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El Paso County Colorado District 49

TICA wins parade award

Falcon School District 49 charter school, The Imagine Classical Academy, won the Rudolph Award for best lighting at the Parade of Lights in downtown Colorado Springs in December.Volunteers included teachers, parents and students from TICA who helped construct the float featuring 12,000 lights. More than 25 people walked alongside the float during the parade or sang in the choir directed by TICA faculty member Jure Kunai.Jeff Rebitski, TICA assistant principal, said he organized the project to promote awareness of the charter school and to help families get involved in the community. He said all the materials for the float were donated, including the Wagner Rents shop where they built the float and the pick-up to pull it during the parade.TICA will enter the parade next year, and Rebitski said they are already looking for a semi-truck to pull the float.D 49 hosts showcase of schoolsThe 2nd Annual Showcase of Schools will be held Tuesday, Jan. 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Vista Ridge High School, 6888 Black Forest Road. This event is free and open to the public and will provide parents an opportunity to find out about educational options in Falcon School District 49. With nine elementary schools, four choices for middle school education, seven high school options and four charter schools; D 49 offers educational opportunities for every type of learner. International Baccalaureate programs are offered at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as many focused education programs, including core knowledge, school of technology, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and expeditionary learning.”The rapid growth of the district and surrounding communities help make D 49 an outstanding choice for education, regardless of where you live,” said Eric Paugh, D 49 chief academic officer. “Program options, academic enhancements and educational choices will only continue to expand as our district grows.”For the first time ever, the district will offer the opportunity to apply for a spot in any D 49 school, as long as parents apply during the open choice window Jan. 5 through March 6. Applications will be available on site at the Showcase of Schools and a school support team can assist with any questions. There are limited openings for school of choice students, so it is important to apply as early as possible.For more information, call 494-8951 or visit 49 inclement weather processDuring bad weather a school closure or a delayed start may be announced. District staff will contact local television and radio stations to advise the community of any delays or closures. A notice is also placed on FlashNews Network, a free Internet service that will immediately provide all subscribers of any change of status in their district. Parents and staff are encouraged to sign up for this free service at considering a closure or delay, the district follows a process to ensure the safety of students and staff.Process

  • Leading into the potential weather concern, the superintendent, chief operating officer and director of transportation will monitor weather forecasts from local news, National Weather Service and other sources available.
  • If a determination is not made by late evening, the director of transportation and staff will continue to monitor the weather conditions, communicate with neighboring districts, contact both city and county about road conditions, drive various roads within the district and review weather forecasts.
  • By 4 a.m. the director of transportation and the chief operating officer will discuss the current conditions and what neighboring districts are considering. At approximately 4:30 a.m. a recommendation will be made for the superintendent. If conditions are still in question and it is not yet possible to make a decision, the recommendation could come after 4:30 a.m.
  • Once the superintendent either accepts or adjusts the recommendation for delay or closure, the chief operating officer will communicate to the media, community and staff through Flash News.
  • In the event of delay or closure, morning preschool and kindergarten classes will be canceled. Morning delays will allow afternoon preschool and kindergarten classes to maintain their regular schedule. Work studies, Junior ROTC and PPCC students will remain at their home school.
Potential reasons for delay or closureThe most important factors in making a determination: road conditions, wind and blowing snow, wind chill and visibility. Consideration is given to the region’s weather conditions from feedback of staff traveling into work. Due to the variability of these conditions, there is not an exact formula to utilize. The parameters agreed upon by Pikes Peak region school districts for wind chill is -17 degrees. Because the first school start time is at 7 a.m., an initial decision for delay must be made by 4:30 a.m. to allow time to communicate with district bus drivers who have routes starting at 5:30 a.m. The second decision for closure is based on potential conditions by 6:30 a.m. for routes that begin at 7 a.m.After delay or closure
  • The district runs attendance data for the day for each school site for year-to-date and for the day for comparison.
  • The director of transportation receives feedback from bus drivers on road conditions.
  • The director of transportation identifies the number of bus routes, which ran late versus on-time.
  • A debrief meeting is held with the director of transportation, chief operating officer and superintendent.

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