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El Paso County Colorado District 49

School board update

The Falcon School District 49 Board of Directors met Oct. 22 for a special meeting and work session. Information presented to the board included the following:Evans Elementary School International Baccalaureate program: Evans Elementary School is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and is moving forward toward full accreditation with the International Baccalaureate Organization. As part of the accreditation process, representatives from the North American IBO will visit the school in November to meet with staff, parents and administrators to review the program currently in place.Curriculum review and audit: Moving forward with the Phi Delta Kappa district curriculum audit and performance goal established by Superintendent Grant Schmidt, the board heard from Jan Jacob, lead auditor for PDK Curriculum Review. She reviewed audit procedures and evaluation standards. The purpose of the audit is to further improve the current curriculum and system.Character education update: The character education committee, now in its second year, is surveying the business community as well as parents, teachers and principals to identify important character traits to embed in the district’s curriculum and graduate profile. Four core traits have been identified to date – responsibility, respect, integrity and caring – and core content areas for all grade levels will include teaching materials that support these traits.Board of Education policy revisions: Mark McPherson, executive director of human resources, presented two changes to the board’s policy. The first revision creates a stricter definition of confidentiality and the appropriate use of information available to employees through school sources. It also delineates supervisory lines and conflicts of interest pertaining to employment of family members in the district.The second revision defines sanctions on employees who violate the district’s policy that mandates a drug-free workplace. It revises the statute for drug rehabilitation programs and formalizes annual employee notification of the policies.Financial status update: Joseph Subialka, interim chief financial officer, presented the board with a financial update based on the Oct. 1 student count. The extensive information accounted for a variety of expenditures of the Per Pupil Operating Revenue. The district spent 105 percent of the total PPOR in 2007-2008 and projects a similar overage this year.Subialka suggested the board examine various options to bring the spending in line – cut the costs of salaries, benefits or transportation; stop fragmenting the school population between charter schools and traditional schools; consider a mill levy override for operation costs or a general obligation bond measure to finance buildings.No action was taken on these suggestions at the meeting. Board member Mark Shook said the board would not immediately consider a mill levy or bond until they first reviewed and eliminated excesses and inefficiencies within the district.

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