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El Paso County Colorado District 49

December BOE meeting wrap-up

All members of the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education were present at the regular December meeting. Lisl Davies from Falcon High School and Naomi Davis from Springs Studio of Academic Excellence were also present as non-voting members of the Student Board of Representatives.Prior to the meeting, the BOE held a ìFantastic 49î event. The BOE recognized Dr. Kim Boyd, school psychologist, for being awarded Colorado School Psychologist of the Year by the Colorado Society of School Psychologists.The directors also recognized Nathan Truex, engineering teacher at Vista Ridge High School, for helping an elderly couple stranded in their car after a recent snowstorm. The couple was stuck for two hours, and Truex drove the woman to the hospital while her husband waited for the tow truck. Eleanor Harrison was treated for hypothermia and released.Marlee Tate, a senior from FHS, has been chosen as a Young Champion Ambassador based on an essay she wrote for a contest themed, ìWhat do you have to tell the world about Colorado Springs?î The BOE also recognized Tate, who will represent D 49 in Athens, Greece, in April for the Olympic torch lighting ceremony that kicks off the 2016 Olympic Games.The board also highlighted the achievements of Josh Wright, a graduate of FHS and current employee of the D 49 facilities department. The board congratulated him on his efforts and determination as he seeks a post-secondary education. He is also a student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, pursuing a degree in human biology.Open forumRuben Valdez Jr., parent of two students at Woodmen Hills Elementary School, said the districtís policies regarding parental rights has excluded fathers, in general. Referring to a specific incident at the school, he said, ìWe should be allowed equal access to our studentsí progress and have the opportunity to stay involved.îThe board directed the chief officers to look into the situation.Action itemsThe BOE unanimously approved the following:

  • The existing innovation plan, with a few recommended adjustments, for Falcon Elementary School of Technology; and the revised innovation plan for Meridian Ranch Elementary School
  • The charter school expansion request from Banning Lewis Ranch Preparatory Academy to allow BLRA to add a high school
  • The Farm and Ranch Management course and the Animal Science course at FHS: Davies said these classes are going to be great for the school, as there has been plentiful interest in these types of programs.
  • The Introduction to Communication Studies course and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Sports, Exercise and Health Science course at Sand Creek High School: Davies and Davis said many students have voiced concern about the IB designation for the latter course; and, after some discussion, the board agreed with Peter Hilts, chief education officer, who said the course can be approved now and revised later.
  • The human resources department staffing plan that includes the human resources manager job description: Marie LaVere-Wright, BOE president, said the plan did not add people to the department but shifted responsibility among the existing personnel.
  • The 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 BOE meeting dates
  • A proposal for teacher compensation from the mill levy override approved in the 2014 election: Kevin Butcher, BOE treasurer, asked if there would be any compensation for support staff in the future. Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, said it would be a topic for discussion at the January work session.
  • Certification of the mill levies for property tax year 2015: The abatement levy should be .217 mills, the override levy should be 9.8 mills and the bond redemption levy should be 10.159 mills, Ridgway said.
  • Review and/or revision to the following district policies: intimidation, harassment and hazing; tobacco-free schools; board officers; district safe and drug-free schools advisory council; agenda; bomb threats; security and access to buildings; and the publicís right to know and access information
Discussion itemsDr. Lou Fletcher, coordinator of cultural capacity, presented information on what to do when something goes wrong and how to move forward to correct it. He referred to the information as ìrestorative practicesî and showed the BOE what is included with the practice. Fletcher said he would like to return to the board with a proposal on restorative practices the district could adopt.Dave Watson, director of safety and security, presented the board with the key points of the safety and security advances made by the district.David Pratt, safety and security specialist, informed the board about community outreach programs he has helped facilitate via the Southeast Springs Soccer Initiative.Jack Bay, chief operations officer, said he is compiling data to determine the overall state of the districtís facilities.Ron Sprinz, D 49 finance group manager, presented an update on the amended budget, using data from the Colorado Department of Education. The student count is a bit lower than expected, which means less money from the state, he said. Special education funding is subsidized by the state, and that funding has increased, Sprinz said.LaVere-Wright presented the topic ideas for the annual planning workshop scheduled for Jan. 23.Ridgway presented a proposal for a ballot question regarding a mill levy override for the 2016 election. He said the ballot question would have a ìfour-prongedî approach: achieving coordinated high school facility equalization; finding ways to invest in the current facilities through expanded Internet connectivity and physical esthetic and functional improvements; growing the districtís investment in specific operational areas, as provided by ballot measure 2014-3A; and adding elementary capacity by building two new elementary schools.Executive sessionThe board entered into executive session to evaluate and review Hiltsí performance as CEO. No action was taken at that time.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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