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El Paso County Colorado District 49

May BOE meeting wrap-up

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Education met in May to discuss and take action on a variety of items. Prior to the regular meeting, the district staff held a ìFantastic 49î event, recognizing outstanding students and staff.RecognitionThe board recognized Ridgeview Elementary School, Stetson Elementary School and Skyview Middle School for becoming Colorado Healthy School Champions. The schools received $400, $300 and $2,500, respectively, from the Colorado Education Initiative, formerly called the Colorado Legacy Foundation.The BOE also recognized members of the districtís transportation department team for placing first in the special needs category of the Colorado School Bus Championship Road-e-o. The team went on to place seventh nationally.Board directors recognized Falcon High School students for qualifying for the Health Occupations Students of America national leadership conference. Twelfth-graders Mark Estrada and Dan Snelling and Adrienne DeBauche, 11th grade, each earned top honors in their competitions at the state level HOSA leadership conference. Estrada, the Colorado HOSA president-elect, placed first in the biomedical debate and CPR and first aid competitions; Snelling placed first in the emergency medical technician competition; and DeBauche placed first in the healthy lifestyle and third in the health education competitions.Dave Shiller, president of the Air Force Association Lance P. Sijan Chapter, recognized students from Vista Ridge and Falcon high schools for their state placements at the CyberPatriot competition, which is the largest high school cyber security competition. Falconís team earned first place in the state open and service divisions, with Vistaís team taking third in the open division.Action itemsUp for approval as an action item were the terms for a one-year lease-purchase contract on a property at 3850 Pony Tracks Drive in Colorado Springs. The building on the property is currently occupied by Rocky Mountain Classical Academyís Middle School program. The RMCA will be moving to a new facility in the middle of the 2014-2015 school year, and the lease-purchase contract would accomplish two things: allow RMCA to sublease the space from the district to continue their program until they move to their new facility; and allow the district to be first in line to own the space to use as a centralized preschool space if the bond election question passes in November.The board discussed the contract at length, getting clarification from legal counsel, as well as the districtís chief education officer, Peter Hilts. The contract was ultimately approved in a 3-1 vote, with Chuck Irons, board director, opposed and Kevin Butcher, board treasurer absent.The directors unanimously approved a $0.25 rate increase for school lunch costs in all categories for the 2014-2015 school year. Marie LaVere-Wright, board secretary, said the increases were mandated by the state to make sure the district was charging enough.The board unanimously approved four new positions: coordinator of cultural capacity; director of concurrent enrollment; technology support assistant; and project-based learning teacher.Brett Ridgway, the districtís chief business officer, received unanimous approval to install artificial turf at Falcon High School. Jack Bay, chief operations officer, said there is the potential for a grant to cover the entire cost of the installation, which would be about $500,000. Ridgway said that if that grant application isnít approved, the Falcon Community Builders for Classrooms would front up to $400,000 for the project ñ and the balance would come from the districtís capital fund.Bay said the anticipated annual savings on water for that athletic field is about $75,000 to $100,000.The following action items also received unanimous approval from the board: policy changes to the code of ethics for school board members; the delay of the Valiant Academy charter schoolís opening until the district has approved the schoolís readiness to open through a readiness rubric; the annual transportation fee (no change except the replacement card is now $5 instead of $20) for service for students who ride the bus; calendar changes at Springs Ranch Elementary School for the 2014-2015 school year to include 11 early-release days; title adjustments, revisions and reclassifications of existing positions; and funding for the area vocational program provided by Pikes Peak Community College and the International Salon and Spa Academy.Budget and campaignHilts updated the group on the Capital Planning Committeeís campaign. He said the committee will bring back two proposals to the June meeting that will provide the board an opportunity to choose the projects they will include on the ballot when they seek funding through a mill levy increase and bond measure, scheduled for the November election.Ridgway provided an update on the proposed budget, which included the final per-pupil revenue amount the district can expect. The amount, $6,652, has increased from last yearís amount of $6,303, he said.Sherry Kyle, Power Zone operations administrator, presented the board with an outline for improving teaching strategies to include, training, evaluation, feedback and an increased emphasis on Colorado Academic Standards.The next regular BOE meeting is June 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the board room of the D 49 Education Service Center.

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