|District 49 is CLOSED for Thursday, Dec. 5. Based on current and forecasted conditions, the district's leadership determined it's unsafe to keep educational services available. Visit the Winter Weather Closures and Delays page for more information.|
The Board of Education held a special meeting Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.in the board room at the Education Service Center. The agenda and audio file 1 are available for download.
The Board of Education held a work session Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Education Service Center. The packet with agenda, audio file 1, audio file 2 and audio file 3 are available for download.
The Board of Education held a regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Education Service Center. The REVISED packet with agenda, audio file 1 and audio file 2 are available for download.
Director contact information is available from BOE page.
The District 49 Board of Education directors want to hear from their community. Ahead of each meeting's action items, up to 10 members of the public are afforded a three-minute opportunity to address the directors about issues of concern or praise. When appropriate, they'll respond following each presentation. In the interest of productivity for the proceedings, no charges or complaints against individuals are allowed. Defamatory or abusive remarks, including profanity, are not tolerated. The open forum is always considered an important part of each board meeting.
The Falcon Education Foundation is making those projects possible, along with many others, in Falcon School District 49.
The Falcon Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support unique educational opportunities beyond regular budget limits. It will award 22 grants, totaling more than $17,000 in funding, for projects that are inspirational, innovative and creative.
“We invite educators to think outside the box, to get students excited about learning,” said Marion Meyer, Falcon Education Foundation president. “We had a lot of outstanding grant applications and it’s an honor to provide the funds to make these projects happen in the classroom.”
The foundation will award grant winners during the District 49 Board of Education meeting Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m., in the board room at 10850 E. Woodmen Road in Peyton.
The following 19 teachers, administrators and support staff were awarded Falcon Education Foundation grants to provide 22 unique projects this school year:
- Katie Poulsen, Evans International Elementary School: $855 for Operation Energy
- Brooke Austermiller, Ridgeview Elementary School: $905 for We Like to Move It, Move It
- Brian Hepperle, Springs Ranch Elementary School: $200 for Mirroring and Wireless Displays
- Laurie Hildebrand, Stetson Elementary School: $528 for Apple of my iPad
- Erin McGovern, Stetson Elementary School: $756 for Math Matters; $1,000 for Bringing Literacy to Life
- Matt Monfre, Stetson Elementary School: $766 for Zoom Zoom Healthy Highway
- Tim Scheck, Falcon Middle School: $660 for Printing the Future
- Dana Orton, Falcon Middle School: $996 for Glass Fusing and Slumping
- Shari Arnot, Falcon Middle School: $937 for Kindle Firebird Love of Reading
- Rachel Connell, Horizon Middle School: $1,000 for Latin Dance Club
- Pamela Holloman, Skyview Middle School: $479 for Noise No More
- Thomas Russell, Falcon High School: $740 for Student Engagement and Mentoring in Technology Program
- Josh Wixom, Falcon Virtual Academy: $1,000 for Marine Aquarium
- Lori Hall, Falcon Virtual Academy: $910 for Junior Gemologists
- Paul Austin, Patriot Learning Center: $1,150 for Sewing with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; $945 for Wooden Robot Arm; $700 for Losing Your Marbles
- Ray Bell, Sand Creek High School: $1,000 for Artist in Residence, Orchestra
- Brandon Ager, Vista Ridge High School: $315 for VR Mural Club
- Deanna Waldron, Rocky Mountain Classical Academy: $815 for Knights of the Water Table
- Gene Hammond, District 49 transportation department: $990 for Painting with Purpose
For six years, Patriot Learning Center’s middle school students have cooked a turkey feast as a learners’ community service project ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
During their 6th annual event, roughly 60 students will welcome participants for the Falcon Fire Department and Falcon Senior Services, a nonprofit organization supporting Falcon area residents aged 60 and over.
Dozens of area senior citizens will be paired with a student. They’ll gather around tables to get to know each other, while enjoying the meal and conversations.
“There are a lot of seniors who don’t have family here,” said math teacher Jenny Olson, who’s coordinating the event, “so this is an important holiday tradition for them. They love coming together with our kids.”
“A lot of our kids don’t have grandparents close by, so that’s an added benefit for them,” said Olson, one of several teachers volunteering to help cook the 10 turkeys and two hams. The school’s culinary arts teacher is showing a class how to cook a couple of the turkeys, too.
Patriot Learning Center received the turkeys as donations by local businesses. The students' parents are preparing the usual side dishes.
“For many of our kids, by far, this is their favorite day of the year,” said Olson.
The feast starts at 11:30 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium.
Jack Bay, chief operations officer, will discuss a proposed district energy resource management plan to intentionally coordinate energy use. The plan considers environmental and economic objectives to optimize efficiency while meeting district needs.
Falcon School District 49's Board of Education had three director positions on the Nov. 5 election ballot in El Paso County. Six candidates ran for the three director positions: John Graham, David H. Moore, Kevin Butcher, Chris Bombria, Henry Allen Jr. and Tammy Harold.
District 49 leaders extend a sincere thanks to all candidates who ran, all who campaigned in support of a candidate and all 9,500 individuals who voted in the 2013 Board of Education director race. According to the final unofficial results, Harold, Butcher and Moore secured seats on the school board, joining Marie LaVere-Wright and Chuck Irons.
“We look forward to swearing in our directors and collaborating with the new board as we support every student in District 49,” said Peter Hilts, chief education officer. The district also extends thanks to departing board members Chris Wright and Henry Allen for their service to the students of District 49.
The statewide defeat of Amendment 66 will start a new round of discussions about education funding and equity. District 49 leaders are eager to contribute to that conversation, emphasizing fairness, local control and efficient stewardship.
“We commit to stable leadership from our board and administration, so District 49 can continue to grow with our community,” said Hilts.
Pending county verification of election results, new directors will be sworn in prior to the board work session on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 10850 E. Woodmen Road in Peyton. Additional details will be posted soon at d49.org.
Springs Ranch Elementary School, located at 4350 Centerville Drive in Colorado Springs, will host the fifth grade musical “American Voices” at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Meridian Ranch Elementary School, located at 10480 Rainbow Bridge Drive in Peyton, will host an all-school assembly at 8:45 a.m., including a performance from the choir and guest speakers.
Falcon Elementary School, located at 12050 Falcon Highway in Peyton, has invited students and parents to submit photos to be displayed on the Our Heroes Wall on Nov. 11. Additionally, students were asked to submit names of family members currently serving in the military and cards written by students will be sent to those family members. On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Falcon Elementary School will host the annual Heroes Breakfast from 7:50-8:30 a.m. Students and their families will have the opportunity to eat breakfast with active military members of the community.
Remington Elementary School, located at 2825 Pony Tracks Drive in Colorado Springs, is hosting a Veterans appreciation luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 7. Retired and active duty military members have been invited to join students for lunch, wearing their military uniform or fatigues. Lunch schedules range from 10:50 a.m.- 1:05 p.m.
Skyview Middle School, located at 6350 Windom Peak Boulevard in Colorado Springs, will hold three Veterans Day concerts featuring actors, eighth grade band and seventh and eighth grade choirs. The eighth grade concert will begin at 8:15 a.m., seventh grade concert will begin at 10:15 a.m. and the sixth grade concert will begin at 1:15 p.m.
Falcon Middle School, located at 9755 Towner Avenue in Peyton, has invited veterans and active duty military to visit classrooms throughout the school day. An all-school assembly will be held at 2:20 p.m. to recognize veterans, including Falcon Middle School staff members who have served. The Falcon High School JROTC will present the colors and the band and choir will perform.
Falcon High School, located at 10255 Lambert Road in Peyton, will have an all-school assembly to honor veterans including Falcon High School staff who have served. Students are writing tribute cards, which will be sent to the American Legion for distribution to veterans around the area.
Falcon Virtual Academy, located at 6113 Constitution Avenue in Colorado Springs, will host a Saluting America presentation from 4-6 p.m., which will include a tribute contest, service project and other special events students completed as part of the Veterans Day celebration. Specific program details are at http://rswea6.wix.com/salute.
“Our students will be working with experts in the field of crime scene investigation to learn the fundamentals of solving crimes and take the science of detective work to a whole new level,” said Brian Smith, principal at Falcon Middle School in Falcon School District 49.
During morning activities, they’ll dust for fingerprints, examine a crime scene and study paper chromatography, as they gain first-hand knowledge into STEM careers. After lunch, they’ll listen to a forensic science presentation, learn about facial recognition and then hold a scavenger hunt.
Students will take home a bag of CSI tools, including a workbook, calculator and invisible ink pen. Participating teachers will receive the curriculum for the day’s activities, mapped to local education standards, as well as a fingerprint scanner.
Prior to the camp, the school’s educators will receive training with the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Fort Carson K-9 unit, Nov. 5, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
“We are so excited that Falcon Middle School was selected as one of the only middle schools in Colorado to offer this program,” said Smith.
Crime Scene Investigation Camp-for-a-Day
A collaboration with Peak Vista Community Health Centers to launch the Falcon Peak school-based health center at Falcon Elementary School, community partnerships with Care and Share Food bank and Fuel Up to Play 60, and a dietician intern partnership with Penrose-St. Francis Hospital exemplified how district programming is already supporting school wellness, with prioritization on expanding implementation, according to grantor RMC Health.
The award will fund a new project, Healthy Schools, Successful Students, which will be administered by RMC Health, a non-profit professional development organization with an expertise in school health. It is an expansion of a grant-funded project that District 49 began four years ago.
The RMC Health grant enables the district to expand its wellness policy and adopt The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s coordinated school health model district-wide by supporting the new district-level health and wellness coordinator, Rachel Duerr.
The model focuses on counseling, nutrition services, health services, health education, physical education, safe school environments, community involvement, staff health promotion and psychological and social services.
The four primary goals for Coordinated School Health are to increase health knowledge, attitudes and skills; increase positive health behaviors and health outcomes; improve education outcomes since students who are healthy are more likely to learn than those who are unhealthy; and to improve social outcomes as school health programs can help students contribute positively to their family, school and community.
The 25-student team from Falcon School District 49 is the first-ever from Colorado to receive a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam award, according to Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer for the Lemelson-MIT program.
A panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as industry representatives and former Lemelson-MIT award winners, assembled this fall and selected Sand Creek High School as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.
The team’s bio-sand filters are made of layers of sand and gravel with different coarseness that allow water to pass through, while capturing parasites and bacteria in the process. After water is passed through the filter, it is 98 percent clean.
“I feel optimistic that the students are seeing issues affecting others around them, and responding quickly with original and useful ideas to technically solve problems,” she said.
The survey is voluntary for middle and high school students, elementary school students in grades 3-12, and parents. A Spanish translation is available for parents. Students will have opportunities on campus to complete the survey. Parents are encouraged to talk with their students about a survey’s importance.
Community participation is critical in helping district leaders learn more about each school's culture and climate. The results will inform decision making, as District 49 advances its Big Rock, or strategic initiative, of being the best district to learn, work and lead.
- District Climate Survey for Middle and High School Students
- District Climate Survey for Elementary School Students Grades 3-5
- District Climate Survey for Parents
- District Climate Survey for Parents in Spanish
The proposal was approved for the district to employ Pikes Peak Regional Building for construction permits and inspections, with exception of electrical and plumbing permits and inspections, as prepared by Jack Bay, chief operations officer.
Over the next three to five years, the district will strive to build trust with stakeholders, engage the community, create an environment that is the best in which to learn, work and lead, develop a robust portfolio of exceptional schools, and individualize education to launch every student into success.
District 49 continues growth in student population, and remains the fastest growing school district in the region. Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, provided student count information to board directors as part of planning for the district’s amended budget; student enrollment impacts Colorado school districts’ program funding.
Preliminary enrollment numbers show an increase of 300 students as compared to the previous school year; the official student count for schools statewide takes place in October. District 49 has been one of the fastest growing in the state over the past decade.
An opportunity to refinance district bonds saved the district $170,000 and did not extend the term of repayment on district bonds.
The directors took action to set board meeting dates for 2014 and approved a memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross, providing facilities and resources in times of emergency.
The board members approved a resolution marking Constitution Day, Sept. 17, in support of better understanding the nation’s history and culture. They also approved community members to serve on the District Accountability Advisory Committee, and revisions to student conduct policies.
The directors approved a process of review for chief officers, setting priorities for effective supervision and evaluation of the chief education officer, chief business officer and chief operations officer positions.
The directors received information on the upcoming Educating Children of Color Summit, which addresses the challenges of children of color and children in poverty through education. The summit is free to students and will be held Jan. 11 at Colorado College. The directors expressed a desire to support the event and its purpose.
Ridgway presented an update on the Colorado Digital Board of Cooperative Services, formed as a partnership to proactively lead online education practices. To efficiently combine resources, the CDBOCES program will add a science, technology, engineering and math component, to help to advance district and state STEM education initiatives.
The district will partner with Colorado Springs School District 11 in the development of the STEM component of the BOCES, in order to enable collaboration and extend the reach of the program.
Amber Whetstine, school improvement coordinator, shared district, zone, school and grade level Transitional Colorado Assessment Program data, highlighting achievements and opportunities for growth. Key highlights included the highest percentage of fourth grade students scoring proficient and advanced in reading in the past six years, and the highest proficient and advanced scores in eight grade writing and science.
Areas for improvement, including special education achievement gaps and gaps in math for African American and Hispanic students, will be incorporated into schools’ unified improvement plans later this year.
The board directors discussed revisions to policies related to extracurricular activity eligibility and to guest users on the district wireless network. Both will be addressed as action items at an upcoming meeting.
Falcon Virtual Academy was praised for having a “very creative design solution on a limited budget that managed to provide stimulating spaces that are defined, yet open and free-flowing. Fun place to learn with bold colors.”
The school has received seven regional and national design awards to date.
Find more information in American School and University magazine.
Acknowledged for her contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the Pikes Peak region, Dolifka was awarded a $500 scholarship to continue STEM projects.
The newly launched Wolf Pack Theater Company website provides information for students, parents and the broader community about activities and upcoming productions.
The zone earned a $2,500 grant from the Kinder Morgan Foundation for the Strings For All program, which funded the purchase of string instruments for the zone. Purchased instruments will be provided to students who want to learn, but financially unable to rent our purchase one. Four violins, a cello and a string bass have already been purchased with the grant funds.
The strings program is a viable feeder program for Sand Creek High School, as it completes the existing fine arts curriculum in the zone. Sean Dorsey, Sand Creek innovation leader, and Ray Bell, Sand Creek High School band director, implemented the program as part of the zone’s focus on providing educational options for students.
Cathy Camp-Davidson, string orchestra teacher, performs regularly as an alternate bassist with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. She brings her experience as a freelance musician to her students.
Camp-Davidson performs with her own string quartet and Irish duo on the bass, cello, and violin. She also has deep roots in Colorado Springs and her father was one of the original musicians in the Flying W Wranglers. Contact her to learn more about the program.
Rush, the national spokesperson for the bullying prevention organization Hey Unique Gifted Loveable You, will congratulate them at 10:45 a.m. She routinely visits schools across the country on behalf of Hey UGLY, working to build emotional awareness and self-love in children.
Warren also cites a positive educational learning climate, aligning grade-level goals, common assessments and interventions, and ongoing professional development for educators as keys to the students’ success.
District 49’s inspection and surveillance results are available in the management plan at each facility’s administrative office. These may be viewed any time during normal school hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Contact Zack Gibson in the facilities department with any questions about asbestos: 719.494.8986.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Health require a re-inspection of asbestos material every three years to re-assess its condition. Accredited asbestos inspectors in District 49 performed the re-inspection in December 2012, and no change was noted as to the status of concerns.
In addition, the EPA and CDH require a visual survey of all known asbestos materials every six months to determine and document any change in the condition of asbestos materials. No significant changes in conditions were noted during a surveillance of District 49 buildings in spring 2013. All materials are in satisfactory condition.
These are just a few examples where District 49 students and educators are using technology to advance 21st century skills in the classroom.
On Aug. 17, musical artists from around the United States will join voices in Colorado Springs, where they'll confront bullying and promote compassion. The Stand Up. Speak Out. anti-bullying concert in Falcon School District 49 presents a venue for thousands of people to stand up and speak out against aggressive and harassing behaviors in schools. Vertical Horizon will headline the evening event, preceded by The BottomLine, Brian Jarvis, Devyn Rush, Taylor Watson and Brendan James. The band SRO volunteered from New York to arrive and perform as doors open. To support this enormous community effort, purchase your tickets today at the Security Service Field online box office.
In 2012, District 49 charged CCS with replacing 1,000 Dell laptops with Apple MacBooks. Blake Schwank, CCS owner and founder, says the company’s success was a result of its commitment to customer service and technician education. Today, more than 20 percent of the technicians have Apple certifications.
“We’ve worked hard to hire great technicians who really enjoy working with people and have a desire to continually learn new technologies,” said Schwank, while explaining that CCS employees are eager to watch the growth and advancement of their clients’ businesses.
During the past 10 years, the foundation awarded 287 grants and scholarships to teachers and students in District 49, totaling $237,000. Proceeds from the auction and dinner fund these teacher minigrants and scholarships.
Along with raising funds, the foundation also recognized outstanding members of the District 49 community at the annual event. Award winners stand out among their peers for their investment in their own education, the education of others and helping the community.
FEF is a nonprofit organization that raises funds beyond the usual means of support to help students and teachers reach their full potential. The foundation supports ideas that are innovative, creative and inspirational.
The foundation also recognizes District 49 seniors in the class of 2013 with $500 scholarships. This year, eight students were honored for high academic achievement.
Schmidt’s class raised $72 by the end of the school week and when community members heard about her students’ efforts, additional contributions were given, lifting their total to $300.
Cub Scouts Pack 225 meets regularly at Springs Ranch Elementary School. To give back to their community, leaders CB Denson and Kenneth Knapp organized the pack to create and donate a customized podium, painted with the school’s colors and featuring its bobcat mascot.
HOSA promotes careers in healthcare and creates opportunities for members by enhancing academic, technical and leadership skills. The national student-led organization is 150,000 members strong.
During HOSA’s 2013 leadership conference, the association’s largest gathering ever, Falcon High School student’s Shane Borah, 16, Brianna Schmitt, 15, Adrienne DeBauche, 16, and Emma Nowlin, 16, earned the silver medal during their event.
Falcon High School sent to Nashville 27 of Colorado’s 124 NLC delegates. The students previously placed first, second or third at the Colorado Leadership Conference in March to qualify for the national competition.
Thirty-nine music teachers participated in the weeklong workshop's fourth year at the District 49 high school. Twelve benefited from a new Level 2 stage of instruction. By participating, educators received acoustic guitars and related accessories, along with a box of teaching materials and three graduate credits.
The event is presented by the National Association for Music Education, Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association and International Music Products Association, as well as sponsored by Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
"We had so many different states represented from all levels: elementary, middle and high schools," said Ray Bell, instrumental music director at Sand Creek High School, a Level 2 teacher. "All participants got a box of classroom materials, which is what we worked on through the week. We're getting better at playing and teaching guitar -- primarily teaching."
After playing John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" with a new Taylor acoustic guitar, Jane Koch of Grand Island, Neb., praised the workshop's support for educators. As a new sixth, seventh and eighth grade music teacher at Walnut Middle School in Grand Island Public Schools, she says "being new to the district, I need to build up my skills."
During their time at Camp Elim in Woodland Park, the students learned from real-life problems and observations, while participating in interpersonal and social development opportunities.
While together in a 24-hour setting, the students developed skills in leadership, followership, decision-making, cooperation and communication. They leveraged outdoor technologies, including a Global Positioning System.
The outdoor classroom experience included descriptive writing assignments about nature walks, math calculations with a zip line, obstacle maneuvers in rope courses, and science experiments that led to building windmills and creating tie dye shirts.
Dolfika was notified June 4 that she had been selected for the Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Academy Teacher of the Year award for 2012-2013.
She’ll be recognized for her efforts in July at an AFA statewide meeting. As a Lance P. Sijan chapter winner, Dolfika is now in competition for Colorado State Teacher of the Year.
Dolfika will also be formally recognized for her outstanding achievements during the annual STEM Rocks! event in August at Peterson Air Force Base.
“We are so lucky to have such an outstanding educator in our school and zone,” said Malinda Keck, principal at Falcon Elementary School.
Governor John Hickelooper signed SB13-193, “Increasing Parent Engagement In Public Schools.” The PTA joined the co-sponsors of the bill Sen. Evie Hudak and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp at the state capitol to support the importance of parent engagement in public education.
As a member of the State Advisory Council on Parent Involvement in Education, Colorado PTA gathers best practices to share with communities.
SB13-193 establishes a new position at the Colorado Department of Education to oversee parent engagement in schools throughout the state.
The bill also requires school accountability committees to hold public meetings that solicit input concerning the contents of school priority improvements and turnaround plans before they’re written.
It provides funding to allow regional training to help districts and parents work together to implement best practices and learn how to support a student’s education.
School districts are required to have a point of contact for parent engagement. The contact works to improve communication for student success.
(Courtesy Photo/Colorado PTA)
During the meet May 11 at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, eighth grader Elias Sutton set a new Tri-County League record with a 200-meter time of 23:05 seconds. Classmate Joel Walker topped 1,600- and 800-meter times.
Sutton, William Haywood, Ryan Giles and Brian Saucedo won the 4x100 relay. Haywood, Sutton, Isaiah Lapioli and Tanner Teeples won the 4x200 relay. Walker, Lapioli, Kyle Jones and Noah Beatty won the 4x400 relay.
Other eighth graders who competed included Chance Anders, Daniel Beltran, Alex Freeman, Reuben Otero, Devin Quach, Estefano Reinecke, Gavin Urban and Henry Vo.
During a recent state-level Air Force Association network defense competition, District 49 ranked as three of the top four CyberPatriot teams in Colorado.
This summer, District 49's transportation team will take Joshua's artwork to the Colorado State School Bus Championship Road-e-o, a competition that identifies the state's best in school bus safety. Transportation professionals are evaluated in several areas, like special needs, student management and emergency evacuations. During the event, Joshua's poster will be submitted for the Colorado State Pupil Transportation Association's safety poster contest.
“I am honored and eager to get to work for everyone who depends on Falcon School District 49,” said Hilts about the board’s decision. “The future of public education demands the kind of courage and innovation displayed in District 49. I look forward to joining the team and building on a promising foundation.”
The board commended Hilts for his experience with innovative education and vision for 21st century learning.
In his current position as director of academic services at The Classical Academy, Hilts coordinates efforts of school and instructional leaders. He is a founding director of the award-winning College Pathways blended school. He has also held leadership roles as a high school principal and director of instructional technology.
As District 49’s CEO, Hilts will oversee all educational strategies and functions for the district. He replaces acting CEO Don Begier, and joins the chief business officer and chief operations officer to round out the district’s leadership team.
The district will now begin the process of developing a contract with Hilts, including start date, salary and other contractual matters. Directors will approve a final contract before Hilts officially accepts the position.
The board held an executive session prior to the regular meeting to discuss the CEO finalists, Hits and Mary Vedra. Hilts said he will work closely with Begier, and his current colleagues at TCA to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Board directors approved changes to the boundaries for Springs Ranch Elementary School and Remington Elementary School. The adjustments will increase operational efficiency at both schools, allowing Remington to enroll students up to its optimal capacity, and alleviating crowding at Springs Ranch.
The boundary between the two schools will now follow the natural boundary of North Carefree Circle, so students will not have to cross that major road to attend their neighborhood school. Families currently enrolled in either school will have the opportunity to choose whether to opt into the new boundary, which takes effect for the 2013-2014 school year.
Directors approved funding of a vocational program partnership with Pikes Peak Community College. The program provides District 49 high school students the opportunity to pursue career pathway education outside the traditional classroom environment.
The board established guidelines for how many students may participate, as the district funds their concurrent enrollment at the college. The directors also approved funding of a vocational program in cosmetology, providing similar guidelines for students enrolled at the International Salon and Spa Academy.
The board directors approved the Colorado Digital BOCES constitution and bylaws, moving forward with the formation of the program to provide a collaborative support network for online and blended learning. Colorado Digital BOCES is the first entity of its kind in the state, giving educators greater access to best practices and trainings for those educational models.
Jack Bay, chief operations officer, presented a proposed realignment of the facilities, operations and maintenance departments. Bay recommended implementing a structure for operational staff, so they are positioned as a unified team with the priority of developing a plan for cost-savings on the operational side of the district. The board approved the plan, which also establishes lines of reporting, accountability and leadership for the operational departments.
Directors approved a resolution to establish passing periods as educational time, an item annually addressed by the board. Directors approved revisions to board policies and regulations regarding relations with charter schools, staff absences and leave and staff ethics.
Directors approved revised meeting dates for the scheduled May work session, moving from May 22 to May 29, and June meeting, from June 13 to June 12. Also approved were food services for the Head Start program at Evans International and Falcon Elementary Schools for the upcoming school year.
The board received a legislative update from lobbyist Amy Attwood, addressing current and new school finance acts. Of 178 Colorado school districts, District 49 ranks 177 in the funding it receives from the state. Attwood has worked throughout the legislative session to ensure the district maintains a voice in the development of educational policy at the state level. She will continue building relationships with legislators, other school districts and educational stakeholders.
Board directors discussed restructuring of contracts for the district’s top administrators in order to establish a uniform contract for the chief and innovation leader positions. The board members expressed their desire to limit all contracts to one year.
Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10, is an opportunity to stop and thank a teacher. Sometimes, a simple thanks is all a teacher needs to feel valued.
"Not only are teachers some of the smartest, most compassionate people I know, but they do work that few of us could accomplish on our best days," wrote Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, in an ED.gov blog post May 6.
"What our teachers really need—and deserve—is our ongoing commitment to work with them to transform America’s schools," he said. "They need us to acknowledge them as professionals who are doing our nation’s most important work."
The District 49 community may share success stories or words of appreciation on the district's Facebook page, or using the #District49 hashtag on Twitter. Around the country, people will celebrate teachers using the hashtag #thankateacher.
For inspiration, visit District 49's "In the Classroom" board on Pinterest.
For more information about the PTA Teacher Appreciation Week, visit PTA.org.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the students will hold a Relay Recess, an abbreviated version of the American Cancer Society’s national signature activity, Relay For Life. The Relay Recess program provides cancer prevention and education information, and also raises funds for the American Cancer Society’s mission, “to help create a world with more birthdays.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the students to make an impact in the community as well as become knowledgeable about cancer,” said Erin McGovern, Stetson Elementary School teacher and Relay Recess coordinator. "The students feel good about themselves knowing they are doing something to help others."
The Relay Recess event at the school will provide an opportunity for students, teachers and their families to celebrate and remember those loved ones touched by cancer. The program will last one hour.
For her excellence, the Odyssey Elementary School teacher was recognized as a top STEM teacher in Colorado.
Lamb will now be nominated by the section for the AIAA’s national education award.
“The awards committee and I think that Sandy Lamb is a teacher we would want to have for our children,” said Jim Rendleman, AIAA Rocky Mountain Section chair, during the awards presentation May 2. "She knows how to make STEM fun."
Matia was selected as a recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Program Excite Award and is now a finalist for a 2013-2014 InvenTeam grant.
The InvenTeam initiative, created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention. InvenTeams are comprised of students, teachers and mentors and can receive grants up to $10,000.
Matia’s high school InvenTeam is working to improve bio-sand technology to provide clean water production in third world countries, an initiative started by Bio AuSable, a 4-H InvenTeam located in Canada and New York. Bio AuSable will serve as official mentors for the InvenTeam at Sand Creek High School.
Bio-sand filters are made of layers of sand and gravel with different coarseness that allow water to pass through, while capturing parasites and bacteria in the process. Once water is passed through the filter, it is 98% clean.
The devices can be constructed with simple materials and tools. The operation of the system is designed to be easy and accessible, increasing the availability of clean drinking water for communities in third world countries.
The school submitted its application in April. “Our team of 25 are the most fantastic kids and the strongest class of juniors and seniors I have ever had in 13 years of teaching,” Matia said.
The school’s InvenTeam is partnering with local veterinarian clinics to test water and is looking to foster additional partnerships to incorporate scientific research. Students will work on prototyping and redesigning of the filter based on research and testing.
Kohlhouse was selected by the Colorado Department of Education as the state's 2012-2013 Online Teacher of The Year. With her leadership, Falcon Virtual Academy’s science program has shown tremendous growth and achievement. She builds curriculum to meet the needs of various learning styles, aligning coursework with Common Core standards.
"She's an amazing teacher who does amazing things with kids," said Dave Knoche, Falcon Virtual Academy principal. "And truly her gift is developing those relationships that are crucial for making kids successful."
Those are the words one student used to describe the learning experience at Patriot Learning Center, an alternative middle and high school in Falcon School District 49.
Students and parents interested in learning about the range of programs offered at Patriot Learning Center are invited to an open house event April 29 from 6-7 p.m. School staff members will share a presentation about educational opportunities with prospective students and families.
Through a variety of educational programming, Patriot Learning Center provides a learning environment for students who may not have thrived in a more traditional educational setting.
The school prepares students for emotional, social and academic success through community service, small class sizes and individualized educational opportunities.
School staff members use a relationship-based approach to ensure educational relevance and academic rigor.
Patriot Learning Center is located just south of the intersection at Woodmen Road and Highway 24 in Peyton at 11990 Swingline NE Road.
This is the school’s fifth year taking part in the project. Staff and students say they see it as a way to make a positive impact on the lives of the shelter’s residents, according to PLC staff Susie McPherson.
Donations can be delivered to the Patriot Learning Center at 11990 Swingline NE Road, or the district’s Educational Service Center at 10850 E. Woodmen Road.
The following items are requested: sunglasses, concealer and makeup, jewelry, perfume and any other items that help a woman feel special.
Personal hygiene items will not go in the baskets, but if donated will still be delivered to the shelter.
For additional information about this project, please contact Susie McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in Iran, Bighash and her mother fled to France when she was eight due to religious differences. She remained separated from her father for nearly seven years. The family finally reunited last year when Bighash and her mother moved to the United States to join her father, who had moved to the country three years earlier.
As an International Baccalaureate student, Bighash has spent countless hours volunteering for local organizations, such as Hope Community Center, Salvation Army, Goodwill and UNICEF. She also helps her fellow students, tutoring in Spanish and French.
At 13 years old, Bighash received her pilot’s license in France and was the youngest female to pass the pilot’s exam.
Brett Derickson, IB Coordinator at Sand Creek High School provided a letter of recommendation for Bighash’s applications for the Young Global Scholars program.
“Maryam is one of the most compassionate, driven, internationally minded people I have ever met,” said Derickson. “Her experiences in Iran, France and the United States make her a unique young lady to determined to be a difference maker in the world. She will take action on important issues that impact global citizens.”
While in Iran and France, Bighash was an active student and was involved in many sports and extracurricular activities including the Iran’s national gymnastics team, taekwondo, cross country/track and field and French handball team. She is now the youngest on US Team Handball.
Besides sports, Bighash has a passion for politics and making a difference on a global scale. While in France, she spent time working in the parliament, where she learned about the French government and political parties.
Bighash speaks Farsi, Spanish, French and English, the latter she learned after moving to the United States in 2012.
Part of the application process included an essay in which Bighash talked about her experiences and plans for the future.
“Home is where my heart is, and my heart is in pursuing my dreams and obtaining as many experiences as I can for myself,” said Bighash, in her essay. “I will fight for justice and peace in the entire world. I will be of the nationality of humankind."
“I will be part of something bigger than one mere location. I will leave my footprint on this world! I have a dream to become a representative of peace for the 21st century.”
“I dream of a time when no child will be perplexed by questions like where they are from, for they will never be uprooted due to persecution or injustice.”
Bighash expressed thanks to all of the individuals who have supported her efforts at Sand Creek High School, and said that one day she wants to help bring freedom and peace to the Middle East.
Education, Travel and Culture
When one of the teenage girls from South Korea visited the Colorado State Capitol in Denver for the first time, she was in for a surprise. Ornate decorations, stained-glass windows and a golden dome were beyond the expectations of the foreign exchange student, who is spending a year as a student at District 49 high school.
"The building was so fancy, even the stairs and walls were fancy," she said after touring the capitol March 28 with other international students and their host families during a trip organized by the exchange organization Education, Travel and Culture. There are more than 20 exchange students from countries around the world currently attending high schools in the Colorado Springs area through the organization. Some of them stay for a full school year, others only for one semester. The international teens are here to learn about U.S. culture and lifestyle, and to serve as ambassadors for their own countries.
A German teenager also attended the outing in Denver. She was amazed to see the two chambers at the capitol, the senate and the house of representatives. Another aspect that caught her off guard was the sheer size of the structure. In her mind, she had imagined a setting similar to a "Rathaus," the seat of a city government in her home country - usually a demure, generic building of government offices.
Size is something that exchange students often notice very quickly when they come to the United States. "What I thought was a stereotype... actually, it's partly true: food portions are huge, the cars are big, roads are big, the sky is big, the houses are big," said another exchange student. However, she is quick to add: "People are not big - that's the cliché part about the United States."
The importance of religion, kindness toward strangers and the value of patriotism are some of the other cultural aspects about the United States that usually stand out to exchange students. The strong military presence in the Colorado Springs area doesn't go unnoticed. "Being in this city of military made me think about something I wasn't thinking about before," the teen said. "It opened my mind and my knowledge of what's going on in the rest of the world, why are they in war, and who are the people trying to stop it?"
This type of experience, and similar, enables the exchange student to grow, and often, opens the minds of their U.S. host families and friends to new perspectives. The cultural exchange happens both ways, which means there are only winners in programs such as this one sponsored by ETC.
After their time in the United States, the exchange student returns home with valuable and unique experiences that will last a lifetime, and the U.S. host family, extended family, and the entire community have gained an ‘international friend’ for life. The students already recognize the benefits of their time here.
"I think my behavior for myself and toward other people will change. I think I already changed a lot... I think I will treat foreigners very well, be nice to everyone, and respect others more."
If you are interested in our program or your family wishes to enrich their lives by hosting an exchange student for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, please contact Dorit White at 719.930.4480 or by e-mail email@example.com, or online at www.edutrav.org.
A group of students known as the Round Table was selected to represent the entire student body. The group discussed important issues facing the community, and what areas of interest they would like to donate to as a student body.
The Round Table then spent an entire day interviewing various nonprofit organizations, representing a variety of issues in the Colorado Springs area to learn more about the programs and activities that may benefit from the school’s fundraiser.
The student body will vote later this month. The students can choose to donate all the money to one cause or divide the money for multiple organizations.
Some of the nonprofit organizations interviewed included the American Cancer Society, Human Society of the Pikes Peak Region and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
“The Imagine National Character Essay Contest, now in its seventh year, reflects our schools’ strong emphasis on positive character development,” said Dennis Bakke, Imagine Schools co-founder and CEO.
“I want to commend the outstanding student writers whose character essays received awards in this year’s contest. With their winning essays, students articulate both the importance of living their own lives in a virtuous manner and the difference good character can make in their school, family, and larger community.
Congratulations to fourth grader Jackson Greer, who earned an honorable mention for his essay titled “Hope;” sixth grader Faith Parker, who won first place for her essay titled “Keeping Peace;” and eighth grader Nathan Hutfilz for his first place essay titled “My Mother’s Opportunity.”
Character development is one of Imagine Schools’ six measures of excellence. The essay contest is one of the many ways that the 70 Imagine Schools campuses strive to promote positive character development in students.
Every Imagine School places a strong emphasis on character development and evaluates success and effectiveness in this area annually.
Middle school color guard programs are generally introduced at the high school that sixth, seventh and eighth grade students are expected to attend. Because Sand Creek High School offers the district’s only active winter color guard program, there was a unique opportunity to expand to other high schools.
Students selected four key topics: money management and personal finance; public speaking and improving self-confidence; starting or managing a business; career resources. They recruited professionals from the community to visit the class and speak on various topics.
“Our class discussed and agreed to focus on learning about money management first because it would help us in entering the real world,” said 11th grader Dontae Liddell. “We brainstormed businesses that would send their representatives to teach us money management skills. As a result, we invited a representative from Wells Fargo Bank.”
Wells Fargo Bank sent personal banker Sean McGinness, a 2006 Sand Creek High School graduate. McGinness covered topics of compound interest, credit scores, savings, budgeting and determining average income when working on commission. The most challenging part for students came when they were asked to develop a budget earning only $2,000 per month.
“This experience has helped us learn a lot,” said Liddell, “and we think that every student should have the opportunity to learn from community members like Mr. McGinness. This would help students gain knowledge they need for when they enter the real world.”
Blakeley recently auditioned at the Joffery Ballet School of Dance in New York City, competing against other dancers from around the world for a spot in the training program. Only 5 percent of those who audition are accepted into the Joffrey trainee program. Blakeley is one of the few.
For six weeks this summer, Blakeley will live in New York City, where she’ll experience urban life before making her final decision about accepting the school’s offer.
Blakeley also volunteers for numerous charities including Make A Wish Foundation, The American Heart Association, Starlight Children's Foundation and Freedom Service Dogs. She is a founder of the Brandon Blakeley Foundation’s Bubba Walk, a walk dedicated in memory of her younger brother who passed away from heart-related issues in 2009.
She was awarded the Kohl's Kids Cares scholarship for the Colorado Region for helping to raise more than $60,000 for local charities.
There are several phases for examining this relationship: student learning, making connections and taking action. Students will be learning in the classroom over the course of several months by performing critical thinking activities. These include plotting rates of hospitalization of asthma patients on a Colorado map, plotting the path of radioactive air particles released from the Chernobyl blast, and playing Smog City, an interactive educational game, to learn the effect of weather conditions, population and emissions on ozone.
Finally, students will put their knowledge into action at Skyview Middle School by testing the outdoor air quality during peak pickup times of cars in the parking lot. They will use Vernier LabQuest probes and complete monthly recordings to examine data. If significant difference is indicated between pickup and non pickup times, then this information will be disseminated to families via newsletter to encourage conversations for change, such as reduction in idling.
- Mark Estrada, 16 - Nursing Assisting
- Savannah Church,16 and Katie Kurtz, 17 - CPR/First Aid
- Mason Garrett, 18 and Matt Seymour, 18 - EMT
- Shane Borah,16; Emma Nowlin, 15; Breanna Schmitt,15; and Adrienne DeBauche, 16 - Health Education
- Adrienne DeBauche, 16 - Physical Therapy
- Amber Nelsen,17 and Melanie Finley, 16 - CPR/First Aid
- Tyler Rohr, 18 and Dan Snelling, 16 – EMT
- Kaila Estepp, 17 - Prepared Speaking
- Shane Falzon, 15 - Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Samantha Mangar, 17, Kayla Martinez, 17, Mackenzie Richardson, 15 and Whitney Stanton, 16 – Biomedical Debate
- Mark Estrada, 16 - Medical Terminology
- Kaila Estepp, 17 - Human Growth and Development
- Melanie Finley, 16 - Extemporaneous Writing
- Kayla Martinez, 17 - Nursing Assisting
- Zach Williams, 15 - Physical Therapy
- Trey Moore, 19 and Emily Campbell, 17- EMT
- Marissa Maikell, 15, Kayla Pilcher, 15, and Miranda Morales, 14 – Public Health
- Shane Borah, 16 - Extemporaneous Speaking
- Jordan Lankford, 17 - Medical Terminology
- Bryce Bagby, 16 – Physical Therapy
- Samantha Mangar, 17 and Alyssa Athey, 18 – CPR/First Aid
- Mark Estrada, 16 and Kristian Chapman, 17 – CPR/First Aid
- Kayla Pilcher, 15 - Extemporaneous Speaking
- Brooke Kelly, 15 - Medical Photography
- Mason Garrett, 18 – Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Whitney Stanton, 16 – Researched Persuasive Speaking
- Savannah Church, 16, Katie Kurtz, 17, and Kaila Estepp, 17 – Public Service Announcement
- Shane Falzon, 15 – Medical Terminology
- Kyra George, 17 – Medical Terminology
- Kayla Martinez , 17 – Medical Terminology
- Melanie Finley, 16 – Human Growth and Development
- Bailey Moody, 15 – Nutrition
- Whitney Stanton, 16 – Barbara James Service Award
- Emily Campbell, 17 – Healthcare Issues Exam/Top 10 Percent
- Mackenzie Richardson, 15 – Top Five Pin Designs
Board members approved modifications to contracting procedures with special services providers. The change aligns special service provider contracts with statute and will result in the special service provider contracts being reviewed and renewed annually.
Directors approved modifications to salary ranges for the district’s top leadership roles, including innovation leaders and CEO, and some administrative positions. The changes provide consistency and reflect the district’s organizational structure and philosophy regarding compensation.
Begier provided the board with an update on the district’s exploratory teams process. In November, Begier was directed to form four exploratory teams to determine what needs, if any, the district had in four specific areas: micro-innovation, teacher induction, professional development and meaningful evaluation. Begier explained how the teams prioritized needs and is now handing off that input to the board for next steps. Teacher induction and micro-innovation were the two primary areas of interest
The fire occurred Tuesday morning in the south wing at Evans Elementary School, located at 1675 Winnebago Road in Colorado Springs. School officials were alerted of smoke coming from a downstairs boys bathroom at roughly 10:25 a.m.
Students and faculty were immediately evacuated and accounted for. Area firefighters and other emergency crews quickly responded to the incident.
Due to smoke damage, the school is closed March 13-17 to allow for cleanup efforts, as well as air quality and other environmental inspections. Students won't be allowed into areas until health concerns are cleared.
"Crews are working around the clock to ensure the building is clean and ready for our students to return Monday," said Dustin Horras, Evans International Elementary School principal.
"Safety of students is our first and foremost concern and students have not and will not be exposed to dangerous conditions," said Horras.
The smoke damage primarily affected eight classrooms, the learning areas for 150-180 students in fifth, first and fourth grade, as well as Head Start students. The school educates roughly 750 students in pre-K through fifth grade.
Transitional Colorado Assessment Program testing was underway. There's one fifth grade science and two third grade math sessions remaining, as well as several makeup tests.
All students will be given an opportunity to complete the testing after the school reopens, said Horras. He doesn't expect an extension to the school year, since the school was well above the state's required instructional time.
After the fire Tuesday, Evans International Elementary School's students were taken to the gym at Sand Creek High School, located at 7005 North Carefree Circle in Colorado Springs.
The students were supervised, provided shelter, meals and movies. Soon after 4 p.m., all students were released to their parents and guardians. Staff members checked for state-issued identification. Students were not released without it.
Updates are posted at D49.org.
- Copy of proof of residency (current utility bill or lease/contract)
- Copy of child’s birth certificate
- Copy of proof of income
- Completed Lottery Registration Form
- Completed Health and Social Questionnaire
- Completed CPP Interview
Falcon School District 49 will host Stand Up. Speak Out, a concert to end bullying, Aug. 17 at Security Service Field. The event takes a proactive approach to prevent bullying and promote a positive, safe and compassionate culture for students and families in El Paso County.
“The ultimate goal of this event is to stop bullying before it starts,” said concert organizer Mindy Quinn, District 49 marketing and communications specialist. “Stand Up. Speak Out. is designed to bring children and families together from all areas of Colorado Springs to raise awareness, empower and educate the community.
“Our schools have individually and collaboratively brought in guest speakers to address bullying at the elementary, middle and high school levels,” Quinn said, “but it is time to organize a community-wide event, featuring public figures who can speak to students in a different way. We hope to approach this effort using the power of music.”
A diverse line up of six artists will perform during the event in support of the cause, joining with national anti-bullying and educational organizations. Vertical Horizon, an American alternative rock band, will headline the festivities.
The BottomLine, is an indie-country singing duo from Colorado Springs featuring Bree Bremser, a 12th-grader at Sand Creek High School, and Nathan Noblit.
Brian Jarvis, New England-based singer and songwriter; Taylor Watson, recording artist from Nashville; and Devyn Rush, American Idol contestant and national spokesperson for Hey UGLY, non-profit anti-bullying organization will perform.
Brendan James, singer and songwriter of “The New Plan,” a song recently released for the victims and families of the Newtown, Conn., shooting will be in the lineup. He will join speakers from Rachel’s Challenge, Hey UGLY and Safe2Tell, who will take the stage to educate students and families about resources available within in the community.
District students and staff will to take to the streets, volunteering their time to canvass the community with posters, concert information and invitations to school districts in El Paso County.
The event is funded through sponsors and partnerships with local and national businesses, along with ticket sales. Tickets will be available in April at the Security Service Field box office and online: $13 for youth 12 years and under and military, or $15 for adults.
Businesses or organizations interested in donating to help fund this event may contact the district communications team at 719-491-2902. For more information, visit the Stand Up. Speak Out. page.
To sign up for emails, text keyword District49 to 33233.
"It's their love of the game," said Chris Roberts, seventh grade girls basketball coach, who worked with the team through their sixth and seventh grade years. "They study the game, they go to the games, they watch, and they love each other. ... I think the passion for the game has really taken them this far."
"They've worked together for a long time," said Toni Murphy, eighth grade girls basketball coach. "I feel really confident in the girls, that they're just going to work really hard and come out with a victory."
The board tabled an item regarding a strategic plan for the district pending the selection of the new chief education officer.
Directors approved the appointment of members to the District Accountability Advisory Committee, which reviews school improvement plans, makes expenditure recommendations and review’s district reports on educational and safety performance.
During Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Day, 60 cadets and faculty members from the Air Force Academy’s STEM Club will teach and demonstrate applications of science, technology, engineering and math to students in kindergarten-fifth grade.
Preschool is offered in all nine of the district’s elementary schools. Curriculum is linked to the Colorado Academic Standards, and is research-based and individualized to student needs. A list of required registration documents is available from the D49.org Preschool Information page.
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Springs Ranch Elementary School
"Our K-12 faculty and staff are implementing proven strategies that work," said Begier. "District 49's innovation initiative has given educators the autonomy and flexibility to create and identify programs and curriculum to directly meet students' needs. We know keeping students in school increases their earning potential, builds confidence and opens up exponentially more doors of opportunity than for students who drop out. It is our goal to empower every student to reach his or her greatest potential."
Twelfth grader Nikita Schubert, 18, won a $1,000 scholarship by writing a short story for "Don't Get Mad; Get Knowledge." Twelfth grader Desiree Burdick, 18, won a $500 education scholarship. Eleventh grader Nick Pasley, 17, won a laptop.
The Educating Children of Color Summit is a day-long program with speakers and breakout sessions. Students compete for scholarships by demonstrating their passion for equal opportunities in education. The summit awarded $10,000 in scholarship money and 18 laptops. All students under 21 were eligible for laptop drawings.
Schubert's story for the "Don't Get Mad; Get Knowledge" scholarship is posted at Sand Creek High School.
Community members and educators are invited to a Flipped open house on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Vista Ridge High School. The high school will join classrooms in five countries, 15 states, and more than 30 cities and towns also participating in the event. Teachers in various grades and disciplines are opening their doors to allow other educators to see how Flipped Learning works.
For more information about this event, including a list of additional locations, visit https://sites.google.com/site/flippedlearningopenhouse/sites-available
Board directors approved the 2012-2013 fiscal year amended budget. Brett Ridgway, chief business officer, provided information about the amended budget and the expense and fund balance projections for the remainder of the fiscal year. The amended budget process assists in managing the remaining portion of the current school year’s funding and lays the groundwork for the subsequent fiscal year.
The board members also approved 2012-2013 amended budgets for three district charter schools.
Board members moved an action item regarding the district’s organizational chart to the agenda for the regular meeting in February, to encompass feedback from additional district staff. Also tabled until the next meeting was an item involving revisions to the board policy guiding the powers and duties of its officers. Proposed revisions would modify some of the board’s communication processes and agenda-setting duties.
Don Begier, acting chief education officer, provided an update on the exploratory teams initiative and laid out the next steps for the project. Begier was directed in November to form four exploratory teams to determine what needs, if any, the district had in the specific areas: micro-innovation, teacher induction, professional development and meaningful evaluation.
While Begier says there was an encouraging response from about 30 staff and community members, ideally, the district is hoping to include 60-80 individuals in this process. The teams’ first meeting assessed work and programs underway district-wide within each category. The next step will focus on identifying areas of need in those categories. The teams will meet again Feb. 6 to collaborate about information team members are gathering to identify relevant needs.
At the Feb. 14 meeting, Begier is scheduled to present a proposed strategic plan, which guide the exploratory teams initiative as part of the district’s broader vision. Begier says implementing the strategic plan will ensure the district’s action steps and initiatives, like the exploratory teams, are congruent with the district’s long-term goals and will assist in prioritizing needs and key strategies.
A discussion item regarding board training and expenditures was tabled to allow for all board members to participate in the dialogue. Board vice president Chris Wright was absent. Additionally, the board requested development of a procedure for expectations, including approval of training and appropriate expenditures, as an item at the February meeting.
Board members discussed board membership into state and regional organizations and the benefits of paying associated dues. Specifically, the board evaluated participation in the Colorado Association of School Boards and the value of that membership.
Directors discussed legal representation for the board, including limiting legal fees and identify appropriate legal matters to employ counsel. The board expressed the need to avoid involving legal counsel on items regarding the district’s strategic issues, now that a new organizational format and leadership team are in place. A proposal identifying various obligations of district-employed legal counsel will be presented at the February meeting.
The board will hold its regular February meeting Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.
The Falcon High School student council and boys basketball team will host the Harlem Wizards for a night of impressive tricks and friendly competition. The Wizards, an extension of the Harlem Globetrotters, will play against Falcon Nation, a team made up of staff and students from several District 49 schools.
Harlem Wizards vs. Falcon Nation
The school will host the Senegal African Dance and Drum Troupe during two assemblies. The group combines African drumming, dancing, acrobatics, stilt-walking and innovative choreography.
As the African dance and drum troupe performs songs, drumming, folktales and exhibits traditions native to Africa, students of Evans International Elementary School, an International Baccalaureate school, will experience a unique educational program.
The event is aimed at creating a better, more peaceful world through cultural understanding and respect.
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“Take a stand, fight together, we can make a difference in the lives of many,” says Ancell.
Relay Recess brings students, educators and community members together for a special assembly and kick-off to the schools’ field day events. Everyone has an opportunity to meet cancer survivors, participate in a mini relay event, and raise funds through coin wars and other school activities.
The board received an extensive update on the POWER Zone’s one-to-one iPad initiative from Mike Pickering, the zone’s curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development administrator, along with educators from the zone.
“These devices open up avenues for collaboration and creativity,” Pickering says of the iPads. Educators have gathered student performance data since the launch of the pilot program in August.
The board is scheduled to vote on the 2012-13 amended budget at a special meeting on Jan. 23. The amended budget process assists in managing the remaining portion of the current school year’s funding and lays the groundwork for the subsequent fiscal year.
Paul Andersen, personnel director, presented a draft for the proposed chief education officer position. Board members engaged in extensive discussion to refine specifics regarding expectations, requirements and duties for the district’s educational leader. The discussion included defining the CEO’s responsibilities involving innovation, educational, strategic, people and community and business leadership components. The board amended the agenda to move the job description to an action item and approved the revised description. The modified CEO job description will be published after the completion of final legal review and will be posted for 30 days.
Board members removed a discussion item on the role and responsibilities of the innovation leader position from the agenda. The item will be revisited once a CEO candidate is selected.
Directors discussed the board policy guiding the powers and duties of its officers. Proposed revisions would modify some of the board’s communication processes and agenda-setting duties. The policy will be moved to an action item at the next meeting.
Board members postponed discussion on the relevance of an operational audit to provide the recently hired chief operations officer to develop an operational strategic plan and assess operational needs.
The board will change the work session scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m. to a special meeting.
Falcon Elementary School will host a ribbon cutting ceremony Jan. 10 to unveil a rock-climbing wall to parents, students and district leaders. The school will hold a celebrationg for the gift from the Parent Teacher Association.
PTA members raised money through various fundraisers and contributed $2,500 toward the purchase. An additional $1,200 in funding was raised through the school’s Walk for Education program, spirit week events and the support of Culver’s Night at the local restaurant.
SCHS in Falcon School District 49 will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil renovations to the gymnasium. The school will start off the second semester with a brand new gym floor and custom Sand Creek Scorpion logo at center court.
"This level of improvement and success would not be possible without the support of highly involved families who value and support the education of their children. We are extremely proud of our students, teachers, support staff, and families who continue to work to improve Banning Lewis Ranch Academy.”