebooks and the addition of another 2,500 Chromebooks. Purchases were made using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program funds and the Emergency Connectivity Fund.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Peakview Hall at the Creekside Success Center in Colorado Springs.

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