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RE-1 election cancelled

WALSENBURG — With the new school year underway, the RE-1 Board of Education had a full agenda and got right down to the business of managing the district. The board passed Resolution #9, which cancelled the school board election. There are four at-large positions open, and only four petitions were turned in, all from current board members. Returning to the board will be Eva Vigil, David Tesitor, Julia Marchant, and Jaye Sudar. Two teachers resigned and need to be replaced. Gardner teacher, Steven Weber resigned for personal family issues, and Special Ed teacher Jeff Higgins, resigned because he failed to obtain the required certification. The district also will hire two half-time paraprofessionals; one in Gardner and one at Peakview. The principals and administrative staff gave their reports. Maintenance Director Harry Scuzzaro informed the board the concrete work at the high school is complete and the drainage issues appear to be resolved. Cement work will begin soon on the deteriorating steps at the administrative building. Live Well received an El Pomar Grant to make improvements at Washington School, where they are leasing the basement. The work will make their space ADA compliant. Plans are to install a chair lift to the basement and upgrade a bathroom on the lower level to make it handicapped accessible. Later a shower will be added. The air conditioning at Peakview is being repaired and the equipment will be brought in. A new convection oven is being delivered to the Gardner School. Funds for these repairs will be made from the capital improvement funds. Finally the track at the sports complex will be repaired this spring/summer and is covered under the warranty. The district is also taking bids to complete the locker rooms. Superintendent Moore also reported district enrollment is up by nine students. There was a long discussion about the insurance fees being charged to the students for use of iPads. Last year the BOE voted to lower the charges from $30 per student to $20 (1-2), $15 (3rd) and $10 for four or more. The discussion centered on some parents who felt the grant money received last year would allow for no charges. It was listed on the agenda to impose a one year moratorium on eliminating fees. The item failed for lack of a motion and the original policy remains in force. The Ameresco Energy audit agreement was not approved. Ameresco had shown the distract ways to lower energy costs over a 15 year period, but their services involved a 15 year financial obligation to their company. The district will also lease the old auto shop to Gary Vigil for rent and other considerations. The use is limited to after hours. Vigil will improve the property at his expense. If the district reinstates an auto shop program, the facility will be used by the district. The next meeting will be at Peakview School, September 22, at 6 pm.