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El Paso County Colorado District 49

January Board meeting wrap up

All members of the Falcon School District 49 Board of Education were present for the regular meeting in January. Sand Creek High School student Sydney Schroeder also attended as a non-voting member of the Student Board of Representatives.Prior to the meeting, the BOE recognized Linda Bason, a reading interventionist at Springs Ranch Elementary School. She will receive the Kay Mervar Outstanding Reading Educator Award by the Colorado Council International Reading Association in February.The BOE also recognized RJ Berry, bus driver for D 49, for his work coordinating the 14th annual Santaís Toy Express event in December. This past year, about 49 students from the district elementary schools took part. They received a hot breakfast, had a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and went on a shopping spree at Walmart to purchase gifts for their families. The students also received toys, stockings and winter clothes, all of which were donated from various local organizations.Chief officer updatesPeter Hilts, chief education officer, was unable to attend so Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, provided the CEO update in Hiltsí absence. Ridgway said a new Colorado law will require all students to take the SAT. Previously, students were only required to take the ACT test, he said.Discussion itemsAmber Whetstine, executive director of learning services, presented a quarterly update on the progress of the districtís unified improvement planning process. This process is designed to analyze achievement data and implement actions that continually improve student learning, she said. Each school is developing their own unified improvement plan, which will be presented to the board in March. In April, they will present the plan to the Colorado Department of Education for approval.Whetstine said the next steps in the planning process include gathering the remainder of the data as percentile rankings from tests when they become available, setting goals for the end of the 2015-2016 school year and beyond, and seeking input and reviews from accountability committees.Rachel Duerr, health and wellness coordinator, gave an update on the progress of the school health improvement plans. Each school has two wellness leaders with teams that focus on one of the 10 components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model, she said. The 10 components are family engagement, community involvement, health education, physical education and activity, health services, nutrition environment and services, counseling, psychological and social services, physical environment, social and emotional climate, and health promotion for staff.Duerr said the wellness teams have had the opportunity to apply for grants that support student wellness through Medicaid.Paul Andersen, director of human resources, provided an administrative staffing calibration report on the student-to-administration ratio and the administrative salaries as a percentage of the budget. ìWe are under our target range of students to administration ratio,î he said. ìHowever, with our expected budgeted student count, we would have been in that range.îAndersen said the district is within their targeted range for administrative salaries as a percent of the budget.Zach Craddock, executive director of individualized education, presented two new job descriptions for discussion: 49 Pathways data technician and health paraprofessional. The 49 Pathways data technician will assist the director of concurrent enrollment education to help successfully implement the 49 Pathways program, he said. The health paraprofessional position is a reclassification of the health technician position, requiring a shift in the salary range, Craddock said. The shift will help D 49 be more competitive in the job market and help to retain those paraprofessionals — the health technician position has the highest turnover rate throughout the district, he said.The BOE agreed to move both job descriptions to action items for the Feb. 11 meeting.Ridgway presented information about the 2016 election planning process. He said the intent of the 2016 election proposal is not to increase the overall tax rate; instead, transition the district’s current investments to the new plan. Through the proposed 2016 mill levy override plan, the district could allocate the roughly $20 million in mill levy override funds coming from the approved November 2015 ballot measure to the various schools, taking into consideration the age of the school, Ridgway said.†Ron Sprinz, finance group manager, presented the amended budget for discussion; the budget was deferred to the Jan. 27 special meeting agenda as an action item. At the Jan. 27 meeting, the BOE unanimously passed both the district’s amended budget and the charter schools amended budgets.”The board entered into executive session following the public meeting. No action was taken at that time.”The next regular meeting of the BOE is Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Services Center.

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