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La Veta Board of Education hears semester review

by Shane Clouse
LA VETA — The Re-2 La Veta Board of Education (LVBOE) heard the Administrative Report, which is essentially a semester-in-review report, from Superintendent Bree Lessar on Saturday, January 5 at the La Veta Inn over a breakfast meeting.
Lessar began the meeting by explaining the results of the “Desk Audit” on October 18. There are several areas in which the district is well within compliance, including the financials and student services. Two areas are out of compliance: proper documentation and policy.
The fact that these two areas are not in compliance did not come as a surprise because the district has been working on these issues. In recent months, the LVBOE has been improving the documentation process as well as reviewing the policy which is now ready for the first draft.
Lessar continued with an update on some of the programs implemented in the school.
The district has a Teacher On Special Assignment (TOSA) working in the English Language Learner (ELL) program. The ELL assists students learning English as a second language to ensure the students do not fail courses due to language barriers. The TOSA is working with four students as well as coaching teachers in other classes. Part of the program involves translating information to send home in the parents’ native language.
In the Gifted and Talented programs, the district has just a few students who qualify under the state’s more stringent qualifications, with one student in the 99th percentile. For this program, all students are tested to give those students who qualify the support they need through an Advanced Learning Plan. Parents do have the right to refuse these plans, but none have.
In discussing the various grants, Lessar stated that the district has been approved for funding through CDOT for the work needed on Garland Street between the school buildings, the sidewalks, and the drainage issues. The district is still waiting for the official confirmation and expects the contract this week. The LVBOE expressed their appreciation to the town board for budgeting funds as matching monies.
The project will rebuild the street, bring the sidewalks up to ADA compliance, and fix the drainage issue that lets water into the basement of a building where a sump pump works to help keep the building dry. The total cost is in the neighborhood of $350,000, with the district paying $64,000, the Town of La Veta budgeting $35,000, and the remainder of the funds coming form CDOT, with assistance from GOCO and DOLA.
In other news, Lessar described her experience at the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). Stating she took in as much as she could about parental and community involvement, she said she learned what an effective PTO would look like. The suggestions include having a core group of six parents willing to participate with no politics involved.
Because social networking is evolving at such a rapid pace, a Social Networking Policy Committee has been implemented. Noting that some social networks have a positive impact, the committee will meet this month and compile a list of acceptable or unacceptable networks.
The rest of the updates will be reviewed at the next meeting. President of the LVBOE Sam Law said that everything is, “heartening and diverse.”