by William T. Beverly, Ph.D.
LA VETA- The La Veta School RE-2 Board has voted not to renew the contract of Nathan Gevelinger, and renewed the contracts of Heath Higgins, Deanna Oberheu and Nina Schneider, approved the contract of new hire Amanda Kerrigan, approved an addendum to Marie Ortivez’ contract for teaching multiple grade levels in the elementary, and approved the FFA overnight trip to Alamosa, June 1-3.
In other business, the proposed budget for 2011-2012 must be approved by June 30, 2011. The board learned of a CASB Legal Update regarding a rule requiring districts to notify parents when employees are arrested or criminally charged, “…even if they no longer work for us,” according to Superintendent Bree Lessar. This is apparently to help weed out predators.
Gaye Davis spoke about the bids on the roofing project. Davis reported that they may be able to do the entire project in this cycle without having to go to a second grant cycle. Bidders including Drury Brothers, Central States Roofing, Weather Shield, and BRN. Drury Brothers was the very lowest bidder. Both Bree Lessar and Tony Brgoch disclaimed anything to do with the bidding process, given that they are both in some way related to the Drury Brothers.
In the end, the board awarded the contract for elementary roofing and high school abatement, to Drury Brothers, but not to exceed $241,000. The crew would begin mobilizing on June 1 and would finish in 6-8 weeks.
Regarding open enrollment, Superintendent Lessar spoke about a possible policy change so that kids who are already attending the school will not need to reapply. She noted, “We shouldn’t make hoops to jump through just because we can.”
A proposal was made calling for dropping two social science classes, while adding a survey of math class to the new Master Schedule.
There was discussion about the viability of college credit courses (AP or Dual Credit). Due to the standardization of testing scores, AP classes may make graduates more competitive when applying for college. La Veta is already doing dual credit courses which guarantee some college credits without standardized test scores.
It was proposed that the school will be moving from a 62-minute instructive hour to 60-minutes. This will slightly increase the time to move from class to class. From that point forward, students who are late to classes will face detention.
Also proposed was the possibility of reducing the number of middle school basketball games, while increasing the number of practices. Lessar says this could “increase excellence in the program via more practice time.” It was noted that for a junior high team to be on the road two or more times per week is too much when kids really need to study and get better at their given sport. Gas prices are also a problem as the large bus only gets about five mpg. A discussion about preliminary results of CSAP and NWEA testing scores followed, with Lessar noting the current 8th graders have used “Everyday Math” from the beginning, and their math scores appear to be significantly higher than last year’s.
Moving on, Lessar and the board discussed plans for various drills next year in order to prepare students, staff and parents for any type of emergency they might encounter at school.
Cal Sanbeck of the Dog Bar has made a donation to help replace part of the baseball field’s scoreboard.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward