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Re-1 cheers, tears

By Jaye Sudar

LA VETA- The boardroom was packed. People stood in the hall and waited quietly. Tonight was about cheering on students and faculty. Peakview started out the night by recognizing the 7th grade academic achievers; eight were recognized for Excellence in Language Arts, eight more  for Achievement in Language Arts, and six students  for Academic Excellence in all core subjects.  Science Fair awards were recognized in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades. Eleven students were presented with trophies. The three staff members who helped with the science fair were also recognized. Last of all, Aaron Vallejos and Sylvie Tafoya, were presented with certificates for Teacher of the month.

    Gardner had two awards; Cathy Cordova for her academic nurturing and Ann Rowland as student of the month. John Mall High School recognized six students with 4.0 GPA′s. Doc Siders stated that there are 8 students with 3.5 or better GPA′s and 40 students with 3.0 GPA′s or better at this point. Three students were noted as students of the month,for their academic achievements and personal growth and improvements. Last, Lisa Brgoch, Mike Whitehead and Pauline Frank were recognized as employees of the month.

    After the awards, the crowd dispersed a bit. Gaye Davis reported public input on the sports complex chain link fence. There was a 21st Century grant presentation on how technology is changing the face of education. Ipods, cell phones and online books are all tools for education. This segued into a presentation by four John Mall students. They were requesting, via petition, a change to Board Policy JICJ, which governs the use of cell phones or pagers on school grounds.  In light of the presentation made moments before, it was clear to the board that a change in policy was needed. Pauline Frank spoke to the “need for our students to be able to compete in the modern world, which uses Ipods and cell phones as tools.” The students use them for a variety of applications which make sense in the modern classroom. The board voted to change the policy and allow the appropriate use of the technology in the classroom. Further information will be given at future meetings on these policies.

Brief reports were also given by each school.

    Gardner spoke of the Voices of the Past program, Mustache day and a community movie night. John Mall has had few disciplinary problems, and is making a big push for the Drive Safe Colorado program to coincide with prom. Peakview will be hosting the spelling bee on February 17th. They are also doing a teeshirt drive for Haiti. Mr. Purnell spoke of planned field trips for the Gifted and Talented program, and he extended thanks to all of those people who helped with the Night of Champions, especially Dave Tesitor and the Huerfano Journal.  A discussion on cheerleaders lead to banter amongst the board members and audience and ended with a teacher volunteering to help set up participation.

    The lawsuit known as Lobato v. State of Colorado was mentioned, but the board tabled any decision on this landmark case until next meeting. The community survey was discussed and that moved into the discussion on the budget cuts. Re-1 needs to cut between $350,000 and $400,000 for next year.  Proposals were presented for cuts. These involve not replacing retiring staff, reallocating staff to share them between buildings, eliminating some programs and some staff positions. At this point, nothing is set in stone.  A workshop to discuss this proposal with the staff of Re-1 and the board will be held Feb. 3rd at 5:30 pm at Peakview. For more information, contact the district office.

    Finally, the board approved the final budget for 2010, accepted a grant for approximately $10,000, accepted the resignation of a teacher, approved extra duty coaching assignments and an addition to the substitute cook list.

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