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Berry retained, policies reviewed, and DAC established

LA VETA — At the November 10 meeting of the La Veta School Board, the board decided to retain Lester Berry as the school’s head coach for both the girls and boys varsity basketball programs. Jennifer Ortibez and Anthony Vallejos will be assistant basketball coaches. “If Coach Berry is actively coaching the boys, he’ll need someone to coach the girls,” said Superintendent Bree Lessar. “We want to be sure we’re a class act.” Reportedly, parents are pleased, the players are pleased, and practice is to begin on November 12. “I’m really happy that he’s agreed to take this on,” Lessar said of Berry. The board approved Linda Romero to be volunteer assistant with the music class, and her background check is already complete. The board accepted the resignation of the school’s IT Director, Brandon Falk, with regrets and best wishes. “It’s an amicable parting,” said Lessar. The board acted to approve the first reading on policies regarding board minutes and disclosure to comply with the recent executive sessions (BEC), Minutes (BEDG), and freedom of information

(KDB) updates in state law. “It’s very little change,” said board member Jim Moore. The board also agreed to approve the first reading on a policy for Instructional Resources & Materials (IJ), which pertains to textbook selections. “There’s really no need to improve what we have,” said board president Ed Donovan. Moore added, “The school board went through each policy pretty thoroughly.” The policies were not actually approved at this meeting due to the lack of a motion to do so. The board approved the first reading of the policy for developing meeting agendas (BEDB) to expedite the board’s proceedings and provide a framework for the orderly conduct of business. The board decided to place student achievement discussions toward the beginning of meeting agendas. Lessar announced that the fourth grade class came in at 70% proficient, or advanced, in the Spring TCAP (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program) tests, and are projected to be 92% proficient or advanced in the fall NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) tests. “The NWEA is a good way to test, and that’s why we want to continue using it,” said Lessar. The NWEA tests take about an hour of school time, and cover reading and math twice a year. The board discussed the hardware involved in the technology department. According to Lessar, the computers that are about three years old will be “bumped down to coach Falk’s lab” and will be replaced, and the school will be discarding or recycling the others. She noted that there will begin to be some control over students using the internet. Each student’s name and phone number will be needed to activate internet access and computers instead of just the password, as had been required before. The board decided to hire Trenda Howard on an extended duty contract to become the IT coordinator. “I think it’s a win-win for the district,” said Lessar. Regarding facilities, Colorado Department of Transportation and Division of Local Affairs grants, Lessar said, “Right now, we’re chasing our tails.” Reportedly, both CDOT and DOLA grants are estimated at $150,000 each. She added, “We hope to finish those projects within this fiscal year.” The board is establishing a District Accountability Committee to consult with the school board on fairness, effectiveness, credibility, and professional quality of its licensed personnel evaluation system. The committee will conduct a continuing evaluation of those processes and procedures, and it will be meeting jointly with the school board on November 17 to coordinate efforts. Membership on the committee may include: a teacher, an administrator, a principal, parents of students attending school, and a person involved in community business.