Home > District Meeting Updates > D-38 BoE Meeting Highlights for August 19, 2010

D-38 BoE Meeting Highlights for August 19, 2010

August 27, 2010

Here are the Highlights as posted on the D-38 Board of Education homepage:

HIGHLIGHTS

LEWIS-PALMER BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010

These highlights contain basic information about the major issues discussed during Board of Education meetings.

They are not officially approved minutes and are not intended to be comprehensive.

DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

Discuss revisions to student/staff internet policies – Bob Foster, Director of Personnel and Student Services, and Lori Wagner, Assistant Principal at Lewis-Palmer High School, presented revisions to District internet policies for the Board’s review.  The revisions were necessary to update policy in accordance with current use of technology throughout the District.  Additionally, District staff and students must sign a technology user agreement.

Discuss DAAC (District Accountability Advisory Committee) charge for 2010-11 – Steve Braun, DAAC co-chair, presented the Committee charge for the 2010-11 school year for the Board’s approval.  Changes to this year’s charge address the Committee’s involvement with the selection of a new superintendent. The Board members also discussed the role of the CPA (Committee for Political Achievement, a subcommittee of the DAAC) in the upcoming November election.  The Board directed Superintendent Bauman to revise District policy KHC-Distribution of Noncurricular Materials to allow volunteers to proceed with activities addressing the impact of upcoming ballot issues on the District.

Discuss Adopt-a-Class Program – Robin Adair, Community Relations Manager, and Georgina Gittins, Bear Creek Elementary School parent and Adopt-a-Class chairperson, presented a brief overview of the program. The Adopt-a-Class program is designed to be a district-wide fundraiser with 100% of funds being used to benefit the classroom, grade level, department, or school. Contributors will receive a tax deductible receipt for their donations. Board members voiced their approval to implement the program in all D38 schools. Anyone interested in learning more about the program should contact Robin Adair in the District administration building.

Consider/approve CASB resolution opposing Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101 – Prior to addressing the CASB (Colorado Association of School Boards) resolution declaring opposition to Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, the Board asked Cheryl Wangeman, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, to summarize the impact of these upcoming ballot issues on D38 schools. A summary of her response can be found here.  The Board voted unanimously to support this resolution, which is posted in its entirety on the Board of Education webpage.

Consider/approve refinancing of Big Red leasesMrs. Wangeman and David Bell, financial consultant from Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, provided a detailed explanation regarding the refinancing of the three ‘Big Red’ operating leases. These leases paid for the remodeling of the D38 administration building and provided for more efficient energy use and related upgrades throughout the District. The Board members engaged in lengthy conversation before passing a motion to proceed with the refinancing of the current leases and to obtain additional working capital in the amount of $2.4 million. The motion also declared the Board’s intent to review this refinancing semiannually and to place the additional funds and interest earnings in a special reserve account that cannot be used without formal Board approval.

CONSENT AGENDA

The Board approved routine matters concerning personnel, finances, and District operations.

INFORMATION ITEMS

Assessment update – Marie Revak, Director of Assessment, presented a PowerPoint detailing recent student assessment results. This CSAP, ACT, AP, and Growth Model information is posted on the District website and can also be accessed through this link.  She also directed Board members and the public to the CDE website, http://www.schoolview.org/SchoolPerformance/DistInfo.asp?DistCode=1080, for additional information regarding school performance.  For the second year, Lewis-Palmer School District and all of its schools have received the highest accreditation awarded by the state of Colorado: Accredited with Distinction.  This status is awarded to only the top ten percent of districts in the state. It is based on student growth, achievement, workplace readiness and postsecondary preparation, as well as other factors.

Dashboard Mrs. Wangeman presented the monthly dashboard report for the Board’s review. This document summarizes enrollment numbers and free-and-reduced meals statistics, as well as budget information detailing expenditures and revenue. She reported that the number of students qualifying for free-and-reduced meals is ‘skyrocketing.’

Superintendent’s update – Mr. Bauman commented that the District has experienced a great start to the 2010-11 school year.  He has received numerous encouraging comments from 6th grade parents, in addition to positive input regarding the combining of the two middle schools.  He briefly discussed student enrollment numbers, which are continuing to fluctuate a bit as the registration office receives word of students who have moved out of the District and enrollment of new students continues.  The 2010-11 District budget was based on a decrease of 140 students from October 2009.

Board member comments – Mr. Pfoff and Dr. Ferguson met recently with neighboring school districts to discuss Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, and the potential impact on Colorado schools.  These area districts are exploring ways to work together to deal with the financial impact that could result from passage of these ballot initiatives.  The group may meet again to continue this discussion.

CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Ana Konduris, Woodmoor resident, spoke about Direction 38, a local grassroots organization that was created by concerned citizens to address the financial crisis currently challenging the school district. The two primary goals of Direction 38 are to effect strong leadership and to ensure the implementation of a long range plan.  David Cloud, also a Woodmoor resident, asked questions regarding the 2010-11 District budget.  He voiced particular questions pertaining to the general fund balance at the end of the 2009-10 school year and at the beginning of this current school year.

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Special Note: The September Board of Education meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, September 14th, at Palmer Lake Elementary School.  It is anticipated the meeting will begin at 6:30 pm in the school cafeteria.  Please check the District website for posting of the meeting agenda noting the exact time and location.

Ana Konduris’ citizen comments:

Good evening. I’m Ana Konduris. I’m a senior citizen and I live in Woodmoor. Today, I’d like to talk to you about DIRECTION 38!

DIRECTION 38! is a grassroots organization born from the “call to action” to D38 residents to help resolve the District’s financial crisis. Over the past months, we’ve met one another over citizen’s comments just like this one, emails and phone calls, and many, many local coffeehouse meetings. We share similar concerns, anxieties, frustrations, and yes, even anger. We also share similar solutions and a common commitment. We are parents, parents of current D38 students, parents of students who have opted into D38 because of its reputation for excellence, and parents of students who have opted out of D38 because of its most recent leadership decisions. We are also teachers, current and laid off, and finally, senior citizens like me, the largest voting block in our District. But one thing unites us all and that is our deep commitment to the success of each individual student, each cherished teacher, and our beloved District.

Many in the community have wondered what we’re all about. In fact, one person even said of us and I paraphrase: “They attend all these meetings and most of them don’t even have children in the District anymore. I can’t imagine what they expect to accomplish.” So please allow me to clarify. We have TWO primary goals. First, to effect strong LEADERSHIP – fiscally conservative, responsible, and accountable leadership. Before I continue, I would be remiss if I did not thank the School Board for selecting Ted Bauman as our interim Superintendent.

Our second goal is to ensure the implementation of a long range plan. On December 10th last year I sat in this very room, listening to one citizen after another plead for a plan prior to a major reconfiguration of our schools. Eight months later, I plead for that very plan. A plan that acknowledges our successes and respects in a genuine way our values. A plan that will not toss those values out the window during the next budget rescission.

Equally important, is a plan that accounts for our mistakes. I firmly believe that before we declare a clean slate, or water under the bridge, we need to “come clean” and claim those failings, with respect to leadership decisions and the community’s involvement. I firmly believe that’s the first step in rebuilding the public’s trust.

Finally, let me offer some specifics on what you can expect from DIRECTION 38!:
• We will continue to attend Board meetings and any and all committee meetings open to the public.
• We will encourage others to attend so they can have a firsthand look at their elected officials at work.
• We will volunteer for committees and other D38 events.
• We will continue to publicize D38 events and other issues of interest on our website.
• We will inform the public about ballot measures that impact public school funding.
• We will search for and promote fiscally conservative candidates to run for the November 2011 School Board positions.

DIRECTION 38’s! BOTTOMLINE: We will remain alert, involved, and active in D38 happenings.

David Cloud’s citizen comments:

Questions for the School:
1. According to this year’s FY 2010-11 approved budget, the balance in the district’s General Fund at the start of last year FY 2009-10 was $3,533,840. But according to last year’s approved budget and according to the revised budget submitted by the district to the Colorado Department of Education on February 18, 2010, the balance in the district’s General Fund at the start of last year was $4,264,354. Can anyone explain how the General Fund balance at the start of last year dropped by $730,000 between February 18, 2010 and the end of the year?

2. According to this year’s approved budget, the balance in the district’s General Fund at the start of this year is $4,903,044. Has this amount changed since the budget was approved in June?

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