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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 news and notes

We have entered the final quarter of the school year and things will stay busy between now and the end of May. As always, we look forward to seeing the members of our community at district activities and events. Thank you for your constant support.As Falcon School District 49 continues to meet the educational needs of every child, we are proud to announce the opening of enrollment for kindergarten through 12th grades on April 1 for the 2011-12 school year at Falcon Virtual Academy. Our virtual academy provides students with a variety of options, allowing them to learn at their own pace in an individualized educational program. FVA welcomes new principal Dave Knoche, who was appointed to his role when principal Kim McClelland took on additional duties as the district’s fourth innovation leader.Kim brings 15 years of educational experience to the position of leading the district’s Choice Innovation Zone, which includes FVA, Patriot Learning Center and all four D 49 charter schools.In February, D 49 issued a Request for Proposals for student busing services to provide additional options as we look to save money on transportation. A transportation RFP committee has been formed to assist with this process, which includes community input. The committee has reviewed the RFPs and will present information on their findings to the board at an April 7 work session at 6 p.m. at Falcon High School. The board will weigh a variety of options, including the recommended RFP and an option submitted by the district transportation department, before making a decision at the April 14 board meeting at FHS.The board has requested a solicitation of RFPs for maintenance and information technology. The RFP process does not guarantee the district will look to outside sources for these services; however, it does provide us with options and allows us to see how efficiently our departments are operating. This is part of the process to ensure we are doing the most with every dollar.We will work to keep our community informed as we move through the difficult budget process. At this time, no decisions have been made though discussions have begun on addressing the devastating state budget cuts, which will set a new precedent for K-12 education. The district will be making extremely difficult decisions as we slash about $7 million. Our focus remains on our students, though these cuts are so severe they will affect everyone.As these important decisions are made, I encourage you to stay involved. Please attend the board meetings and the other community meetings within the district’s four Innovation Zones. Community input is critical. Contact any of our schools for upcoming meetings and volunteer opportunities. The district Web site and Facebook page are great resources about what’s going on in D 49. I look forward to working with you as we move into the final months of the school year.

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