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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 BOE update

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in July and announced that nominations are open for the three board seats up for election in November.The available seats are currently held by Tammy Harold, board president, Chris Wright, board vice president; and Henry Allen, board director. Harold and Wright were elected to four-year terms in 2009, and Allen was appointed to finish out the term of a seat vacated in the summer of 2012. All three are eligible to run again.Candidate information for anyone in the D 49 district interested in serving on the board will be available Aug. 7 at the education services center. A board candidate workshop will be held Aug. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the board room of the ESC.The BOE unanimously passed a motion to participate in El Paso Countyís Nov. 5 election, which is cost-effective as opposed to having a separate election. Donna Teubner was appointed as election official and will handle election-related matters. Teubner is the executive assistant to the BOE and personnel director.The board discussed revisions to the Power Zoneís innovation plan and unanimously approved them. One of the revisions included a curriculum component that allows educators to propose curriculum changes. Mike Pickering, Power Zone innovation leader, said, ìThe zone will lead the process of changing the curriculum.îìTo a degree, this is putting this (curriculum) into the hands of the community, not just the premise that the board determines the curriculum,î Wright said.All curriculum changes will align with Colorado academic standards, and all waivers included within the plan will expire at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. The innovation plan will be sent to the Colorado State Board of Education for approval.The board unanimously approved a printer and copier maintenance agreement, which follows a comprehensive proposal and product demonstration that determined the existing devices no longer meet the needs of the district. The lease agreement with Gobinís Inc. will require $130,547.40.Per legal recommendations from the Colorado Association of School Boards, the directors provisionally approved several revisions to certain policies pertaining to student contact and discipline and student suspension and expulsion. ìThese policies are recommended by CASB because of legislative decisions made during the last legislative session,î Harold said. ìWe will bring this back on Aug. 8 as a discussion item, and then we will bring it back at our September meeting to officially adopt any or all of the policies.îTo maintain a professional Web presence, the board unanimously approved guidelines for using social media and all online communication avenues. The board also approved three new job descriptions: zone operations administrator, teacher on special assignment ñ a 21st century learning and innovation specialist; and budget manager.As a discussion item, Dianne Kingsland, STEM coordinator, requested the board establish a local entity that would support the development of sustainable resources for STEM (science, technology, education and math) education. Kingsland is also part of a regional STEM consortium ñ the board unanimously approved her pursuit of a partnership within the STEM consortium as a gesture of support. The board also discussed a possible opportunity for the district to refinance its debt to save money. The refinancing would not extend current term limits on repayment of district bonds, but would provide savings on interest. At the August meeting, the board will vote whether to authorize Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, to pursue the refinancing.The next regular board of education meeting is Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the D 49 education service center.

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