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RE-1 salutes staff veterans, addresses weighted courses, concurrent enrollment

WALSENBURG — The Huerfano RE-1 School Board meeting on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 was a particularly patriotic event. Being Veterans Day, the school board decided to honor the staff of the district who have served the United States of America in the armed forces. The board invited veterans Moses Barela, (Army), Julian Martinez, (Army) Tim Renn, (Army), Dan Harper, (Air Force), Joseph Harmes (Marine Corp), George Purnell (Navy), Ernest Niño (Navy Reserve), and Mark Thompson (Navy). The veterans stood as called and were honored for their service by a performance of the National Anthem by JMHS Choir students Victoria Aragon and Bailey Espinosa who were then joined by Joseph Aguirre for a performance of America the Beautiful. The celebration was complete with an awesome red white and blue cake for all. The agenda item creating the most discussion, regarded the establishment of policy on concurrent enrollment students and the credits they should receive. In the past, students who attend Trinidad State Junior College while still in high

school have received a half credit for every class that they took but no letter grade to go toward their GPA. This discrepancy was brought to light recently and the board is taking a proactive approach to it by adjusting policy. Superintendent Mike Moore brought up the point that it is ridiculous that current policy gives weighted credit for CSAP/TCAP test scores, but no GPA credit for college courses. He proposed a full definition of half of a high school credit for every three credits in a college class with possible later discussion on weighting the credits. This refined definition, and change in policy, should help families understand exactly what students are receiving for their time in college courses. Moore brought up the point that even though the district has not been awarding weighted grades at all, a review of policy shows RE-1 should be awarding weighted credit for several classes that also frankly, should be required for graduation. He is calling for another look at current policy, and the possible introduction of new policy. Since unfortunately, AP classes have to be taught by someone with a master’s degree in the subject, which the district does not have in the target subject areas, the district may begin offering AP classes by opening up the position to retired educators in the community, or utilizing information technology to participate in distance learning. A few other items were noted at the meeting, including the acceptance with regret of Peakview third grade teacher Lynn Myers’ retirement after 13 years. The vibe that this reporter got from the meeting as a whole is that Superintendent Michael Moore has hit the ground running and is taking serious steps to improve the district. I look forward to seeing his passion continue to translate into leaps and bounds forward in RE-1.