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El Paso County Colorado District 49

September BOE meeting wrap up

All members of the El Paso County Colorado School District 49 Board of education were present for the regular meeting in September. Maia Case, a 12th grade student from Sand Creek High School, and Ilana Sherwood, a 10th grade student from Pikes Peak Early College, attended as members of the student board of representatives. The meeting was held at the Creekside Success Center with limited in-person attendance because of COVID-19.Board updateMembers individually expressed their excitement for students returning to learn in whatever form or fashion they have chosen, and thanked parents and teachers for all the hard work getting the year kicked off.Chief officersí updatePeter Hilts, chief education officer, said he has been impressed with how students and staff are handling the changes for the new school year. He said. ìIt will lift your spirits to see how our students, teachers and other staff are persevering through this tough season, and great learning is happening already.îPedro Almeida, chief operations officer, said the early September snowfall did not take the district by surprise and they were well-prepared to handle it. He did say, however, that the district is experiencing a shortfall in transportation drivers; the department is working to recruit new drivers.Action itemsThe BOE unanimously approved the following:

  • A change to the 2020-2021 school calendar to keep Sept. 4 as an elementary professional day and recapturing a student-learning day for middle and high school students
  • The graduation date and times for the Class of 2021 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs as follows: May 29 at 9 a.m. for Vista Ridge High School, 1 p.m. for Sand Creek High School and 5 p.m. for Falcon High School
  • Oct. 27 as the official impact aid survey date for the 2020-2021 school year
  • A resolution supporting Constitution Day for 2020: Sept. 17
  • Contract reauthorization with the Pikes Peak Board of Cooperative Educational Services
  • Revisions to policies related to reopening schools as follows: prevention of infectious disease 1 and 2; workplace health and safety protection; student absences and excuses; communicable/infectious diseases; and visitors to schools
  • Revisions to policies reflecting Title IX changes as follows: report of discrimination or harassment; nondiscrimination/equal opportunity 1 and 2; nondiscrimination/equal opportunity complaint form; sexual harassment investigation procedures; student concerns, complaints and grievances; and nondiscrimination/equal opportunity complaint and compliance process
  • Contract renewal with the Community Partnership for Child Development for the provision of Head Start programming
  • A proposed revision to the BOE meeting dates to move the Oct. 28 work session to Oct. 21
Discussion itemsAndy Franko, iConnect Zone leader, updated the board on school performance in his zone, progress on Grand Peak Academyís renewal milestones and status of the expansion of the shared campus for the Springs Studio for Academic Excellence, Pikes Peak Early College and Falcon Homeschool Program.The chief officers updated the BOE about the districtís ìReturn to Learnî plan. Hilts said students are complying well with mask-wearing, although it has proven difficult to consistently maintain social distancing. ìIf we keep stepping forward, purposefully, gradually and intentionally, we are on track to return to a full in-person model,î he said.Almeida said innovation is taking place across the district with a location-by-location approach to meeting challenges. He said the graduated return for students has been helping, and added, ìIt helps us to preserve manpower and staff resources because folks are following procedures.îThe BOE requested that the chief officers distribute information about the status of the districtís transportation department to the community and ensure that schools are meeting the individual education plans for students who have them.Ron Sprinz, director of finance, provided an update about enrollment and said current student counts are lower than budgeted, which has created a negative potential impact on the districtís general fund. However, tracking student counts this early on allows D 49 to plan better and be more flexible; and, ultimately, will determine how the amended budget process goes as well, he said.Following the regular session, the BOE held an executive session to discuss the chief operations officerís evaluation and performance review. No action was taken at that time.The next regular meeting of the BOE is Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in Peakview Hall at D 49ís Creekside Success Center.

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