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La Veta School Board approves revised 2011-2012 budget

by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
LA VETA — The La Veta School Board, with members Campbell, Kreutzer, Law and Schneider present, unanimously approved a revised 2011-2012 budget that was slightly higher than proposed in June of 2011.
The final budget comes in at $2,971,092. Changes were largely due to adjustments based on bringing the accounting system into line with the state-recommended Chart of Accounts system for public school districts. The good news is that the district should have more cash in reserves at the end of the year than originally projected.
Board members also unanimously approved an overnight trip to the science fair in La Junta on Friday, Feb. 24. Faculty sponsor Patricia Keeling and about 20 La Veta students will travel to the Regional Science Fair and return on Saturday, Feb. 25. Following the fair at Otero Junior College, students are planning to hold a “project display day” in the La Veta school cafeteria, which will allow students to exhibit their hard work. The board wished luck to the students in hopes that they will bring home lots of ribbons. In other business, the board unanimously accepted the resignation of head cook Deborah Ferrari, effective January 19, 2012.
The board was also notified that plans are in the works for a student-designed and rendered volleyball mural to be placed on the gym wall along with the existing murals dedicated to other sports. Also, the board was happy to hear that football players Brad Vigil and Adam Ortivez were selected for the All-State Football team.
Superintendant Bree Lessar said that she is coordinating with the Huerfano County School Safety Taskforce to host a “Pre-Med” day in which students and community members can explore various medical careers including nursing, radiology, rescue, CPR and self-defense. There was some discussion about soliciting donations for purchasing a portable defibrillator for the district. Lessar shared that, “research says more kids go down during practice than during games.” Therefore, to have a defibrillator on campus could be a wise choice.
The board also held a very preliminary discussion about the possibility of updating the playground. Safety-approved play apparatus tends to be highly specialized and very expensive, and any changes will need to be in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, according to Lessar, the board should consider improvements as the current play facilities are less than adequate.
She shared that CDOT is currently doing a traffic pattern assessment for the campus, which could help with playground planning efforts, and she proposed that well-planned changes could make the playground safer, more efficient and a space where negative behaviors such as bullying would be less likely to take place.
Lessar stated that the 4th graders are currently working up some designs for the playground. The board expressed enthusiasm and a desire to see what these youngsters come up with.
Finally, the board adjourned into executive session for discussion of upcoming negotiations with an employee, specific to the superintendent’s recent evaluation. Results of this session will be discussed at the next board meeting on February 13 at 5:30 pm at the La Veta High School library.